Sunday, November 5, 2023

Last Call For Retribution Execution, Con't

The Trump 2024 people are screaming from the rooftops that they will make mass arrests of Democrats and their voters in 2025 and at this point I have to assume that a whole lot of your friends and neighbors are going to spend the next year trying to get on Team Fascism so that they don't end up on the pogrom lists.
Donald Trump and his allies have begun mapping out specific plans for using the federal government to punish critics and opponents should he win a second term, with the former president naming individuals he wants to investigate or prosecute and his associates drafting plans to potentially invoke the Insurrection Act on his first day in office to allow him to deploy the military against civil demonstrations.

In private, Trump has told advisers and friends in recent months that he wants the Justice Department to investigate onetime officials and allies who have become critical of his time in office, including his former chief of staff, John Kelly, and former attorney general William P. Barr, as well as his ex-attorney Ty Cobb and former Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark A. Milley, according to people who have talked to him, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Trump has also talked of prosecuting officials at the FBI and Justice Department, a person familiar with the matter said.

In public, Trump has vowed to appoint a special prosecutor to “go after” President Biden and his family. The former president has frequently made corruption accusations against them that are not supported by available evidence.

To facilitate Trump’s ability to direct Justice Department actions, his associates have been drafting plans to dispense with 50 years of policy and practice intended to shield criminal prosecutions from political considerations. Critics have called such ideas dangerous and unconstitutional.

“It would resemble a banana republic if people came into office and started going after their opponents willy-nilly,” said Saikrishna Prakash, a constitutional law professor at the University of Virginia who studies executive power. “It’s hardly something we should aspire to.”

Much of the planning for a second term has been unofficially outsourced to a partnership of right-wing think tanks in Washington. Dubbed “Project 2025,” the group is developing a plan, to include draft executive orders, that would deploy the military domestically under the Insurrection Act, according to a person involved in those conversations and internal communications reviewed by The Washington Post. The law, last updated in 1871, authorizes the president to deploy the military for domestic law enforcement.

The proposal was identified in internal discussions as an immediate priority, the communications showed. In the final year of his presidency, some of Trump’s supporters urged him to invoke the Insurrection Act to put down unrest after the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, but he never did it. Trump has publicly expressed regret about not deploying more federal force and said he would not hesitate to do so in the future.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung did not answer questions about specific actions under discussion. “President Trump is focused on crushing his opponents in the primary election and then going on to beat Crooked Joe Biden,” Cheung said. “President Trump has always stood for law and order, and protecting the Constitution.”

The discussions underway reflect Trump’s determination to harness the power of the presidency to exact revenge on those who have challenged or criticized him if he returns to the White House. The former president has frequently threatened to take punitive steps against his perceived enemies, arguing that doing so would be justified by the current prosecutions against him. Trump has claimed without evidence that the criminal charges he is facing — a total of 91 across four state and federal indictments — were made up to damage him politically.

“This is third-world-country stuff, ‘arrest your opponent,’” Trump said at a campaign stop in New Hampshire in October. “And that means I can do that, too.”
Special counsel Jack Smith, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Biden have all said that Smith’s prosecution decisions were made independently of the White House, in accordance with department rules on special counsels.

Trump, the clear polling leader in the GOP race, has made “retribution” a central theme of his campaign, seeking to intertwine his own legal defense with a call for payback against perceived slights and offenses to right-wing Americans. He repeatedly tells his supporters that he is being persecuted on their behalf and holds out a 2024 victory as a shared redemption at their enemies’ expense.


Again, Trump is promising that he'll arrest Democrats and their supporters, maybe tens of thousands or more, and that he'll deploy the US military against Americans, and your friends and neighbors and co-workers are not only okay with this, they're actively rooting for it to happen.

President Biden is trailing Donald J. Trump in five of the six most important battleground states one year before the 2024 election, suffering from enormous doubts about his age and deep dissatisfaction over his handling of the economy and a host of other issues, new polls by The New York Times and Siena College have found.

