Monday, January 30, 2023

Last Call For Orange Meltdown, Con't

Trump and his inner circle of crooks are heading closer to indictment in state cases this week as New York opens a new grand jury, and Georgia moves to warn people that a decision on charges is imminent. First, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is opening a new grand jury to investigate Trump's hush money scandal.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office on Monday will begin presenting evidence to a grand jury about Donald J. Trump’s role in paying hush money to a porn star during his 2016 presidential campaign, laying the groundwork for potential criminal charges against the former president in the coming months, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The grand jury was recently impaneled, and witness testimony will soon begin, a clear signal that the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, is nearing a decision about whether to charge Mr. Trump.

On Monday, one of the witnesses was seen with his lawyer entering the building in Lower Manhattan where the grand jury is sitting. The witness, David Pecker, is the former publisher of The National Enquirer, the tabloid that helped broker the deal with the porn star, Stormy Daniels.

As prosecutors prepare to reconstruct the events surrounding the payment for grand jurors, they have sought to interview several witnesses, including the tabloid’s former editor, Dylan Howard, and two employees at Mr. Trump’s company, the people said. Mr. Howard and the Trump Organization employees, Jeffrey McConney and Deborah Tarasoff, have not yet testified before the grand jury.

The prosecutors have also begun contacting officials from Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign, one of the people said. And in a sign that they want to corroborate these witness accounts, the prosecutors recently subpoenaed phone records and other documents that might shed light on the episode.

A conviction is not a sure thing, in part because a case could hinge on showing that Mr. Trump and his company falsified records to hide the payout from voters days before the 2016 election, a low-level felony charge that would be based on a largely untested legal theory. The case would also rely on the testimony of Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former fixer who made the payment and who himself pleaded guilty to federal charges related to the hush money in 2018.

Still, the developments compound Mr. Trump’s mounting legal woes as he faces an array of law enforcement investigations: A district attorney in Georgia could seek to indict him for his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the state, and he faces a special counsel investigation into his removal of sensitive documents from the White House.

Mr. Bragg’s decision to impanel a grand jury focused on the hush money — supercharging the longest-running criminal investigation into Mr. Trump — represents a dramatic escalation in an inquiry that once appeared to have reached a dead end.
And second, Fulton County, Georgia DA Fanit Willis is letting everyone know the decision to indict Trump and his inner circle is coming much, much sooner rather than later.
Former President Donald Trump and his allies have been put on notice by a prosecutor, but the warning didn’t come from anyone at the Justice Department.

It was from a Georgia prosecutor who indicated she was likely to seek criminal charges soon in a two-year election subversion probe. In trying to block the release of a special grand jury’s report, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis argued in court last week that decisions in the case were “imminent” and that the report’s publication could jeopardize the rights of “future defendants.”

Though Willis, a Democrat, didn’t mention Trump by name, her comments marked the first time a prosecutor in any of several current investigations tied to the Republican former president has hinted that charges could be forthcoming. The remarks ratcheted anticipation that an investigation focused, in part, on Trump’s call with Georgia’s secretary of state could conclude before ongoing federal probes.

“I expect to see indictments in Fulton County before I see any federal indictments,” said Clark Cunningham, a Georgia State University law professor. 
I would expect February is going to be another dismal month for Trump. Merrick Garland is simply not going to act until he's ready. The states will have to take the lead.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

Homeschooling your kids is a choice millions of parents are making, and while I know people who have done that for reasons I approve of, there's also plenty of people homeschooling their kids so that they can do damage to public schools, and then there's the type who basically indoctrinate them into awful cults. Now, sometimes when I say "awful cults" I mean quasi-religious scary stuff that these kids spend the rest of their lives trying to break", and sometimes when I say "awful cults" in 2023, I mean "actual neo-Nazi white supremacists."
Earlier this month, while the rest of the country was celebrating the achievements of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., parents and children in the “Dissident Homeschool” network opened a lesson plan and were greeted with the words: “As Adolf Hitler wrote…”

The contents of the MLK lesson plan would be shocking for almost anyone, but for members of the 2,400-member “Dissident Homeschool” Telegram channel, this was a regular Monday at school.

“It is up to us to ensure our children know him for the deceitful, dishonest, riot-inciting negro he actually was,” the administrator of the network’s Telegram channel wrote, alongside a downloadable lesson plan for elementary school children. ”He is the face of a movement which ethnically cleansed whites out of urban areas and precipitated the anti-white regime that we are now fighting to free ourselves from.”

Since the group began in October 2021 it has openly embraced Nazi ideology and promoted white supremacy, while proudly discouraging parents from letting their white children play with or have any contact with people of any other race. Admins and members use racist, homophobic, and antisemitic slurs without shame, and quote Hitler and other Nazi leaders daily in a channel open to the public.

VICE News joined the group simply by clicking on a link, though the list of members was not publicly visible.

What’s even more disturbing, however, is that the couple who run the channel are not only teaching parents how to indoctrinate their children into this fascist ideology, they’re also encouraging them to meet up in real life and join even more radical groups, which could further reinforce their beliefs and potentially push them toward violent action.

