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  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 21,137
    DewieCox said:
    It’s foolish to dismiss Trump as an aberration when the GQP has turned on the never(only when he’s winning)Trumpers and embraced what he enabled. The cult of personality is all they have left. It’s all they’ve had in my entire lifetime. These are people still think Reagan was a good president and passed that delusion to their kids. 
    Yes it was a cult of personality that doesn't have an heir apparent.  These super idiots that are winning local districts are in solid,  deep red,  nothing even close to a swing district. 
  • Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 5,504


  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,592

    Add that a high level attorney appointed by POOTWH who was installed in NSA in the final days of his Administration, sidelined by President Biden on day one, resigned rather than be sidelined. Why was he sidelined? Under investigation by the IG for mishandling classified information. What classified information? Remains to be seen but I’m sure it wasn’t anything to do with Peru.
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  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon HeadstoniaPosts: 25,911
    the ones who voted against the anti hatred bill; what else was in it? is it possible they had a legit reason to veto it?
    (Track 10 of The Headstones' Nickels For Your Nightmares)


  • HobbesHobbes Pacific NorthwestPosts: 4,856
    the ones who voted against the anti hatred bill; what else was in it? is it possible they had a legit reason to veto it?
    It states that anti-Asian hate crimes have surged during Covid-19 due in part to racist language such as "China-virus" and "Kung-flu." These racist assholes are merely protecting the racist-in-chief.
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon HeadstoniaPosts: 25,911
    Hobbes said:
    the ones who voted against the anti hatred bill; what else was in it? is it possible they had a legit reason to veto it?
    It states that anti-Asian hate crimes have surged during Covid-19 due in part to racist language such as "China-virus" and "Kung-flu." These racist assholes are merely protecting the racist-in-chief.
    that's fine, i was more asking if there were other items in the bill not related to the anti-asian hate item. these bills often have several items in them, someone opposes one of the non-newsworthy items, and it gets blown up as the congressperson being against the main item. 

    i looked myself and it appears, though, that cruz thinks this bill is nothing more than "democratic messaging" and not a serious attempt at addressing the issue. 

    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/04/16/ted-cruz-asian-americans-hate-crimes/
    (Track 10 of The Headstones' Nickels For Your Nightmares)


  • HobbesHobbes Pacific NorthwestPosts: 4,856
    Hobbes said:
    the ones who voted against the anti hatred bill; what else was in it? is it possible they had a legit reason to veto it?
    It states that anti-Asian hate crimes have surged during Covid-19 due in part to racist language such as "China-virus" and "Kung-flu." These racist assholes are merely protecting the racist-in-chief.
    that's fine, i was more asking if there were other items in the bill not related to the anti-asian hate item. these bills often have several items in them, someone opposes one of the non-newsworthy items, and it gets blown up as the congressperson being against the main item. 

    i looked myself and it appears, though, that cruz thinks this bill is nothing more than "democratic messaging" and not a serious attempt at addressing the issue. 

    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/04/16/ted-cruz-asian-americans-hate-crimes/
    And here's the statement from make-them-pick-Cotton: Cotton, Grassley Call for Hearing on Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans (senate.gov)

    Smoke and mirrors.
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,854
    ohio likely losing a seat this summer after redistricting....


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  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,592
    Indeed it does.


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  • Merkin BallerMerkin Baller Posts: 5,504
    💀💀💀


  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,592
    Gym Jordan being petulant. Again. Seems to really have an issue with outspoken women, particularly of color.

    https://people.com/politics/val-demings-fires-back-at-jim-jordan-during-hate-crimes-hearing/
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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,854
    this belongs here too....

    April 22, 2012 (Thursday)
     
    Today there are three stories in the news about the mechanics of government that add up to a much larger story about American democracy.
     
    First, by a vote of 216 to 208, the House of Representatives passed a bill to grant statehood to the District of Columbia. The measure would carve out the area around Capitol Hill, the White House, and the National Mall to remain much as they are today, but the rest of what is now the District would get one representative in Congress and two senators. About 712,000 people live in Washington, D.C., only about 37.5% of whom are non-Hispanic white.  
     
    Republicans are furiously arguing that this is a naked power play on the part of the Democrats, for D.C.’s inhabitants are presumed to be Democratic voters. In response, those in favor of D.C. statehood point out that the Republican Party, quite famously, admitted six states in twelve months between 1889 and 1890. They were not shy about what they were doing. The admission of North Dakota, South Dakota (they split the Dakota Territory in two), Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming, Republicans said, should guarantee to the Republican Party a permanent majority. (They were so blatant that they convinced a number of Republicans to turn against them.)
     
