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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Palm Beach Officials Reportedly Planning For Possible Trump Extradition

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

A new story out of Politico reports that officials in Palm Beach, Florida, have been making "contingency plans" just in case the twice impeached former president Donald Trump is indicted on one of the myriad possible charges being investigated by Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. One of the issues facing officials is a seldom used Florida statute that gives the state's governor the power to intervene in any extradition of Florida residents to other states in the union. It isn't clear what these "contingency" plans consist of; is it making sure Trump is justifiably extradited if the request is made, or how they might prolong his stay in Florida in defiance of the law?

A clerk at the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County told Politico: "The statute leaves room for interpretation that the governor has the power to order a review and potentially not comply with the extradition notice." And we all know how corrupt GOP officials are when it comes to the "interpretation" of laws.

Vance has been making headlines as his investigations into the Trump organization have ramped up over the past few months. In February it was reported that Vance had brought on former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz to help with his investigation into the family. Pomerantz has a long history of prosecuting white collar crimes as well as organized crime in the New York system.

Vance has also interviewed Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr. concerning the murky self-dealing aspects between the Trump organization—the family's private business—and Trump's Inaugural Committee. The New York District Attorney's office has also reportedly expanded their investigation into Trump family real estate holdings, and has been able to secure some of the Trump's long-hidden tax returns. Whether or not Vance's investigation will uncover how Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump's personal wealth ballooned while they were technically White House advisers remains to be seen.

An interesting aspect of the Trump extradition story is that while Trump does have a residency in the Sunshine State, he usually moves to New Jersey's Bedminster during the summer months. While New Jersey has a similar extradition statute to Florida, the governor of the state is Democrat Phil Murphy. Frankly, almost any governor not named DeSantis would be one step closer to justice. In March, Vance announced his plans to retire at the end of 2021. Perhaps he will place Donald Trump (and friends?) back in a New York court before he leaves.

‘Students For Trump’ Fraudster Sentenced To 13 Months In Prison

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

A little over two years ago, Tennessee's own John Lambert, 23 at the time, was charged with being a fraud and pretending he was a veteran lawyer. Like most modern day frauds, Lambert was working his darndest for the Republican cause, organizing "Students for Trump." Lambert started the group along with fellow Campbell University student Ryan Fournier, shortly after Trump's nomination in 2016.

On Tuesday Lambert, who "pretended to be Eric Pope, of the Manhattan-based firm Pope & Dunn," among other things, was sentenced to 13 months in prison. According to the Daily News, the judge called him a "cold blooded fraudster" before sentencing the MAGA-inspired liar. It seems that Lambert pulled in tens of thousands of dollars from people seeking legal advice by lying to them about who he was and the level of experience he had. "He falsely claimed to be a graduate of NYU Law School with a finance degree from University of Pennsylvania and 15 years of experience in corporate and patent law." Sounds like he would have fit right in to the last administration.

Lambert was living in North Carolina and had been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud by the U.S. Attorneys Office of the Southern District of New York. He pled guilty to the charges shortly after they were announced, and clearly hoped the plea deal would lead to a much shorter than the potential 20 years maximum in prison the charges he faced.

According to reports Lambert, who is now 25, ran his scam between 2016-2018, and took people's money while pretending he would help them with credit issues they were facing. Before sentencing, Lambert told the court, "I lost focus on who I was. My ignorance was a disrespect to the law and my country. My life will be forever marked by this poor choice at a young age." I wonder what his opinions on younger people of color making mistakes is. My guess is that his opinions are still 100 percent racist.

According to a 2019 profile in Politico, Lambert's bio back during his Students for Trump days included:

"At a young age his parents taught values of morality and deep fiscal responsibility to him," according to the bio that was originally posted on the Students for Trump website. "He comes from a family of multigenerational business owners who helped to build the infrastructure of America."

He also seems to have been a big fan of the lead character in The Wolf of Wall Street, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The character is a monumental fraudster. Remember Lambert's co-founder in his "Students for Trump" thing, Ryan Fournier? He was totally involved but made a deal with the feds before Lambert could. He has his own brand now and it's very Hitler Youth-seeming adjacent.