The “Dissident Homeschool” network is run by a husband and wife team who use the aliases “Mr. and Mrs. Saxon.” This week the antifascist research group Anonymous Comrades Collective published a detailed report that unmasked the Saxons as Logan and Katja Lawrence, who live in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, with their four young children.

The researchers were able to identify the Lawrences through biographical details they shared in the Telegram channel’s group chat and on podcast appearances. One of the key clues to identifying them came when they revealed that they owned a German Shepherd called Blondi—the same name as Hitler’s dog.

The researchers found photos that Katja posted on Facebook with her German Shepherd, and were also able to confirm Katja Lawrence’s ownership of this dog through the Wyandot County dog licensing website dog search feature.

The Lawrences did not respond to multiple emails, text messages, social media messages, and phone calls from VICE News to discuss the contents of the report and their neo-Nazi homeschooling group.

Katja Lawrence, who is in her mid-30s, launched the channel in October 2021, because she “was having a rough time finding Nazi-approved school material for [her] homeschool children,” as she told the neo-Nazi podcast “Achtung! Amerikaner” last year.

Later in the same podcast episode, Lawrence expanded on her view on why she wanted to educate her children at home. “We have our children’s best interest at heart and nobody can do a better job than we can because it’s our child. We are so deeply invested into making sure that that child becomes a wonderful Nazi,” she said.


So yeah, Ohio Homeschooling Nazis, wanting to recruit people to join domestic terrorist militia groups. Yeah, I'd say there's probably a lot more networks like this that haven't been exposed yet. And remember, one of our political parties is doing everything they can to run cover for these actual, literal Nazis.

Countdown Shutdown, Armageddon Edition, Con't

House GOP Circus Of The Damned Ringmaster Kevin McCarthy is predicting that President Biden will fold and give the GOP Clown Car the trillions in cuts to infrastructure, health care, and social programs Biden championed over the last two years, because the GOP is more than happy to crush the economy and throw us into a UK-style decade-long depression.


House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said Sunday he thinks President Joe Biden will come to an agreement with him regarding the debt ceiling, despite the Biden administration’s previous assertions that they wouldn’t negotiate with House Republicans on the issue.

“His staff tries to say something different, but I think the president will be willing to make an agreement together,” McCarthy said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” The pair are scheduled to meet Wednesday, McCarthy said.

Biden previously confirmed he planned to meet with the House speaker to talk about raising the nation’s borrowing limit, in order to pay back money that’s already been spent.

McCarthy has taken the opportunity to attempt to force government spending cuts; the U.S. needs to both lift the nation’s debt ceiling and “take control of this runaway spending,” McCarthy told host Margaret Brennan on Sunday.

The Biden administration has argued Congress has the responsibility to pass a debt limit increase without conditions attached, noting that Congress did exactly that three times during former President Donald Trump’s tenure.

Asked about White House concerns that some Republicans are seeking cuts to Social Security and Medicare, McCarthy said, “Let’s take those off the table.”

Cuts to defense spending, however, are still in play, McCarthy suggested.

“I want to look at every dollar no matter where it’s being spent,” he said, when asked specifically about defense. “I want to eliminate waste wherever it is.”
The last "agreement" that the House GOP extracted out of a Democratic president was sequestration, which prolonged the Great Recession by years.  Biden learned his lesson a dozen years ago.
In 2011, after faltering debt limit negotiations with House Republicans brought the U.S. to the brink of economic calamity, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden sat by the fireplace in the Oval Office, with their top aides on the couch. While relieved at having narrowly averted disaster, they were stunned by what had transpired.

Obama and Biden made a vow: Never again.

They agreed that going forward, “Nobody can use the threat of default or not increasing the debt limit as a negotiating tool,” said a former Obama official involved in the fiscal discussions, who recounted the Oval Office meeting and the “lesson of 2011” they all discussed. “It made you hold your stomach. You couldn’t believe you were at this situation," the official said.

The U.S. had just suffered its first credit downgrade. Markets were rattled. Consumer and business confidence was shaken. Stocks took a hit. And the recovery from the Great Recession was in question. Democrats averted the cliff — by acceding to $2 trillion in spending cuts the GOP had demanded after negotiations on a “grand bargain” broke down — but Obama and Biden agreed that the mere threat of default had taken a serious toll.

“They said: This is the sad lesson we’ve learned,” the Obama official said, describing the mood in the room. “It was an unimaginable self-inflicted wound in 2011.”

Twelve years later, Biden is executing on that lesson as he faces down a new Republican-controlled House that is similarly demanding spending cuts as a concession for extending the debt ceiling. He says there won’t be any negotiations, and Congress must allow the government to pay its bills. “I will not let anyone use the full faith and credit of the United States as a bargaining chip,” Biden said Thursday in Virginia.
Having said that, Obama and Biden's hard lesson prolonged the Great Recession well into 2014 and Black families still haven't recovered. The Black middle class in this country is gone and it's likely never coming back.

Another blow like sequestration would finish off tens of millions of Americans, and Biden knows that.
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