    But today’s vote to admit D.C. to the Union is not quite the same as the power grab of the 1890s for the simple reason that Washington, D.C., in 2021 has a lot of people in it. Republicans pushed for the admission of their six new states as quickly as they did because they knew that the 1890 census would reveal that the new states did not have enough people in them to become states (unlike Arizona and New Mexico, which did have a lot of people, but those folks supported the Democrats).
     
    In contrast to that push to create states purely for political power, today’s D.C. has people in it. A lot of them. It has more people today than Vermont… and Wyoming, one of the states the Republican brought in in 1890.
     
    The second thing that happened today dealing with the mechanics of government was that on the steps of the Supreme Court building, in a talk to reporters, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), alongside Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), linked the vote for D.C. statehood to control of the Supreme Court. Cruz accused the Democrats of trying to pack the Supreme Court both by trying to add Washington, D.C., as a state—which would add two Senate seats, presumably going to Democrats—and by adding more seats to the court. Then Cruz went on to say something astonishing:
     
    “You didn’t see Republicans when we had control of the Senate try to rig the game. You didn’t see us try to pack the court. There was nothing that would have prevented Republicans from doing what they’re doing other than respect for the rule of law, other than basic decency, other than recognizing that democracy matters, and packing the court and tearing down the institutions that protect our rights is fundamentally wrong.”
     
    This is classic Cruz: straight up gaslighting. Because, of course, Republicans have been stacking the Supreme Court since the Reagan administration, when Attorney General Edwin Meese deliberately politicized the Department of Justice in an attempt, as he said, to “institutionalize the Reagan revolution so it can’t be set aside no matter what happens in future elections.”
     
    Currently, on the court there are 6 justices appointed by Republican presidents and 3 appointed by Democratic presidents. Of the five justices appointed by a Republican president, only one—Clarence Thomas—was appointed by a president who won the popular vote (George H. W. Bush). Chief Justice John Roberts and Samuel Alito were both appointed by George W. Bush. Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett were all appointed by Donald Trump. That is, five of the Republicans on the court were appointed by presidents who did not represent the majority of voters, not to mention the majority of Americans.
     
    The story of “rigging” goes beyond this, though. Gorsuch got his seat only because then–Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared that President Barack Obama’s appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in March 2016 was too close to the date of a presidential election, the following November, to allow for the nomination to go through. That left the seat free for the president who followed Obama—Donald Trump—to fill, even though McConnell had invented that rule.
     
    Even so, Gorsuch could not get the votes he needed for confirmation until McConnell had invoked the so-called “nuclear option” to get rid of the filibuster so that Gorsuch’s appointment could get through with just 51 votes.
     
    And then, of course, although he had declared that eight months before a presidential election was too late to nominate a Supreme Court justice, McConnell pushed through the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett on October 26, 2020, eight days before the end of a presidential election in which voters had already begun to cast their ballots.

    The third thing in the news today is the filibuster. The admission of D.C. as a state, as well as the popular new voting rights bill (which would protect the right to vote, stop gerrymandering, and end the flood of corporate money into our elections), the infrastructure bill, and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act (which bans chokeholds, limits military equipment on our streets, and requires body cameras) all come down to whether the Senate will preserve the filibuster, which enables the 50 Republicans in the Senate—who represent 40.5 million fewer Americans than the 50 Democrats in the Senate—to stop the passage of bills unless the majority can nail together 60 yes votes.

    It seems to me that these three stories about the mechanics of our government show that our democracy is in a bad place right now. Republicans have stacked the deck in their favor for a long time and have come to rely on that unfair system, rather than policies that appeal to voters, to retain power. Now that Democrats are trying to level the playing field, they howl that the Democrats are cheating.

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    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,592
    Let there be no doubt.

    Ted Cruz maintains ties to right-wing group despite its extremist messaging


    April 23, 2021 at 10:27 a.m. EDT
    Add to list

    On Aug. 4, 2019, the day after a gunman who had posted a hateful diatribe against Hispanics fatally shot 23 people at an El Paso Walmart, a leader of a tea party group in Texas said on Facebook: “You’re not going to demographically replace a once proud, strong people without getting blow-back.”

    His wife, the founder of the group, in the Fort Worth suburbs of Tarrant County, added in a comment: “I don’t condone the actions, but I certainly understand where they came from.”

    Ten days later, amid a brewing backlash over the comments by Fred and Julie McCarty, the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party posted an undated testimonial from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) wishing the group a happy 10th anniversary as it rebranded itself as True Texas Project.

