Friday, September 1, 2023

Last Call For The Revolutions Will Be Televised

Military officers in Gabon said they were seizing power Wednesday, just minutes after President Ali Bongo was declared the winner of a controversial election marred by violence and allegations of vote rigging.

The officers who appeared on state television Wednesday announced the closure of borders and dissolved state institutions including the Senate, National Assembly and Constitutional Court. They said in a later statement that Bongo was under house arrest.

Bongo, who was seeking a third term in office, came to power following the death of his father, Omar Bongo, in 2009, after more than four decades in power. Both men were key allies of the oil-rich country’s former colonial power, France, and the family is believed to have amassed significant wealth — which is the subject of a judicial investigation in France.

Gabon is generally considered more stable than other countries that have experienced unrest in recent years, but it now appears set to join a growing list of junta-led states — including Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Mali and Sudan — that create a geographical belt of turmoil across sub-Saharan Africa.

Rebel soldiers in Niger deposed the country’s Western-allied president, Mohamed Bazoum, on July 26 amid political upheaval, a rise in Islamist extremism and growing Russian influence across the region.

Britain, France, Germany and the European Union announced the end of aid to Niger after the ouster, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States could follow suit. So far, President Biden has not labeled the situation a coup.

A key regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), said in August that it was prepared for military intervention and had decided on a “D-Day” for intervention — though it did not give a date and said diplomacy was still possible.

Coup supporters in Niger’s capital, Niamey, as well as in neighboring Burkina Faso and Mali, have been spotted waving Russian flags, and experts say uncertainty around the coup leaders’ motivation may hamper Western attempts to restore Bazoum through diplomacy.

The coup has also thrust the fate of Niger’s uranium to center stage as experts say European countries may have to grapple with the effects on the nuclear industry — especially in France, which evacuated European nationals from the country but has resisted an ultimatum from the coup leaders for its ambassador to leave.


The sub-Saharan belt of revolutions, coups, and juntas stretches coast-to-coast from Guinea in the West to Sudan in the east, to show you just how expansive this has been in the last two-plus years.


The world may be focused on Ukraine and Europe right now, but Africa is where the seeds of change are spreading like wildfire, and they are being watered by blood and tears.

The Revelation Will Be Televised

Fulton County, Georgia Judge Scott McAfee is confirming that like nearly all legal proceedings in the county, the case against Donald Trump will be televised and steamed on the internet.
A Fulton County judge on Thursday said that all court proceedings in the election interference case against former President Donald Trump and 18 co-defendants will be live streamed and televised.

Judge Scott McAfee also said he is following the precedent set by fellow Fulton Judge Robert McBurney; all hearings and trials will be broadcast on the Fulton County Court YouTube channel.

In an order issued Thursday, McAfee said members of the media would be allowed to use computers and cellphones inside the courtroom for non-recording purposes during court proceedings. There will be pool coverage for television, radio and still photography.

The proceedings — especially those involving Trump himself — are expected to attract international attention.

The transparency in the county court stands in stark contrast to federal court. In Monday’s hearing on whether White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows should have his case transferred to U.S. District Court, journalists were barred from bringing cell phones, laptops and cameras into the Richard B. Russell federal building.
I think it's well within a national interest perspective to televise and stream Trump's federal cases too, but hey, I'm just a US citizen, what do I know.
But man, I can't wait to see Trump sweating at the defense table, knowing he's going to spend the rest of his life in prison.

Retribution (Non) Execution

Georgia Republicans and MAGA cultists have had Fulton County DA Fani Willis n their sights for years now, but it seems like Gerogia GOP Gov. Brian Kemp isn't going to entertain a lynch mob...for now.
During a remarkable press conference, Gov. Brian Kemp quashed the idea of a special legislative session pushed by former President Donald Trump and his allies to oust Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis after she charged them with a vast conspiracy to reverse his 2020 defeat.

And the governor on Thursday also dismissed talk of backing efforts to reprimand Willis, either through legislative hearings that seek to slash state funding to her office or a newly empowered panel that can sanction wayward prosecutors or remove them from office.

The second-term Republican said he hasn’t “seen any evidence” that Willis has violated her oath of office, even though he voiced concerns about whether she was motivated by politics to pursue the 41-count indictment.

“The bottom line is that in the state of Georgia as long as I’m governor, we’re going to follow the law and the Constitution, regardless of who it helps and harms politically,” Kemp said. “Over the last few years, some inside and outside of this building may have forgotten that. But I can assure you that I have not.”

Kemp added: “In Georgia, we will not be engaging in political theater that only inflames the emotions of the moment. We will do what is right. We will uphold our oath to public service. And it is my belief that our state will be better off for it.”

The governor is pushing back against an effort by Republican state Sen. Colton Moore to impeach Willis in the General Assembly. Beyond the significant legal issues that raises, the push is politically impossible because it requires Democratic support.

Kemp’s remarks came during a press conference at the state Capitol that opened with an update on storm damage from Hurricane Idalia in South Georgia — and unfolded just as Trump entered a not guilty plea to charges that he orchestrated a sprawling “criminal enterprise.”

He summoned a reminder of the fraught days after the 2020 election, when the governor and other Republican leaders were blamed by Trump for his defeat. That quickly made them targets of his supporters, who peppered them with death threats and vowed to oust Kemp from office.

He said he sees echoes of those volatile times now, as Moore and other far-right Republicans have pressured GOP lawmakers to join their push, leading to harassing behavior from Trump loyalists. At least five state senators have told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution they’ve received threats.

Republicans, the governor said, should be talking to Georgians about their economic policies and public safety platforms and “not focused on the past, or some grifter scam that somebody’s doing to help them raise a few dollars into their campaign account.”

The governor joined a chorus of Republicans seeking to lower the temperature of the escalating rhetoric. House Speaker Jon Burns wrote a lengthy letter to Republicans warning that the initiative flouts “the idea of separation of powers, if not outright violates it.”
 Of course, Kemp and Donald Trump basically hate each other, so there's that. The bigger news is that much to my surprise, Kemp is handily resisting the calls for Republicans to interfere with Fani Willis's case, and it doesn't look like he's going to be swayed or threatened.

I figured Kemp would cave. He hates Trump more than that, it seems. I'm good with the reason and the results.
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