Friday, February 17, 2023

Last Call For Vote Like Your Country Depends On It, Con't

Once again, Republicans are responding to historically bad losses in 2020 and now 2022 in states like Michigan by electing state party leaders who are vowing to overturn election results and to nullify any future Democratic candidate wins in 2024 and beyond.

Jon Smith, a local leader in rural Michigan of America First, a far-right Republican faction that denies the results of the 2020 election, wants to shift the entire party to the right - even if it means short-term losses at the ballot box. "We need to redefine what it means to be a Republican," he said in an interview.

In pursuit of that aim, Smith and other hardliners deployed armed guards to bar moderate delegates from a county meeting last August, threatening to bring criminal trespassing charges against them, according to an email to the moderates seen by Reuters.

Smith, who is running for party chair in his congressional district, also helped persuade state party officials to exclude moderates from his county from a vote on Saturday to choose the leaders who will steer Michigan Republicans into the 2024 elections.

Far-right Republican groups are making inroads across the state, according to Reuters' interviews with two dozen party leaders, grassroots members and political experts, sidelining moderate voices, risking relationships with major donors and complicating the state party's efforts to rebuild after their worst election results since 1984.

America First Republicans now control local party leadership in more than half of Michigan's 83 counties, a senior party official estimated, paving the way for an important victory on Saturday when an election denier is expected to be elected to state party chair.

Critics say the Republican Party's continued lurch to the right after midterm losses of candidates backed by former President Donald Trump could imperil its chances in a state that will likely prove critical to control of the White House and Congress in 2024, with one of Michigan's Senate seats in play.

The local skirmishes mirror Republican infighting in other swing states and in Congress, where Kevin McCarthy made important concessions to hardline lawmakers to win election as speaker of the House of Representatives last month.

"What's going on in Michigan is a microcosm of what is going on with the Republican Party nationally," said Michael Traugott, a professor at the Center for Political Studies at the University of Michigan
Republicans trying to tie up Democratic wins in courts and/or having state legislatures overturn them is the fate of a lot of races in 2024. People don't seem to think it will happen, or that Republicans will simply lose in state courts 100% of the time as they have been so there's nothing to worry about.

One SCOTUS decision could make it painfully easy to do so.

Vote like your country depends on it, because it does.

The Road To Gilead, Local Edition, Con't

The Kentucky Supreme Court has issued a ruling that keeps the state’s two near-total bans on abortion in place and remanded the case back to the trial court for constitutional review.

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Mitch Perrylast year blocked enforcement of the state’s “trigger law,” which bans abortion in nearly all cases, and a separate six-week ban.The state Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, allowing the abortion bans to go into effect last August.

And now, in a 150-page opinion, Supreme Court justices have upheld that decision.

The majority opinion Thursday states that Kentucky's two abortion providers lack the constitutional standing to challenge the laws on their patients' behalf, but that they do have standing to challenge the trigger ban on their own.

But justices left the door open to weigh in on the issue further, saying the ruling “does not in any way determine whether the Kentucky Constitution protects or does not protect the right to receive an abortion.”

The opinion goes on to say that nothing in the opinion “shall be construed to prevent an appropriate party from filing suit at a later date.”

Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the ACLU issued a joint statement after the ruling, saying justices “failed to protect the health and safety of nearly a million people” by refusing to block the laws.

“Even after Kentuckians overwhelmingly voted against an anti-abortion ballot measure, abortion remains banned in the state. We are extremely disappointed in today’s decision, but we will never give up the fight to restore bodily autonomy and reproductive freedom in Kentucky. This fight is not over,” the groups stated.

So I hope that the ACLU and Planned Parenthood get on the ball here and file another case.  We'll see what happens, but for now, abortion is illegal, and Republicans are doing everything in their power to criminalize it for women and doctors.

The goal is to control women as property of the GOP state, and that plan is proceeding across the country.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

A section of the Fulton County, GA Special Grand Jury findings are out as a public release, and the unredacted parts of the report make it clear, as I said earlier, that evidence of perjury in the Trump election meddling affair in Georgia's 2020 presidential contest recount is ludicrously extant.
A Georgia special grand jury concluded that one or more witnesses in a probe into possible election meddling by former President Donald Trump may have lied under oath, and recommended a prosecutor pursue criminal indictments in those cases.

The grand jury also said in its report that it found no significant fraud in Georgia’s 2020 presidential election, which was won by President Joe Biden.

Those conclusions were contained in the portion of the grand jury’s final report that were unsealed Thursday by a judge in Fulton County.

The sections of the report expected to reveal whether the grand jurors believed that Trump or his allies criminally interfered in Georgia’s election — and if there should be any indictments for that conduct — remain under seal.

“A majority of the Grand Jury believes that perjury may have been committed by one or more witnesses testifying before it,” said the report.

“The Grand Jury recommends that the District Attorney seek appropriate indictments for such crimes where the evidence is compelling,” the report said.

The grand jury voted unanimously in concluding that “no widespread fraud took place in the Georgia 2020 presidential election that could result in overturning that election,” according to the report.
Perjury's just the tip of the iceberg, but the indictments will start there. Again, the big, big question is if the indictments will include Trump. The moment it does, all hell breaks loose.
We'll see.

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