    “Thank you for the incredible work you do,” Cruz said, in the only on-camera endorsement from an elected official posted on the group’s Facebook and YouTube pages to mark the occasion. “Julie, Fred, thank you for your passion.”

    A Washington Post review of True Texas Project’s activities and social media shows that Cruz has continued to embrace the group, even as its nativist rhetoric and divisive tactics have alienated some other conservative elected officials. Cruz’s father, a frequent campaign surrogate for his son, spoke at a meeting of the group shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, at a time when the group’s leadership was defending the pro-Trump mob on social media.

    A spokeswoman did not respond to a request for an interview with the senator or to specific questions about TTP. “The Senator is not aware of every tweet, post, or comment of activists in the state of Texas,” the spokeswoman, Erin Perrine, said in a statement. “If you want to know what he thinks on any issue — feel free to look at his decades-long record. Sen. Cruz is unequivocal in his denunciation of any form of racism, hatred, or bigotry.”

    In 2019, Cruz condemned the El Paso shooting as “a heinous act of terrorism and white supremacy.” The gunman’s manifesto had railed against a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and many of those killed or wounded were Hispanic.

    Cruz’s ongoing ties to TTP contrast with the group’s fraught relationship with much of the Republican establishment in Texas. The group has lashed out at Republicans it perceives as too moderate — including Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.) and Gov. Greg Abbott — and has backed candidates against officeholders it once helped elect. “We are not here to be best buddies with our electeds,” Julie McCarty says in a recruitment video.

    In a sign that some conservatives continue to court the group’s support, Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) attended a TTP fundraiser last week, an event that drew hundreds of people, according to pictures posted on social media. But many elected officials are no longer active with the group, according to Rick Barnes, chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party.

    “We’ve got to accept that to grow the Republican Party, we can’t be using rhetoric that most people find offensive,” Barnes said.

    James Riddlesperger, a political science professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, said Cruz appears to have “turned a blind eye” to the group’s most extreme rhetoric. Many Cruz supporters would not view the group’s messaging as racist, he added.

    From a political standpoint, there probably isn’t a downside for him supporting this group because they represent a large segment of the Republican Party in Texas,” he said. “So Cruz sees no downside, but he does see the upside because they have organization and can bring votes.”

    Fred McCarty, the president of the group’s PAC, did not respond to an email seeking comment. Julie McCarty, the group’s chief executive, initially agreed to speak with a Post reporter, but then did not answer the phone at the scheduled time and did not respond to subsequent calls and emails.

    In a recent TTP newsletter, Julie McCarty said The Post was writing a “hit piece” and urged members not to talk to the newspaper. “The truth is, our reputation and integrity stands for itself,” she wrote.

    Like many of the tea party organizations that sprang up during President Barack Obama’s first term, the group in North Texas initially crusaded against federal spending and government overreach, particularly “Obamacare,” as critics dubbed the president’s signature health-care legislation.

    In 2012, the group supported Cruz — who had never been elected to public office — over the sitting lieutenant governor, David Dewhurst, in a race for an open Senate seat. Cruz won, and the group became a must-stop for Republican politicians courting the right.

    Late that year, then-Gov. Rick Perry (R) used the group’s meeting just days after the mass shooting at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school to affirm his support for allowing teachers to carry weapons. Abbott spoke to the group twice in 2013, first as attorney general and later as a gubernatorial candidate.

    An appearance by Dewhurst in 2013 drew headlines when he called for Obama’s impeachment. One of the group’s former vice presidents — backed by Cruz — won election to the state Senate in 2014. In early 2016then-presidential candidate Ben Carson spoke at the group’s town hall meeting. The Northeast Tarrant Tea Party was widely hailed as one of the most powerful tea party groups in Texas before the 2016 election.

    The group avidly supported much of President Donald Trump’s agenda, including his campaign vow to build a wall along the nation’s southern border and his false claims of voter fraud after last year’s election. But when Trump proposed giving Black-owned businesses access to $500 billion in capital in the fall of 2020, Julie McCarty wrote on the group’s Facebook: “Is anyone beside me disgusted by this? 500 BILLION FREAKING DOLLARS??? White people need not apply.”

    During Trump’s presidency, several of the group’s closest allies in the state legislature either lost reelection bids or decided not to seek new terms. Donations to TTP’s political committee sank to roughly $4,200 last year, having peaked at over $150,000 in 2015, records show. The IRS requires nonprofits to make annual returns available to the public, but Julie McCarty declined The Post’s request for the latest filing for its tax-exempt arm, which pays for most of its activities, according to its website.

    Even as tea party activity nationwide was eclipsed by Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement, Cruz maintained ties with the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party.

