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Archive for the ‘Insurrection’ Category

Hello Widdershins!

The January 6 Committee continues to make serious headway in their investigation. The most recent brouhaha was the revelation in the press that the Secret Service erased text messages among its members from January 5 and 6 after the Inspector General looking into their actions requested it. To clarify: Secret Service deleted those text messages after the IG asked for them. They argued these were routine actions. The 1/6 Committee sent a subpoena for the text messages. The Secret Service has said they found them (!) and will supply them to the Committee on Tuesday. Let’s keep an eye on that. We can not forget that on 1/6 Mike Pence refused to get into a car with the SS. Trump promoted some SS people to political positions in his administrations. And when Joe Biden won the election he asked some agents who protected him when he was VP – and who had already retired – to return to service to protect him. Because Biden knew SS was corrupt. It’s also being reported that a number of agents were cheering on the insurrection on their personal social media accounts.

Joe Bloody Manchin is at it again. After a year of negotiating a climate change bill – Manchin has pulled the rug out and said “LOL No.” I suppose the most frustrating thing – besides the obvious – is that Manchin keeps lying to colleagues in the Senate by dangling the belief that he can reach an agreement, and then publicly humiliating them. Time and again he has done this. Meanwhile in the UK military runways are melting because of the heat there. But it’s fine. Manchin is worried about how we’ll pay for the climate bill. Of course, coming from West Virginia, there is no other Democrat who can win there. But Democrats need more seats in the Senate.

This is an open thread.

Snitches

Posted on: July 3, 2022

Former White House/Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson swearing in for testimony before House’s 1/6 Committee.

Hello Widdershins,

A big week of 1/6 Committee hearings: former senior aide for Mark Meadows – former Republican Representative (and Freedom Caucus chief) who became Trump’s chief of staff 2020-21 – threw something of a nuke into the proceedings. Cassidy Hutchinson was one of Meadows’ most trusted deputy. A former intern for the likes of Ted Cruz she catapulted into the highest echelons of Republican power. A former staffer for Paul Ryan tweeted that Meadows always insisted that Hutchinson be present in every meeting. They didn’t think much of it at the time, he noted. Up until just a few weeks ago Hutchinson was being represented by a lawyer who was taking orders from Meadows and Trump. But she suddenly fired that attorney and hired her own. The information she provided – privately and in the public hearing – made a real impact. We learned that Meadows texted Hutchinson the day before the public testimony, warning her not to go through with it. (That’s illegal!) Perhaps one of the most consequential parts of Hutchinson’s testimony was her revealing that Donald Trump insisted on going to the Capitol right after his rally, just as his MAGAts began their march and Proud Boys were already on the premises. According to Hutchinson – who said she was told by people directly involved – Trump lunged for the wheel of his car and tried to choke the Secret Service agent, insisting he be taken to the Capitol. While SS (always appreciated that acronym) first insisted no such thing happened, within 24 hrs other people came forward – including from the SS – saying that it did. And a grainy video and photos appeared showing things getting wild inside Trump’s car. That video is now being examined like the Zapruder film.

The main take-away from this information isn’t that Trump was throwing a hissy fit and choked his Secret Service agent (who, incidentally, remains loyal to Trump.) That’s absurd and salacious. But the important part of that story is why Trump demanded to be taken to the Capitol, when you add the other known parts of the Insurrection. Trump continued to demand that Pence not certify the votes, and was pleased that Pence’s life was threatened. The Proud Boys had already arrived on the premises of the Capitol well ahead of the MAGAt rioters. The Proud Boys were organized. We know the Proud Boys were coordinating with Roger Stone, who was coordinating with Trump and Rudy Giuliani. We know that there are only a handful of unfortified windows in the Capitol and the Proud Boys knew exactly which ones. Why did Trump wanted to go to the Capitol so violently? Trump insisting to go the Capitol – combined with the other things – can only mean he intended to declare himself the winner of the election just as the votes were counted. The violence was the cover so he could declare martial law or something similar. Proud Boys were hunting for Pence and Pelosi. Just imagine the horrors if the rioters found them – and Trump arrived to declare himself the winner.

This is an open thread.