The results show Mr. Biden losing to Mr. Trump, his likeliest Republican rival, by margins of three to 10 percentage points among registered voters in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden is ahead only in Wisconsin, by two percentage points, the poll found.

Across the six battlegrounds — all of which Mr. Biden carried in 2020 — the president trails by an average of 48 to 44 percent.

Discontent pulsates throughout the Times/Siena poll, with a majority of voters saying Mr. Biden’s policies have personally hurt them. The survey also reveals the extent to which the multiracial and multigenerational coalition that elected Mr. Biden is fraying. Demographic groups that backed Mr. Biden by landslide margins in 2020 are now far more closely contested, as two-thirds of the electorate sees the country moving in the wrong direction.

Voters under 30 favor Mr. Biden by only a single percentage point, his lead among Hispanic voters is down to single digits and his advantage in urban areas is half of Mr. Trump’s edge in rural regions. And while women still favored Mr. Biden, men preferred Mr. Trump by twice as large a margin, reversing the gender advantage that had fueled so many Democratic gains in recent years.

Black voters — long a bulwark for Democrats and for Mr. Biden — are now registering 22 percent support in these states for Mr. Trump, a level unseen in presidential politics for a Republican in modern times.

Add it all together, and Mr. Trump leads by 10 points in Nevada, six in Georgia, five in Arizona, five in Michigan and four in Pennsylvania. Mr. Biden held a 2-point edge in Wisconsin.

In a remarkable sign of a gradual racial realignment between the two parties, the more diverse the swing state, the farther Mr. Biden was behind, and he led only in the whitest of the six.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump are both deeply — and similarly — unpopular, according to the poll. But voters who overwhelmingly said the nation was on the wrong track are taking out their frustrations on the president
We're about to hand this country back to an autocratic crook who will take endless revenge on anyone and everyone in sight in a massive purge of anyone even remotely critical of him backed by lethal military force, but it's okay because Joe Biden is old LOL.
Excusing the voters as ignorant doesn't work anymore. Trump is absolutely saying on a nearly weekly basis at rallies that he's going to hurt people. And the majority of the American people want it to happen
Biden needs to get his ass in gear and run like he's 10 points down.
Because right now?
He is.

Voters, by a 59 percent to 37 percent margin, said they better trusted Mr. Trump over Mr. Biden on the economy, the largest gap of any issue. The preference for Mr. Trump on economic matters spanned the electorate, among both men and women, those with college degrees and those without them, every age range and every income level.

That result is especially problematic for Mr. Biden because nearly twice as many voters said economic issues would determine their 2024 vote compared with social issues, such as abortion or guns. And those economic voters favored Mr. Trump by a landslide 60 percent to 32 percent.

The findings come after Mr. Biden’s campaign has run millions of dollars in ads promoting his record, and as the president continues to tour the country to brag about the state of the economy. “Folks, Bidenomics is just another way of saying the American dream!” Mr. Biden declared on Wednesday on a trip to Minnesota.

Voters clearly disagree. Only 2 percent of voters said the economy was excellent.

"At least Trump made the trains run on time"is gonna be the epitaph of this country at this rate. And the kids? The kids want to go back to Trump.

Voters under 30 — a group that strongly voted for Mr. Biden in 2020 — said they trusted Mr. Trump more on the economy by an extraordinary 28 percentage-point margin after years of inflation and now high interest rates that have made mortgages far less affordable. Less than one percent of poll respondents under 30 rated the current economy as excellent, including zero poll respondents in that age group in three states: Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin.

“I actually had high hopes for Biden,” said Jahmerry Henry, a 25-year-old who packages liquor in Albany, Ga. “You can’t be worse than Trump. But then as the years go by, things happen with inflation, the war going on in Ukraine, recently Israel and I guess our borders are not secure at all.”

Now Mr. Henry plans to back Mr. Trump.