    In early 2017, Julie McCarty boasted about being among a group of conservative activists who won a private audience with Cruz. “He said all he knows to do is to ‘get up every day and keep fighting.’ Awww, I love that!” she wrote on Facebook.

    In September 2017, Cruz spoke to the group for more than an hour and received a standing ovation. He thanked Julie McCarty for her “incredible leadership” and told the crowd, “Each and every one of you is making an incredible impact.” Cruz, the son of a Cuban immigrant, won applause for emphasizing his opposition to amnesty for children brought illegally to the United States by their parents.

    In 2018, the group organized a get-out-the-vote event with the Cruz campaign. The McCartys had their picture taken with him and Vice President Mike Pence that year at a prominent Republican donor’s home in the Dallas area, a Facebook post shows.

    As Trump’s presidency normalized and elevated far-right, anti-immigrant voices, TTP’s messaging grew more extreme, at times echoing white-supremacist talking points.

    “Imagine flooding a place with foreign peoples to the point that the native population will become a minority,” Fred McCarty wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post, four days after the El Paso shooting. “Then imagine being shocked at the strife and hostility that results. Imagine.”

    At the time, one of the only well-known Republicans to publicly criticize McCarty was a former TTP ally: political consultant Matt Mackowiak, chairman of the GOP in the Austin area.

    “Fred McCarty made an outrageous statement in 2019, and as a local GOP official concerned about the image of the party, I spoke out,” he said in a recent interview. “The backlash from some members of that organization was intense and threatening. It doesn’t scare me at all, but I can understand why some elected officials don’t want to invite that kind of feedback.”

    One Republican state lawmaker who used to engage with the group said it has “gone off the deep end” and described its efforts to launch chapters in other counties as “dangerous.” The lawmaker spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of political repercussions, saying, “If you disagree with them, there is hell to pay.”

    Amid last summer’s protests following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Julie McCarty said on the group’s public Facebook account run by her husband: “We can love black people all day long — all decade long — all our lives long . . . and that will not stop them looting and destroying and feeling justified in doing so.”

    In a September Facebook post, as National Football League players wore decals bearing the names of victims of racism and police brutality, the group asked: “Why are NFL players wearing names of felons & rapists on their helmets when they already have them on their jerseys?”

    Less than two months later, Julie McCarty tweeted a photo of Cruz holding the group’s T-shirt. “Senator @tedcruz took notice of @TrueTXProject, liked what he saw, and asked one of his team to get him a tshirt. How great is that?” she asked.

    The Cruz T-shirt photo is also posted on the TTP Instagram, but it was deleted from the Facebook page after The Post asked the group about its ties to elected officials. The deleted post said: “Hey, if Ted Cruz is wearing our shirt, don’t you want one too?”

    Barnes, chairman of the Tarrant County Republican Party, said officeholders may be more inclined to hold local Republican leaders accountable for offensive comments than an independent group.

    “If the True Texas Project was a recognized Republican club, we would definitely be having conversations about it,” Barnes said.

    Cruz himself criticized a local GOP leader who, in the days after Floyd’s death, posted a graphic on Facebook that juxtaposed a Martin Luther King Jr. quote with a banana. “Dammit, stop it. Stop saying stupid, racist things,” Cruz tweeted.

    About two weeks before the deadly Jan. 6 riot, the TTP posted a diagram on Facebook of a guillotine built from materials available at Home Depot. “Something you can do with your $600 stimulus check,” reads the caption.

    As a pro-Trump mob roamed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the McCartys each retweeted a now-suspended account that wrote: “If politicians deserve to live at all, let it be in fear.” The following day, Fred McCarty tweeted, “Capitol Stormers did nothing wrong.”

    Cruz was among six senators on Jan. 6 who tried to block certification of Joe Biden’s election to the White House because, he said, of widespread concerns the vote was “rigged.” Cruz later called the mob scene a “terrorist attack” and said rioters should be prosecuted.

    Five days after the riot, TTP organized a panel discussion featuring Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, a pastor. “We ain’t seen nothing yet, because we are about to be ruled in less than 10 days by a communist regime,” the elder Cruz said at Dallas event. “We must decide who we are going to obey.”

    The event closed with a prayer for Ted and Rafael Cruz.

    Rafael Cruz did not respond to messages seeking comment.

    The group has become so controversial that this week it had to scramble for a meeting location in a Dallas suburb after a restaurant, a concert venue and a homeowners’ association each declined to provide space for the event, according to a Facebook post by Julie McCarty.

    Lauren Trahan, who works for the corporate owner of the Rudy’s BBQ franchise in Denton, said she asked McCarty to cancel TTP’s reservation after receiving calls from concerned residents.