Shchedryk

Posted on: June 17, 2022

Hello Widdershins,

The 1/6 Commission continues to hold hearings, revealing more and more details about how much planning Trump and Friends were doing to overthrow the US Government. 99.999999% of Republican went along with Trump’s plan. And they are all continuing to support him now. The notable exceptions you can count on maybe two hands. The coup is ongoing.

Also ongoing is the war in Ukraine. Putin continues offensives in parts of the country, even as other regions – including the capitol Kyiv – have seemingly resumed their normal lives. How odd to live a normal life in Kyiv while war rages not far away. Germany, France, and Italy continue to enable Putin by calling for Europe and US to not humiliate Putin. They continue to veto providing certain weapons to Ukraine. They continue to cast doubt on Ukraine being able to join the EU. This week the three leaders of these nations finally came to Kyiv to meet Zelenskyy. But someone called this image of Emmanuel Macron embracing Volodymyr Zelenskyy “Judas’ Kiss.” That may be what Zelenskyy is thinking.

French President Emmanuel Macron embracing Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv.
Mykola Leontovych

The ancient Ukrainian folk chant Shchedryk (based on a simple 4 note pattern, which people used to believe had magical properties) about a swallow that flew into a house on New Year (before Christianity came to Ukraine, New Year was in April), sang about all the good things the family had achieved, and promised to return the following New Year/Spring. The word “shchedry” actually means “generous.” After Christianity came to Ukraine, New Year moved to January and the chant became associated with the Feast of Epiphany, which took place on January 18th – what is called “The Old New Year” – which was New Year on the Julian calendar. Ukrainians called this the “Shchedry vechir,” or “Generous Evening.” (All other things aside: that’s how old Ukraine is, in spite of what Putin likes to believe when he discusses Russian history.) Back to Shchedryk: in 1904 the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych (1877-1921) composed a song based on this ancient 4-note motif, for a cappella choir, though the song was not premiered until 1916. On January 21-22, 1921, Leontovych was visiting his parents for the Eastern Orthodox Feast of Nativity in the town of Tulchyn. A man asked the family to stay with them for the night because he had nowhere else to go. They agreed and he shared the room with Leontovych. In the morning the man – who turned out to be a Chekist (Soviet secret service agent) Afanasy Grishchenko – shot Leontovych, who bled to death from the wounds. Later that year, in October 1921, the Ukrainian National Chorus performed Leontovych’s Shchedryk in a concert at Carnegie Hall. Among those present was the American composer Peter Wilhousky – who was so struck by the work that he replaced the ancient Ukrainian text with completely unrelated English words, eventually copyrighted them, and today the composition is known in the West as the Christmas carol “Carol of the Bells.” While Leontovych is revered in Ukraine (in his own time, the French called him the Ukrainian Bach), in the West he is forgotten and and no one even knows he composed one of our most frequently performed songs. Here it is then: as composed by Leontovych in 1904, using the ancient 4-note motif, with its original ancient Ukrainian text.

Happy Weekend Widdershins!

This past week saw some Twitter craziness as the world’s richest man – and one of its biggest social media trolls – Elon Musk announced that he’s buying Twitter. $44 billion was raised – much of it Musk leveraged his holdings in Tesla, which sent its stock plummeting. Whether the deal closes or not remains to be seen, but if it does Musk will turn Twitter into an incel-dominated (even more than it is now!) white supremacist neo-Nazi right-wing MAGA libertarian cesspool. In the past Musk supported Obama and HRC, but MAGA years brought out his libertarianism to the forefront. And all that is expected to happen right before the midterms! Funny that, isn’t it? The latest report is it was Peter Thiel and Twitter’s co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey who convinced Musk to make the bid. Talk about a deep state – billionaire tech-bros ravaging our social media landscape. We will have to wait and see how this all works out.

More Mark Meadows texts were released, including Maria Bartiromo of Faux News, hours before the insurrection, arranging with Meadows what questions she would ask Trump in an upcoming interview and giving Trump advice on how to handle himself. Nobody at Faux thinks this is problematic.

It also seems the January 6th Commission has announced that the first public hearings will be held June 9th. Fasten your seatbelts. Jamie Raskin says it will blow the lid off the House. I like Raskin’s enthusiasm, though I remain skeptical that anybody in the public cares about anything. Everybody knows what happened and none of it changed their minds. Kevin McCarthy has not been removed from his GOP leadership position.