ScreenShot2021-05-11at12.23.19PM.png

attribution: Screengrab/Twitter

That Bible reference in his Twitter bio? Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Let's just say that The RFAngle Fournier is promoting there isn't filled with lots of stories of "forgiving each other," and Jesus and such. It's a lot of James O'Keefe and Parler news.

Did Don Jr. Lie To Prosecutors Under Oath? Watch The Videotape

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The news cycle during the last White House administration was a never-ending stream of corruption and nepotism. The Trumps (and Kushners) participated in such transparent acts of self-dealing and corruption that it became clear they believed their positions in government would immunize them from any prosecution of their actions. Added to this cocktail of criminality and power, is the fact that the Trump family is filled with starkly third-rate people, like Donald Trump Jr. It isn't hard to see how they have broken the laws, stolen Americans' money, and abused their positions in government.

In January of 2020, Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a civil complaint against the Trump Organization and the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Racine alleged that these two Trumpian groups acted a lot like money laundering operations. A year later, while the Trump and Republican machine tried to overthrow our democratically elected government, Racine was asking for depositions from both Ivanka and Junior. Reportedly, Racine was asking the conman's progeny about money purportedly spent by Trump's Inaugural Committee on the Trump Organization—the latter technically being the family business. Ivanka worked the Inaugural Committee while Junior worked the Trump Organization. At the time, Racine reportedly said Trump Jr.'s deposition "raised further questions," that his office would continue to pursue.

Mother Jones reports that some of the questions raised during Junior's deposition may revolve around him lying during his testimony.

Donald Trump Jr.'s deposition is filled with his inability to "recall" whether or not he was involved at all in the deals and moves being made to bring together Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration. One might say he pleads ignorance to most questions asked of him by attorneys. And even though the words "ignorance" and "Donald Trump Jr.," go together like peanut butter and chocolate, Junior possibly being a liar is more believable.

In documents and video obtained by Mother Jones, Donald Trump, Jr. seems to have lied or at the very least misled, prosecutors when he was asked about knowing close Melania Trump friend, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who raised concerns about price-gouging by the Trump organization, when the Trump hotel was charging the Inaugural Committee "twice the market rate for event space." According to Racine, the committee's deal with the hotel ended up being well above market rates.

During his deposition, Trump Jr. was asked about Winston Wolkoff: "Do you know her?" He replied, "I know of her. I think I've met her, but I don't know her. If she was in this room I'm not sure I would recognize her." He added, "I had no involvement with her."

Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, you might remember, is the former senior adviser to Melania Trump. She's the lady who wrote the tell-all memoir about her time with the former first lady. Mother Jones has video from inauguration night of Junior telling a camera how great Winston Wolkoff is, and they also have text exchanges showing that Winston Wolkoff and Junior likely spoke on the phone a bit, and emails from Trump Jr. to Winston Wolkoff asking about helping out with inauguration festivities.

Winston Wolkoff didn't comment on Junior's testimony but she told Mother Jones: "I did not think it was right for the Trump Family or the Trump Family's businesses to be financially profiting from the presidential inauguration. It was a gross mismanagement of funds and an abuse of authority, and I made it very clear to people in the Trump Family and the inauguration committee how I felt."

The video where Trump Jr. is praising Winston Wolkoff also happens to be at an inauguration event that Junior also didn't recall attending. Video evidence says he definitely attended it. Most of Junior's testimony is evasive. Many of the questions directed at him were about private Trump organization events that seem likely to have been paid for, or in part funded by, the Trump Inauguration Committee—something that would be the definition of self-dealing. Prosecutors have receipts for all of these expenditures and whether or not it matters if Junior is lying or simply an ignoramus, will be a legal question decided by the courts.

To be clear, the Republican Party is fully complicit in self-dealing under the guise of self-promotion. And both the Trumps and the GOP use made-up cultural changes to try and obfuscate the real issues of their corruption and impotence as leaders. But lawyers don't care about your incitements to overthrow the government on Fox News when they are investigating whether or not you stole money.