    “We’re a barbecue restaurant,” Trahan said in an interview. “We’re not here to make a political statement regarding anything, and it’s something that we thought was going to cause turbulence.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/ted-cruz-maintains-ties-to-right-wing-group-despite-its-extremist-messaging/2021/04/23/64387376

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  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,592
    Lindsey Flimsy Flip Flop Faloozy Graham and Ted Crud, a couple of pees in a pod. Nah, no issue, none at all.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/04/25/politics/lindsey-graham-systemic-racism-america/index.html
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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,854

    House Minority Leader McCarthy defends Trump’s response to Jan. 6 insurrection

    April 25, 2021 at 6:13 p.m. EDT

    House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) continued to defend former president Donald Trump’s response to the Jan. 6 insurrection, claiming in an interview Sunday that Trump was unaware the U.S. Capitol was being stormed until McCarthy called and urged him to tell his supporters to stop.

    “I was the first person to contact him when the riot was going on,” McCarthy told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace. “He didn’t see it, but he ended the call . . . telling me he’ll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that’s what he did. He put a video out later.”

    The statement contradicted McCarthy’s initial response to Trump’s role in the attack and a fellow GOP lawmaker’s recollection of what had been a tense call between McCarthy and Trump. In addition, one Trump adviser told The Washington Post that the then-president had been watching live television coverage of the riot, as multiple people were trying to reach Trump and his aides to beg for help.

    Immediately after the insurrection, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.) said McCarthy had relayed details of his call with Trump. Trump had “initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that had breached the Capitol,” Herrera Beutler said, indicating that Trump would have already been aware of the siege when McCarthy spoke to him.

    According to Herrera Beutler, after McCarthy told Trump it was his supporters storming the Capitol, Trump responded: “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.”

    On Sunday, when Wallace asked whether Trump had said that, McCarthy repeatedly refused to answer directly.

    “Listen, my conversations with the president are my conversations with the president,” McCarthy told Wallace. “I engaged in the idea of making sure we could stop what was going on inside the Capitol at that moment in time. The president said he would help.”

    The violent siege by a pro-Trump mob left five people dead, including a police officer. Two other officers on duty that day later died by suicide, and more than 100 officers were injured after being harassed, beaten and sprayed with gas substances by the mob.

    Trump released a video statement the day of the attack, but long after the worst of the siege had subsided. The taped message reiterated the lie that the election had been stolen and ended with Trump telling his supporters: “We love you. You’re very special.”

    Many have argued that President Donald Trump's efforts amounted to an attempted coup on Jan. 6. Was it? And why does that matter? (Monica Rodman, Sarah Hashemi/The Washington Post)

    On Jan. 13, a week after the insurrection, McCarthy said in a House floor speech that Trump “bears responsibility” for the Capitol attack and even floated the idea of censuring Trump, though McCarthy did not support his impeachment.

    About two weeks later, after President Biden had been inaugurated, McCarthy flew to Florida to meet with Trump. There, they discussed helping Republicans take back the House in 2022, and McCarthy praised Trump’s popularity as having “never been stronger.”

    On Sunday, McCarthy denied that Trump has called him since to direct him not to discuss their Jan. 6 phone call with investigators.

    McCarthy’s latest efforts to defend Trump are the most vivid illustration of a Republican Party that continues to be closely tied to the former president, despite a small number of GOP voices saying it would be better for the party to distance itself from Trump.

    McCarthy has tried to have it all ways. On Sunday, he claimed he has stopped “loud voices” in the GOP when they get too extreme, although he has acted more as a moderator between factions of his party rather than stopping the fiercest wing of Trump supporters.

    Most recently, McCarthy tweeted his opposition to the formation of an “America First Caucus” within the GOP. He has come to the defense of House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) after her vote to impeach Trump led to calls within the party to remove her from GOP leadership. But McCarthy also opposed committee privileges being revoked from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). Democrats and 11 Republicans voted to remove Greene from her committees following bombastic comments considered conspiratorial and racist.

    Efforts in Congress to create a 9/11-style commission to investigate what happened Jan. 6 have stalled. Conversations about such a commission began several days after insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, but more than three months later, Democrats and Republicans have not been able to agree on the structure of a commission.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) initially pushed back against Republican demands for an equal number of Democrats and Republicans on the commission and for both parties to have subpoena power. But during the past week, she agreed to those terms in hopes Republicans come to the table on the commission’s scope, which remains the most contested point.

    Democrats want the commission to focus on the extremism that led to the assault on the Capitol, including an overview of how Trump and other Republicans may have encouraged his base to storm the Capitol. Republicans want to also examine the rise of violence from far-left groups.

