Monday, November 6, 2023

Last Call For Throwing The Book At Them, Con't

Two members of Moms for Liberty, a right-wing activist group, have reported several Florida school librarians to law enforcement. They claimed they had evidence that librarians were distributing "pornography" to minors and requested that law enforcement officers be dispatched. This represents a serious escalation of the tactics deployed by members of Moms for Liberty against school librarians.

On October 25, Jennifer Tapley, a member of the Santa Rosa County chapter of Moms for Liberty and a candidate for school board, contacted the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office. "I've got some evidence a crime was committed," Tapley said in an audio recording of the call obtained by Popular Information through a public records request. "Pornography given to a minor in a school. And I would like to make a report with somebody and turn over the evidence." Tapley made the call from the lobby of the main office of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office in Milton, Florida.

She told the dispatcher that she did not want to provide her name because she was "afraid of people getting mad at me for doing this." Tapley said that she would tell the Deputy Sheriff her name, but she didn't want "any public records with her name on it because then people could look it up."

In an interview with Popular Information, Tapley said she was "scrolling through Facebook" this summer and saw "a video of a mom reading a book" that was "really disgusting." She later learned that there was a Moms for Liberty chapter in her area addressing the issue and joined the group. As a member of the group, she learned that local schools had "some really shocking pornographic books in our libraries."

Tapley was accompanied at the Sheriff's Office by Tom Gurski, who is also active in the local Moms for Liberty chapter. Soon, Deputy Sheriff Tyler Mabire and another officer arrived and interviewed the pair.

"The only reason we are here: A crime is being committed. It's a 3rd-degree felony. And we've got the evidence," Gurski said in a body cam video of the interview obtained by Popular Information. "The governor says this is child pornography. It's a serious crime," Tapley added. "It's just as serious as if I handed a playboy to [my child] right now, right here, in front of you. It's just as serious, according to the law." The video has been edited to protect the identity of a minor.

The "pornography" at issue is actually a popular young adult novel, Storm and Fury, by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The book, which is 512 pages, is mostly about humans and gargoyles fighting demons. The main character of the novel, Trinity, is 18 years old. There are some passages with sexual themes, including a few makeout sessions, and one where the main character almost has sex. In the 2020-21 academic year, the Florida Association of Media in Education (FAME), a professional association of Florida librarians, recommended Storm and Fury on its "Teen Reads" list. FAME says books on the list "engage" teens and "provide a spur to critical thinking." Barnes and Noble recommends the book for readers 14 to 18. It was also recommended for students by the School Library Journal.
If this counts as porn, everything does.
Which is the point. These fascist freaks want public school libraries, librarians, and in fact, puiblic schools gone. They want librarians, teachers, educators, administrators and everyone involved in running a school in prison and the schools destroyed.
Keep in mind that's the end game, and all this makes a sick amount of sense, doesn't it?

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Donald Trump's testimony in front of NY civil judge Arthur Engoron today went about as badly as most Trump-watchers (including myself) expected it to go.

As Donald Trump prepared to take the stand in the civil fraud trial that could destroy his business empire, the ex-president and his attorneys settled on a strategy built on spite and unbridled antagonism. According to two sources familiar with the matter and another person briefed on Team Trump’s legal strategies, Trump and his lawyers want to intentionally provoke the judge into a nuclear-level overreaction.

They certainly seem to be carrying out the plan on Monday. Trump dodged questions and ranted about this “haters” while on the witness stand, leading Judge Arthur Engoron to scold him repeatedly and push the former president’s attorneys to rein in their client. “I beseech you to control him if you can,” Engoron implored. “If you can’t, I will. I will excuse him and draw every negative inference that I can.”

An explosive response from Engoron could include ordering Trump to be remanded to a jail cell for the night. The judge in the case had already imposed a gag order on Trump, warning him to refrain from attacks on the judge’s staff. Late last week, the order was expanded to also include Trump’s attorneys. Trump has still shown a brazen willingness to violate it repeatedly. And as bizarre as it may sound, there are attorneys and political advisers to Trump who have told the former president that a so-called “remand order” to put him in custody for repeatedly breaching the judge’s rulings might be a good thing — both legally and politically.

The ex-president’s legal advisers had long ago told Trump that his chances of winning at trial are close to zero — hence, their scorched-earth, “Fyre Festival”-style courtroom performances. According to the three sources, several Trump attorneys and other key allies have advised him that the more the New York judge supposedly “overreacts” — including perhaps remanding Trump — the better their case for an appeal will be.

“I call it the Chicago 7 disruption strategy,” Alan Dershowitz, the celebrity lawyer who defended then-President Trump during his first impeachment, tells Rolling Stone.

“When a defendant honestly believes he can’t possibly get a fair trial from the judge, one of the tactics is to antagonize the judge to a point of causing reversible errors,” Dershowitz says. “That is what happened in the Chicago 7 case, and I was one of the lawyers on the appeal in that case. Abbie Hoffman provoked Judge Hoffman to such a degree that the judge made mistake after mistake. And courts of appeal often reverse convictions or verdicts when the judge has made serious errors.”

In recent weeks, the former president and some of his lawyers in the New York civil fraud trial have discussed the likelihood of Engoron very aggressively responding to Trump team’s strategy of relentless hostility and defiance. The tactics have included attacks on Engoron’s court clerk, filibustering the prosecution’s witnesses with repetitive questions, and raising legal arguments the judge had already specifically prohibited.