Here's Trump Jr. talking about how great a person he told lawyers he didn't really know was, at an event he couldn't recall attending.


Watch Donald Trump, Jr. Praise Stephanie Winston Wolkoff www.youtube.com

How The GOP Spent Millions To Make Right-Wing ‘Bestsellers’

Reprinted with permission from DailyKoa

The problem with having a base that isn't particularly interested in reading anything more than a headline is that it is hard to sell books to those folks. You couple that with holding and promoting wildly unpopular positions on health care, foreign policy, economics, race, and justice, and a proclivity to act morally hypocritical and you are creating the kinds of conditions most book publishers would shy away from. Add to that most of the things you say are factually incorrect, a potential lawsuit in the waiting for a publisher, and it is a wonder how any of these conservative jokes get publishing deals in the first place.

However, the conservative oligarchy-bubble has figured a way around promoting an unpopular product—buy the perception that it isn't popular. For some time news outlets have reported on the self-dealing, bulk-book buying tendencies of campaigns and Republican committees, that help propel books by people from people like Sens. Mitch McConnell, Ted Cruz, and Tom Cotton, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, and cosmic embarrassment Donald Trump Jr., access to national best-seller lists. Being on a best-seller list—especially from one of the Republican proclaimed fake news sites like the Washington Post or the New York Times, can boost your sales further being the premiere advertisement for literature and nonfiction in the United States.

The Washington Post did a report on the shady-quality of this practice, pointing out that "Four party-affiliated organizations, including the Republican National Committee, collectively spent more than $1 million during the past election cycle mass-purchasing books written by GOP candidates, elected officials and personalities, according to Federal Election Commission expenditure reports." The practice is not simply deceitful in promoting a false sense of popularity for unpopular ideas, but because authors of books make serious money if they can get on best-seller lists off of royalties from hundreds of thousands of dollars in book sales.

One of the more well-publicized self-dealings in recent months was Texas's answer to intelligence, Rep. Dan Crenshaw, whose book got a $400,000 boost in sales from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). The NRCC defended its purchase of Crenshaw's book, saying that it had fundraised no less than three times the amount off of the book (signed copies, etc.), making it a legitimate purchase. But the Republican former Navy SEAL, who holds an elected office based almost entirely on the truly twisted Republican gerrymandering of a Texas district, was able to point to his best-seller status as proof of the popularity of his opinions.

Trump Jr., his dad the Donald, truly unpopular Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, unpopular China-phobe Sen. Tom Cotton, and Capitol insurgent supporter Sen. Josh Hawley all got lucky with bulk purchases of their books this past election cycle according to the Post. Hawley's big pre-buy got sidetracked when Simon & Schuster canceled the book deal with Hawley for his sweeping endorsements of anti-Democratic, fact-free election fraud charges—though he forgot to mention he likely kept some of the advance while he whined about freedom of speech.

Tom Cotton, best-known for being a slimmer, cleaner-shaven, and more hawkish version of Ted Cruz, seems to have received quite a bit of help from political action committee the Senate Conservatives Fund. According to the Post, they spent close to $90,000 buying Cotton's book—the title of which is something like Soldier Duty, Soldier soldier, duty duty, I hate China and Democracy. Coincidentally, this was the same PAC that threw $65,000 at "Regnery Publishing, [Ted] Cruz's publisher, for advance copies of Hawley's forthcoming book."

Last week, campaign finance watchdog Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint against Sen. Ted Cruz, with the Federal Election Commission and the Senate Ethics Committee. Highlighting Cruz's 15% royalty rate and his campaign's expenditure of around $18,000 on Facebook ads promoting his book, the complaint accuses Cruz of violating "the ban on the personal use of campaign funds at 52 U.S.C. § 30114(b)(1)." The complaint also reminds the two committees that the evidence they are presenting is just the Facebook advertisements and there might very well be Cruz campaign expenditures promoting his garbage tome on other platforms.