    “Why do they object to the scope, which is to find the truth of what happened on Jan. 6?” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. “Our purpose is to find the truth for that. It’s not about investigating one thing or another that they may want to draw interest.”


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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,854
     
    Idaho lawmaker accused of rape resigns after ethics ruling
    By REBECCA BOONE
    53 mins ago

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho lawmaker accused of rape by a 19-year-old legislative intern has resigned after an ethics committee found he should be formally censured.

    The investigation into Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger began in March after a young staffer reported he raped her in his apartment after the two had dinner at a Boise restaurant. Von Ehlinger has denied all wrongdoing and maintains he had consensual sexual contact with the young woman. He resigned Thursday after an ethics committee unanimously agreed that he engaged in “behavior unbecoming” and recommended that he be suspended without pay for the rest of the legislative session.

    The Boise Police Department is investigating the rape allegations, and von Ehlinger has not been charged.

    The Republican from Lewiston wrote in his resignation letter that he hoped stepping down would spare his colleagues from having to deal with the ethics committee's recommendation, which he disagreed with.

    “After careful deliberation and prayer I have determined that I will not be able to effectively represent my constituents and ... have decided to resign my seat effective immediately,” von Ehlinger wrote. “ ... I maintain my innocence of any wrongdoing of which I have been accused in this matter.”

    The ethics panel had also recommend that von Ehlinger be held in contempt for refusing to answer some questions during his testimony on Wednesday. The lawmaker invoked his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself on the advice of his attorney, but Idaho law states that testimony given in a legislative ethics panel can't be used in criminal court cases. That means the Fifth Amendment doesn't apply, the committee said.

    The investigation into von Ehlinger began in March after a young staffer reported he raped her in his apartment after the two had dinner at a Boise restaurant. Von Ehlinger has denied all wrongdoing and maintains they had consensual sexual contact. The Boise Police Department is investigating, and von Ehlinger has not been charged.

    The five-member ethics panel also agreed that they would throw unanimous support behind a motion to expel von Ehlinger if any House lawmaker decides to make one.

    The decision came the day after the panel heard hours of testimony, including from the teen who first brought the allegations. She was shielded from public view by a black screen and used the name Jane Doe during the proceedings, but some far-right blogs and at least one lawmaker, Rep. Priscilla Giddings, R-White Bird, has revealed the teen's identity in a social media post and in a link embedded in a newsletter to her constituents. At least one of the blogs was edited days later to remove the teen's photo and name.

    The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted.

    After the teen testified, some of von Ehlinger's supporters and one television news reporter pursued her out of the building, attempting to film her as she rushed to her car. The Capitol Correspondents Association, the credentialing entity for news reporters covering the Idaho Legislature, convened an emergency meeting of its Standing Committee after hearing of the reporter's involvement and revoked the reporter's credentials for violating the established press rules for coverage of the hearing.

    Rep. John McCrostie, a Democrat from Garden City, lauded the intern for her bravery in coming forward.

    “Sexual assault survivors are seldom subjected to having their testimony publicly broadcast. But she knew that her truth enabled others to not suffer as she has,” McCrostie said.

    “We owe it to Jane Doe and to future Jane Does” to ensure that the work of the House of Representatives is conducted with integrity, he said.

    Idaho Falls Republican Rep. Wendy Horman said von Ehlinger was inconsistent in his testimony and wrongly refused to answer pertinent questions, and the evidence showed he maintained a pattern of hitting on subordinates at the Statehouse despite repeated warnings.

    She rejected his argument that because there was no written rule against dating staffers, there was nothing wrong with the behavior.

    “There is no House rule against poisoning another person, yet his behavior has poisoned all of us,” Horman said. “Conduct unbecoming is an undefined term for a reason per our rules.”

    Rep. Brent Crane, a Republican from Nampa, said the public's perception of the entire legislative body will be measured by the incident and that the panel needed to ensure that constituents are served by those with the highest moral standards. He said von Ehlinger engaged in a “predatory pattern” of behavior.

    “The Idaho House of Representatives existed long before we arrived, and it will be here long after we leave, but history will judge us by our actions today,” Crane said. “I want our actions to provide a clear directive.”

    The attorneys who are representing the intern, Erika Birch and Annie Hightower, released a statement thanking the committee for recommending that von Ehlinger be censured and “taking the first steps to hold him accountable for raping a teen intern.”

    The attorneys also noted it has been incredibly difficult for their client, especially when she was accosted by the onlookers after testifying. A television news reporter also followed the teen, the attorneys said, filming her distress. The news station later destroyed the footage and did not broadcast it.