This has included Trump asking his legal advisers if the judge would, or could, actually go so far as to send him to jail for a short time, the sources tell Rolling Stone. Trump has been told such an order is probably unlikely — though Engoron has publicly put the option on the table. This is one reason why Trump and his counselors have kept up with their brazen strategy of infuriating a judge who has openly threatened the former president with possible jail time.

The legal team has further assured Trump that even if he were remanded, they would likely be able to deploy a variety of legal tactics to keep him from spending any time behind bars. According to two other sources with knowledge of the situation, some Trump advisers have already reached out to certain outside attorneys to see if those lawyers would be interested in joining that potential fight to keep Trump out of jail. (Some of those lawyers have preemptively turned Team Trump down.)

In addition, there have been recent conversations among some of Trump’s 2024 campaign brass of how much of an immediate fundraising boost they would enjoy, if a New York judge were to try to put Trump in a cell for even a minute. “All the cash in the world,” one Trump political adviser says.

Our legal system is not built to handle Trump. As I told you months ago, the Trump plan is to goad Engoron and the other judges in his various cases into an either ruinous sanction that will be used for grounds to appeal, or to make the case impossible to prosecute, or both.

Right now Trump is running his playbook perfectly. Judge Engoron clearly knows this. So how much will he continue to let Trump get away with? 

The answer appears to be as much as Trump can and everyone in America knows it.

The Big Lie, Con't

Republicans continue the Big Lie because Donald Trump demands it, and the media continues to allow them to get away with it.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) refused to answer whether the 2020 election was stolen when pressed eight separate times in a Sunday interview with ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.

Asked about conservative Rep. Ken Buck’s (R-Colo.) decision to leave Congress and his departing remark that “too many Republican leaders are lying to America, claiming that the 2020 election was stolen,” Scalise avoided responding directly in the interview on ABC News’s “This Week.”

“Well, Ken, I’ve worked with on a number of issues, including getting spending under control, getting our economy back on track. He’s talked about that 2020 election as well. You and I have, I think, have talked about that too,” Scalise said. “At the end of the day, getting our country back on track is our focus. And that’s what we’re focused on right now.”

“Can you say unequivocally the 2020 election was not stolen?” Stephanopoulos asked Scalise, after the congressman detailed several other legislative priorities for the party.

Scalise dodged the question.

“What I’ve told you, there are states that didn’t follow their laws. That is what the state constitution — the U.S. Constitution requires,” he said. “Every state ought to follow the laws that are on their books. That’s what the U.S. Constitution says.”

“That’s not what I asked,” Stephanopoulos retorted. “I said, can you say unequivocally that the 2020 election was not stolen?”

“Look, Joe Biden’s president. I know you and others want to talk about 2020. We’re focused on the future. We’ve talked about 2020 a lot. We’re talking about how to get our country back on track, how to get our economy moving, how to stand up to the bad actors around the world,” Scalise said.

“Congressman, I know that Joe Biden is president. I’m asking you a different question. Can you say unequivocally that the 2020 election was not stolen?” Stephanopoulos said, continuing to press him.

Scalise dodged again, citing certain states that he claimed “didn’t follow the laws that are on their books, which is what the U.S. Constitution says they have to do.”

Scalise’s argument is a reiteration of a frequent concern predominantly among voters of former President Trump. They argued that the changes made during the pandemic to allow for mail-in ballots and other measures encouraging voter participation somehow violated state law — even though the changes were largely passed through state legislatures or other legal procedures.

“So you, so you just refuse to say unequivocally that the 2020 election was not stolen?” Stephanopoulos said again.

“You want to keep rehashing 2020. We’re talking about the future,” Scalise said, as the two spoke over each other.

“I just want an answer to the question, yes or no?”

“We’ve asked — look, we’ve talked about this before. But, again, will you acknowledge that there were states that didn’t follow the actual state legislative enacted laws on their book, which the U.S. Constitution says they’re supposed to do?” Scalise said, again refusing to answer.

“I know that every court that looked at whether the election was stolen said it wasn’t, rejected those claims. And I asked you a very, very simple question. Now I’ve asked it, I think, the fifth time that you can’t appear to answer. Can you say unequivocally that the 2020 election was not stolen?”

The exchange continued without coming to any ultimate resolution.
Scalise ran rings around Stephanopoulos again and again and refused to answer the question, and the veteran interviewer simply gave up because he was tired of trying to nail jello to the wall. Scalise knew 100% what he was doing and walked away with total victory.

Republican after Republican is allowed to get away with this, and that remains the problem. Our media is not equipped to stop the Big Lie in any way.The worse lies coming from the GOP in the next year plus will be far worse, and our media is going to get rolled even harder as a result.

There are a few Republicans who will admit that Biden was legitimately elected, and that's only because they are term-limited in purple states like Virginia.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) on Sunday acknowledged President Biden was the “legitimately elected president” as Republicans continue to be peppered with questions about whether the 2020 election was legitimate.

Pressed by ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos on whether the 2020 election was stolen, Youngkin said, “Well, I’ve consistently said that Joe Biden was legitimately elected president. He’s sleeping in the White House. I wish he weren’t.”
Youngkin doesn't have to face GOP primary voters again, so he doesn't have to lie. If he did,he'll change his tune.

And nobody will ask him why.
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