“I don’t see anything that he has done to benefit us,” said Patricia Flores, 39, of Reno, Nev., who voted for Mr. Biden in 2020 but won’t support him again in 2024.
"You can't be worse than Trump", but they're going to vote for him anyhow. We really are going to hand this place back over to Trump for a second go and he'll finish the country off. The psychopathy and despair are real. The Zoomers who will never be able to afford a house are willing to roll the dice on the autocrat again. Hey, maybe he'll crash the housing market so they can buy cheap.

Of course, Biden siding America with the country openly asking why they can't nuke a civilian population because there are "no non-combatants in Gaza" doesn't exactly put him with the good guys, either, as awful as Trump is.

The rest of us have a lot of work to do in convincing others that's not the case. We know he's going to destroy the place.  Trump going to prison before the election might be the only thing that saves us.

On the other hand, having said all this...

Let's remember that the NY Times can definitely be wrong on this election.

And we've been down before a year out.

The larger point is we have an entire year. Let's not waste it.

Ukraine In The Membrane, Con't

The European Union is rapidly running out of patience with Kyiv and is looking for the exits out of Ukraine, especially with the Israel-Hamas conflict going volcanic. 
U.S. and European officials have begun quietly talking to the Ukrainian government about what possible peace negotiations with Russia might entail to end the war, according to one current senior U.S. official and one former senior U.S. official familiar with the discussions.

The conversations have included very broad outlines of what Ukraine might need to give up to reach a deal, the officials said. Some of the talks, which officials described as delicate, took place last month during a meeting of representatives from more than 50 nations supporting Ukraine, including NATO members, known as the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, the officials said.

The discussions are an acknowledgment of the dynamics militarily on the ground in Ukraine and politically in the U.S. and Europe, officials said.

They began amid concerns among U.S. and European officials that the war has reached a stalemate and about the ability to continue providing aid to Ukraine, officials said. Biden administration officials also are worried that Ukraine is running out of forces, while Russia has a seemingly endless supply, officials said. Ukraine is also struggling with recruiting and has recently seen public protests about some of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s open-ended conscription requirements.

And there is unease in the U.S. government with how much less public attention the war in Ukraine has garnered since the Israel-Hamas war began nearly a month ago, the officials said. Officials fear that shift could make securing additional aid for Kyiv more difficult.

Some U.S. military officials have privately begun using the term “stalemate” to describe the current battle in Ukraine, with some saying it may come down to which side can maintain a military force the longest. Neither side is making large strides on the battlefield, which some U.S. officials now describe as a war of inches. Officials also have privately said Ukraine likely only has until the end of the year or shortly thereafter before more urgent discussions about peace negotiations should begin. U.S. officials have shared their views on such a timeline with European allies, officials said.

“Any decisions about negotiations are up to Ukraine,” Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement. “We are focused on continuing to stand strongly in support of Ukraine as they defend their freedom and independence against Russian aggression.”

An administration official also noted that the U.S. has participated with Ukraine in discussions of its peace summit framework but said the White House “is not aware of any other conversations with Ukraine about negotiations at the moment.”
President Joe Biden has been intensely focused on Ukraine’s depleting military forces, according to two people familiar with the matter.

"Manpower is at the top of the administration’s concerns right now,” one said. The U.S. and its allies can provide Ukraine with weaponry, this person said, “but if they don’t have competent forces to use them it doesn’t do a lot of good”
With Republicans in the US continuing to do Russia's bidding and cutting off Kyiv from additional military aid, the writing is on the wall at this point.  Heavy casualties have been inflicted on Ukraine and Russia, but Russia has more manpower and always did. The advantage in military tech that Ukraine had matters less and less now.

But let's be honest: any peace negotiations will result in the end of Ukraine. The Zelenskyy government will be removed, jailed, and probably executed, a satrap will be installed and a defacto Russian government will run the place, and frankly there's zero reason to trust Putin won't take the rest of the country -- or additional former Soviet republics -- in the years ahead.