    “The unrelenting harm that has occurred as a part of this process, and as a result of her being doxxed in blogs and by Rep. Priscilla Giddings, is exactly why two-thirds of Idaho survivors of sexual assault never choose to report the crimes against them,” the attorneys said. “Every time a system fails to protect survivors it reinforces why survivors of sexual violence choose not to report and to suffer in silence.”

    Von Ehlinger and his attorney Edward Dindinger did not respond to requests for comment.

    ___

    Sexual assault survivors can receive confidential support, help finding local resources, information about laws and other information by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 (HOPE).


    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
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    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • Halifax2TheMaxHalifax2TheMax Posts: 27,592
    edited April 30
    OAN is live broadcasting the ballot recount in Maricopa County, AZ. Can’t wait for POOTWH to be POTUS again. And those guys in brown uniforms and cowboy hats aren’t sheriffs Bunky, they’re Cyber Ninjas. And you thought they only wore black.

    Cyber Ninjas security plan details anticipated attack by "Antifa" (abc15.com)
    Post edited by Halifax2TheMax on
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  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,854
    OAN is live broadcasting the ballot recount in Maricopa County, AZ. Can’t wait for POOTWH to be POTUS again. And those guys in brown uniforms and cowboy hats aren’t sheriffs Bunky, they’re Cyber Ninjas. And you thought they only wore black.

    Cyber Ninjas security plan details anticipated attack by "Antifa" (abc15.com)

    so if antifa is going to attack, that must make this company agents of fascists?
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,854
     

    McConnell Attacks Biden Rule’s Antiracism Focus, Calling It ‘Divisive’

    The minority leader joined Republicans in protesting a proposal to promote teaching about systemic racism and the consequences of slavery, saying it would indoctrinate students with “a slanted story.”

    Image
    Families did not ask for this divisive nonsense Voters did not vote for it Senator Mitch McConnell and more than 30 other Republican senators wrote to the education secretary
    “Families did not ask for this divisive nonsense. Voters did not vote for it,” Senator Mitch McConnell and more than 30 other Republican senators wrote to the education secretary.Credit...T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times
    April 30, 2021

    WASHINGTON — Senator Mitch McConnell, the minority leader, led Republican senators on Friday in protesting a proposed Biden administration rule promoting education programs that address systemic racism and the legacy of American slavery, calling the guidance “divisive nonsense.”

    In a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, Mr. McConnell, of Kentucky, and three dozen other Republicans singled out a reference in the proposal to The New York Times Magazine’s 1619 Project, which was included as an example of a growing emphasis on teaching “the consequences of slavery, and the significant contributions of Black Americans to our society.”

    “Families did not ask for this divisive nonsense. Voters did not vote for it,” the senators wrote. “Americans never decided our children should be taught that our country is inherently evil.”

    It was the latest bid by Republicans to stoke outrage within their conservative base about President Biden’s agenda, which party leaders are increasingly portraying as a radical overreach into every corner of American life.

    Mr. McConnell’s lead role in it, reported earlier by Politico, came the day after former President Donald J. Trump — who specializes in using matters of race to inflame his supporters — had attacked the Kentucky Republican publicly, saying in an interview that he had done a poor job and should be replaced as the party leader.

    Keep up with the new Washington — get live updates on politics.

    Mr. Trump has directed his ire at Mr. McConnell since the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, when Mr. McConnell privately backed impeaching Mr. Trump, then voted to acquit him even as he delivered a damning condemnation of the former president. Mr. Trump recently told hundreds of Republican donors at a party confab that Mr. McConnell was “dumb” and used a profane phrase to disparage him.

    With Mr. Biden pushing a number of popular domestic programs, Republicans have increasingly turned to litigating cultural issues to attack him and his party, accusing them of advancing a divisive agenda focused on political correctness, a message they believe will help them regain majorities in both the House and the Senate in 2022.

    In his official party rebuttal to Mr. Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the lone Black Republican, upbraided Democrats, colleges and corporations for “doubling down” on the nation’s racial divisions “by pretending we haven’t made any progress at all.”

    “Kids again are being taught that the color of their skin defines them, and if they look a certain way, they’re an oppressor,” Mr. Scott said, adding later: “Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”

    Similar efforts have played out in state legislatures across the country, from Idaho to Missouri to Rhode Island, as Republicans have sought to restrict how issues of race and racism are taught in public schools. They have taken aim specifically at critical race theory, an academic movement that posits that historical patterns of discrimination have created race-based disadvantages that persist today in modern systems of power.

    On his first day in office, Mr. Biden signed an executive order asserting that the federal government should “pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all,” especially people of color “who have been historically underserved, marginalized and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.”