Madison Cawthorn and staffer/possible cousin/housemate Stephen Smith

The only Republican being destroyed by his fellow Republicans is Madison Cawthorn. GOP didn’t care that he’s an insurrectionist racist neo-Nazi fascist. But they did get really mad when he said he knows Republican lawmakers having cocaine fueled sex parties. Boy did that unleash a storm of GOP condemnation and leaks of materials embarrassing to Cawthorn. Suggestive (and homoerotic) photos and videos suddenly began leaking. That’s in addition to accusations of potential insider trading and inappropriate use of funds because, it seems, he’s been paying the bills of his staffer (and housemate and, possibly cousin. This is the man in the photos and videos with Cawthorn behaving like Rudy Giuliani with his cousins. In one video Smith is seen briefly grabbing Cawthorn’s crotch). Cawthorn is laughing the images off, but we will see how his election goes. What’s interesting to me about this is that Cawthorn is a new member of the GOP delegation. And GOP had all this stuff on him, ready to go. Imagine what the GOP has on everyone else, that doesn’t leak. How big is their file on Lindsey Graham? Is this how GOP keeps their caucus so on-the-message?

This is an open thread.

Courtesy of Daily Kos

Good morning Widdershins! This week we saw another torrent of bad news for Drumpf and his partners in crime. As all the birds starting singing to the January 6th committee and news came out about secret meetings in the Oval Office, a planned and coordinated fake electors plot (with a project plan, deliverables and milestones!) and the scheme to seize voting machines in 2020, the RNC doubled down on its gaslighting by censuring the only Republicans on the January 6th Committee, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, and officially denoting those who participated in the attempted coup against our government as engaging in “legitimate political discourse.” Also, War is Peace, right Ronna?

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said Friday’s resolution targeted the Jan. 6 committee probe, which has subpoenaed a range of politicians and Trump White House aides as it tries to piece together their role in events leading to the assault.

“Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger crossed a line. They chose to join Nancy Pelosi in a Democrat-led persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse that had nothing to do with violence at the Capitol,” she said. She said she “condemned violence on both sides of the aisle.”

The censure was overwhelmingly passed.

Let’s take a look at what she’s saying here. Her argument is that everyone who didn’t go to the Capitol and riot was just expressing an opinion. So everyone trying to overturn our government through non-violent means should be ignored and allowed to continue, according to her. This would include Mike Pence’s and Drumpf’s staff, Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Mike Flynn and his brother, Steve Bannon, Sidney Powell…the list goes on and on.

That is a horrifying statement, but if you think about it, why wouldn’t she make it? The Republicans know they are no longer a political Party that can win elections legitimately. They haven’t won the Presidency legitimately since George Bush I, and they’ve used voter suppression tactics, election fraud, gerrymandering, conspiring with foreign enemies, and the Electoral College to gain control of state legislatures and steal the Presidency.

They have been like this since 1994, and every single elected Republican knows it.

Newt Gingrich Republicanism was bad enough, but what Newt and it has evolved into since 2015 is even worse: a Party promoting white supremacy, and promising violence and prison to everyone who opposes them. They are Nazis: actively for fascism and against democracy.

There is nothing “legitimate” about that.

So when I see people like Mike Pence coming out and saying that the Mango Moron is wrong and Pence couldn’t have overturned the election; Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger sitting on the January 6th Committee; and Mitt Romney (whose niece is Ronna McDaniel) saying the RNC was wrong to censure Cheney and Kinzinger, I don’t applaud or give them any credit. Cheney and Kinzinger are doing the bare minimum their oaths to the Constitution require. Mike Pence stood by Drumpf for 4 years as he rampaged through the federal government, destroying everything he touched. Mitt Romney voted with Drumpf while he was President, and in the age of Biden, he has voted against voting rights legislation repeatedly.

They still call themselves Republicans. They know they are part of a Nazi Party. They are scum. And I won’t be tricked into congratulating them or thinking there’s some redeemable part of the Party, just because I deeply wish there were two (or more!) legitimate choices to vote for in this country. There aren’t. There are Nazis, and then there are Democrats. That’s the choice.

There are no good Nazis, and there are no good Republicans.

Open thread as always…


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