The defense of Ukraine may be politically inconvenient, but we know what happens if they surrender: the end of the country, period.

Sunday Long Read: The School Shooting Survivor's Club

Our Sunday Long Read this week finds that we've had so many school shootings in America that there's now a dedicated support network for school principals to deal with the pain and death of what is becoming more and more an annual sacrifice ritual across the country to the Second Amendment.

IT WAS A cold, breezy morning in April 2019 when the club gathered for the first time. None of those present had asked to be part of this club, but they were the ones who answered its call, 12 men and five women, mostly strangers then.

They collected their coffees, took seats around the table in the conference room in Reston, Virginia, and looked at one another under the fluorescent lights.

Greg Johnson, the principal of a small Ohio high school called West Liberty-Salem, felt awkward. They all knew what they had in common. But do you ask about the awful thing right away, or wait?

Frank DeAngelis felt moved. Over the years, and with dread, the former principal of Columbine High School in Colorado had watched the ranks of his fellowship grow, had in fact called new members to tell them they’d joined what he dubbed the club where no one wants to join. Now here they were, so many in one room.

Ty Thompson felt guarded. A year after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, lawsuits and investigations loomed. He wasn’t sure what he could and couldn’t say.

One by one, the principals shared. When Johnson confessed that more than two years after the shooting at West Liberty-Salem he still wrestled with doubts about his ability to support his students and staff, he was relieved to see heads nodding. Thompson was struck by how immediately these strangers felt safe with one another, how some group members unloaded like it was therapy. They talked about the loss of young lives that haunted them, the guilt they felt as survivors, and how they questioned what they could have done differently. Someone asked: What are you doing for self-care? Silence. Then Johnson spoke up: “Who has time for self-care?” More heads nodded.

Andy McGill, Johnson’s assistant principal at West Liberty-Salem, remained quiet. As he listened to DeAngelis talk about Columbine and Thompson talk about Marjory Stoneman Douglas, what happened at his school began to seem trivial. No one had died during their shooting, thankfully. What was he doing in this room?

That night, McGill went to the hotel bar with a group that included DeAngelis. There, a former assistant principal from New York named Michael Bennett, who was shot confronting a gunman in 2004, began to express what McGill had been feeling—that there had been no fatalities at his school’s shooting and his presence here was a mistake. But DeAngelis cut him off with what would become one of the club’s party lines: You don’t compare tragedies. Trauma is trauma. At the next day’s meeting, McGill felt better. DeAngelis was right. The most important thing they could do was help others.

The club emerged from that 2019 meeting as the Principal Recovery Network (PRN), a support group for principals whose schools have experienced gun violence. Grimly, since the PRN was founded, both its workload and membership have grown—46 shootings occurred at K–12 schools in 2022, more than in any year since Columbine, according to Washington Post data. The PRN today is composed of 21 current and former leaders from schools including Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut; Marjory Stoneman Douglas; and Columbine. When gun violence strikes, the PRN reaches out to the principal, offering emotional support and advice on everything from how to reopen a school to how to commemorate the one-year mark. In 2022, the group released a handbook of its best practices: The NASSP Principal Recovery Network Guide to Recovery. But the most valuable resource the PRN offers may be its simplest: the opportunity to connect with others who have been through the same thing.

The principals realized at that first meeting in 2019 that while their shootings were different, many of their experiences were similar. As they led their communities forward, they faced common challenges, which unfolded in a similar sequence. Today, as the PRN, they offer their experiences as a guide, in hopes they might help others find smoother passage through. On the other side of the hardship, the principals promise, there can be healing.

But the story must begin with the horror. Because the horror, unfortunately, is how you join the club
More principals will join this club every month. More kids will join the ranks of those killed in these shootings. And more and more of us are throwing up our hands and accepting that this is how it has to be, and that the only solution is more and more death.

It doesn't have to be, but that starts with no electing the people who want to arm everyone and watch us shoot each other.
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