    “Our country faces converging economic, health and climate crises that have exposed and exacerbated inequities, while a historic movement for justice has highlighted the unbearable human costs of systemic racism,” Mr. Biden wrote in the order.

    The administration’s proposed rule protested by Mr. McConnell and others does not mandate any curriculum changes. Instead, it lays out priorities for federal competitions or grant programs to which schools could elect to apply for initiatives that “take into account systemic marginalization, biases, inequities and discriminatory policy and practice in American history.” In addition to citing the 1619 Project, the rule quotes the work of Ibram X. Kendi, the author of the book “How to Be an Antiracist.”

    “It is critical that the teaching of American history and civics creates learning experiences that validate and reflect the diversity, identities, histories, contributions and experiences of all students,” it states.

    In their letter, Mr. McConnell and the other Republicans denounced the focus.

    “Our nation’s youth do not need activist indoctrination that fixates solely on past flaws and splits our nation into divided camps,” they wrote. “Taxpayer-supported programs should emphasize the shared civic virtues that bring us together, not push radical agendas that tear us apart.”

    They also argued that the 1619 Project “has become infamous for putting ill-informed advocacy ahead of historical accuracy,” and that “citing this debunked advocacy confirms that your proposed priorities would not focus on critical thinking or accurate history, but on spoon-feeding students a slanted story.”

    Jordan Cohen, a spokesman for The Times, defended the project as “landmark, groundbreaking journalism.”

    “It deepened many readers’ understanding of the nation’s past and forced an important conversation about the lingering impact of slavery, and its centrality to America’s story,” Mr. Cohen said in a statement. “The resistance some have expressed to having this conversation is not new. Similar objections have arisen at various points in recent decades when scholars have attempted to broaden the way American history is taught.”

    Mr. McConnell took up a similar theme earlier this month, when he suggested that corporations and sports leagues were being “intimidated by the left” into weighing in on issues like Georgia’s voting law that would only further partisan divisions.

    “Republicans drink Coca-Cola, too,” he said, “and we fly.”

    Catie Edmondson is a reporter in the Washington bureau, covering Congress. @CatieEdmondson


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    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • KatKat There's a lot to be said for nowhere.Posts: 4,480
    He thinks ANTI-racism is divisive? But racism must be ok then. Is that the definition of lunacy?

    Falling down,...not staying down
  • HughFreakingDillonHughFreakingDillon HeadstoniaPosts: 25,911
    Kat said:
    He thinks ANTI-racism is divisive? But racism must be ok then. Is that the definition of lunacy?

    classic conservative. the problem doesn't exist as long as you don't talk about it. 
    (Track 10 of The Headstones' Nickels For Your Nightmares)


  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,650
    Kat said:
    He thinks ANTI-racism is divisive? But racism must be ok then. Is that the definition of lunacy?

    classic conservative. the problem doesn't exist as long as you don't talk about it. 
    total mental gymnastics.

    kind of like "if we stop testing, cases will go down".
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway
  • KatKat There's a lot to be said for nowhere.Posts: 4,480
    And I'm not supposed to believe my own eyes and ears, just believe what I'm told. Is that Animal Farm-ish or some other book? It's so bizarre.
    Falling down,...not staying down
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,650
    Kat said:
    And I'm not supposed to believe my own eyes and ears, just believe what I'm told. Is that Animal Farm-ish or some other book? It's so bizarre.
    1984.

    it is also gaslighting.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway
  • cblock4lifecblock4life Posts: 301
    Liz Cheney has more balls than the entire GOP male population  
  • mrussel1mrussel1 Posts: 21,137
    Liz Cheney has more balls than the entire GOP male population  
    Truth.

    Did you all see where Trump is calling Biden's electino the "Big Lie" now?  He's trying to co-opt what everyone has called his lie.  That's deliberate since he knows it's sticking.  
  • mickeyratmickeyrat Posts: 20,854
    Liz Cheney has more balls than the entire GOP male population  

    principle before party.....
    _____________________________________SIGNATURE________________________________________________

    Not today Sir, Probably not tomorrow.............................................. bayfront arena st. pete '94
    you're finally here and I'm a mess................................................... nationwide arena columbus '10
    memories like fingerprints are slowly raising.................................... first niagara center buffalo '13
    another man ..... moved by sleight of hand...................................... joe louis arena detroit '14
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,650
    Liz Cheney has more balls than the entire GOP male population  
    which is why they are going to primary her and she will lose in a landslide.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 18,650
    the gop cannot afford to lose cheney. they are running out of reasonable people in positions in power.
    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.- Hemingway
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