Monday, March 6, 2023

Last Call For The GOP's Race To The Bottom, Con't

Republicans know full well they are the party of white supremacist domestic terrorism, and openly the party of eliminating the Civil Rights era in a return to "making America great again" so when Republicans say posing with actual neo-Nazis is a "mistake" they are lying to you and they damn well know it.
U.S. Rep. Matt Rosendale said he unwittingly posed for a photo with high profile members of the neo-Nazi movement last week walking between congressional hearings.

The photo taken March 1 in front of the Capitol, shows Rosendale posing with Ryan Sanchez, formerly of the white supremacist street-fighting gang Rise Above Movement and Greyson Arnold, a Nazi sympathizer and podcaster present at the Jan 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Arnold has called Adolf Hitler a “complicated historical figure.”

By week's end, the image was being widely circulated on social media, both on Twitter and Mastodon. The post was most often attributed to Vishal P. Singh, publisher of the website "VPS Reports, Civil Rights and Anti-Fascist News."

"I absolutely condemn and have zero tolerance for hate groups, hate speech, and violence. I did not take a meeting with these individuals,” Rosendale said in an email. “I was asked for a photo while walking between hearings, accommodating as I do for all photo requests, and was not aware of the individuals' identity or affiliation with these hate groups that stand in stark contrast to my personal beliefs."

In the photo, Sanchez appears to be wearing a WW-II era German officer trench coat.

The men posing aren’t low-profile. Arnold was the host of “Pure Politics” a YouTube program that interviewed GOP candidates and officials in the Pacific Northwest during the 2022 election.
This is a lie.
Rosendale knew perfectly well who he was dealing with, because Montana is a state with openly neo-Nazi assholes running for office, as is neighboring Idaho and Wyoming. Rosendale needs these votes, because voters in Montana, especially Republican ones, expect him to be sympathetic to their views, if not openly helping them achieve them with his votes.

I bet Sen. Jon Tester wouldn't make this "mistake." Just saying.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Jose Pagliery at the Daily Beast points out a largely unheralded Justice Department memo earlier this month that leaves the door open for federal indictments of Donald Trump.
When the Department of Justice took the position this week that former President Donald Trump acted improperly by urging his followers to attack Congress in 2021, prosecutors did more than open the door to a potential flood of civil lawsuits from police officers who were injured on Jan. 6.

What they actually did, according to legal scholars, is lay the groundwork for a potential criminal indictment against Trump for inciting the insurrection.

“If they took the position that the president was absolutely immune, then they wouldn’t be able to bring a criminal prosecution,” said one person familiar with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Legal scholars have come to the same conclusion.

“Had DOJ concluded that incitement unprotected by the First Amendment could nevertheless be within the president’s official functions, that could conceivably have impacted criminal charging decisions related to the same speech,” said Mary B. McCord, a former federal prosecutor now teaching at Georgetown University Law Center.

At the behest of the District of Columbia’s federal appellate court, the DOJ last week submitted a legal memo weighing in on a civil dispute by injured police officers. The department clarified that Trump’s speech, full of vitriol and fury, was not protected by presidential immunity, nor was it protected by his own free speech rights under the First Amendment.

“Such incitement of imminent private violence would not be within the outer perimeter of the Office of the President of the United States,” the DOJ wrote.

The department went out of its way to say it doesn’t necessarily support officer lawsuits against Trump, noting that it “expresses no view on that conclusion, or on the truth of the allegations in plaintiffs’ complaints.” But by making clear that Trump’s speech was outside the norms of his office, it stripped the former president of virtually any defense he could make.

“If they’re saying it’s outside the scope of immunity of civil suits, and outside the scope of protected speech, there really isn’t anything else out there protecting Trump,” said one attorney, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid rattling DOJ leadership.

The two indictments Trump could face are for his incitement of the Jan. 6 riot—a federal crime—and his attempts to overturn the election results in Georgia, a state case there.

So far, the Justice Department has not indicated its legal analysis of the looming federal case against Trump, which concerns the effort his campaign led to undermine the electoral vote by Congress. However, its new legal memo draws a clear red line on his actions during the lead up to the actual attack on Congress.
This is a necessary step, but this is a determination that should have been made two years ago.  Does it finally mean that Special Counsel Jack Smith is moving forward? At this point, the Trump regime seems to think so. They're already planning to go after DA Fani Willis in Atlanta, and the New York cases brought by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg and New York AG Tish James still exist, but everyone's running out of time.

We'll see.

The Circus Of The Damned Hits The Road

House Republicans are requesting millions in order to bring their prime-time propaganda to the people in an effort to stoke rage and resentment against President Biden and the Democrats...and oh yeah, to reward rich megadonors and to spread grift around the nation too.
When the House Ways and Means Committee traveled to Petersburg, W.Va., last month for its inaugural field hearing on “the state of the economy in Appalachia,” it met at the headquarters of a hardwood lumber manufacturer whose chief executive has donated the maximum campaign contribution allowed to a Republican member of the panel.

The logo of his company was on prominent display during the event.

When the committee descends on Yukon, Okla., this week for its second field hearing, this one on “the state of the economy in the heartland,” it will convene at Express Clydesdales, a restored barn and event space owned by a major donor to the super PAC aligned with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the Republican National Committee, Senate Republicans’ campaign committee and former President Donald J. Trump.

The owner, the business magnate Robert Funk, has also given the maximum campaign donation allowable to another member of the panel, Representative Kevin Hern, Republican of Oklahoma, for the past three cycles.

Determined to take their message directly to voters at a time when they are hard-pressed to get anything concrete done on Capitol Hill, House Republicans are increasing the budgets of their congressional committees and going out on the road, planning a busy schedule of field hearings in all corners of the country aimed at promoting their agenda outside the Beltway.

The Judiciary Committee, for example, which has held one field hearing at the U.S. border with Mexico to criticize the Biden administration’s immigration policies and is planning more, requested a travel budget of $262,000 for this year. That is more than 30 times what the panel spent on travel last year. (In 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic significantly curtailed travel, the Judiciary Committee spent about $85,000 on travel costs, according to a public disclosure form, one-third of what Republicans are planning this year.)

It is part of a well-worn political strategy to reach voters where they live and generate local media attention for activity that would most likely draw little notice in Washington.

Representative Jason Smith of Missouri, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said last week that he had “made it a priority” to take the committee’s work “outside the halls of Congress, away from the politically connected voices of Washington lobbyists and into the communities of the American people whose voices have for too long been ignored.”

But it also has a direct payoff for Republicans, allowing them to reward major donors with publicity and exposure for their businesses.

In West Virginia, the chief executive of Allegheny Wood Products, John Crites, whose company hosted the first Ways and Means field hearing, gave the maximum contribution allowed to Representative Carol Miller, Republican of West Virginia and a member of the panel, for the past two cycles.

A spokesman for the committee declined to comment on the choice of venues. Staff aides noted that some of the witnesses who they can hear from in remote locations may not have the time or resources to travel to Washington to testify.
Expect a lot more of this in the months ahead. The traveling Circus of the Damned is coming to a wealthy Republican donor magnate near you, to shower them with money. Gotta spread the grift around, you know.

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