In the three months following the publication of Cruz's book, Ted Cruz for Senate paid third-party booksellers Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble over $154,000 for "books." Other Facebook ads offered supporters a signed copy of the book in exchange for a contribution (while also urging viewers to "pre-order a copy today at Amazon or your local book retailer") and linked to a Ted Cruz for Senate fundraising page.

This isn't news for Ted Cruz, who has long bent, if not broke, the laws of campaigning and campaign finance. His interest in honesty has never existed and he has never shown the slightest of moral compunctions. And while Ted Cruz may technically be considered more intelligent than someone like Donald Trump Jr., the two men participate in identical cynical and corrupt behavior. In Junior's case, it's his actual daddy that helps pay for his lack of popularity, while in Ted Cruz's case, it's the Republican Party machine and his own campaign that he treats like a rich daddy.

Technically, the issue here is that Ted Cruz's campaign did not bulk buy directly through the publisher. The reason why this is important is that this issue has long been understood to be a thorny problem, and the FEC has made rulings on it dating back to 2014. Buying directly from the publisher, according to the FEC, allows the publisher to count those sales outside of the sales of books that they owe royalties to authors for. Cruz's campaign spent thousands directly through retailers. This makes it much more like that Cruz's royalty payouts got a direct personal bank account boost from his own campaign's funds. He's not the only one, as everybody's favorite know-nothing-at-all Dan Crenshaw's book got almost a quarter of a million in sales from a retail direct purchase by the NRCC.

Before you let that friend of yours that says chem-trails control the weather chime in, the Post explains that this level of bulk-buying, padding out the book sales, is largely a GOP "phenomenon."

Ted Nugent, Anti-Masker And Vaccine Skeptic, Gets Covid: ‘I Thought I Was Dying’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

A little over a week ago, reports came out that aging 1970s rock-n-roll hunting enthusiast Ted Nugent was still promoting the concept that the 2019 novel coronavirus was all hype. During an interview posted on Facebook, he asked the question: "You know, I guess I would ask you — because I'm addicted to truth, logic, and common sense — and my commonsense meter would demand the answer to why weren't we shut down for COVID one through 18?" Now, I know that as a parent I frequently find myself saying things like "There are no stupid questions," but in this case, well, um. It wasn't a surprising take from a man who has made a career of being ignorant and saying ignorant things. In general, playing his guitar loudly over his ignorance has allowed people to pretend they didn't hear him.

On Tuesday night, Nugent did a Facebook Live where he told his audience he had contracted the virus. "Everybody told me that I should not announce this. I have had flu symptoms for the last 10 days. I thought I was dying. Just a clusterfuck." Nugent also repeatedly used racist MAGA-virtue signaling that put the blame on China. He described his experiences over the last ten days, saying he could barely crawl out of bed because he was in such bad shape. He said he was finally tested Tuesday, thus the diagnosis.

Nugent has been a very public COVID-19 denier, telling conservative radio personality David J. Harris Jr. in August that he thought all of the reported coronavirus-related statistics being put out by world health organizations and our own country's scientific communities were made up. "They claim 160,000 people dead from the Chinese communist virus. Bullshit. They claim millions and millions have been tested positive [for the virus]. Bullshit. They claim that the ICU units are overcrowded. Bullshit." He also called himself a "radical for justice" during that same interview, but he seems to have been mum on all of the deaths of citizens at the hands of law enforcement. Racist much?

And even though Nugent has now experienced the virus, he still says he won't get vaccinated against it: "If you can't even honestly answer our questions of exactly what's in it and why are you testing it on human beings and forcing it on people in such a short period of time," which isn't a real thing. You can read about the vaccination and what's "in it," on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. If you have other anxieties over the vaccine that's fine, but don't bullshit about why you're afraid of things.

Nugent's bad, destructive takes on the public health questions and policies of our country go hand in hand with his crotch-grabbing support of Donald Trump. (Nugent literally illustrated some kind of point about "blue states" at a MAGA rally by grabbing his crotch.) He has also promoted the need to carry guns in order to rid our government and country of "evil, dishonesty, and scam artists" who he said are liberals, Democrats, RINOs, Hollywood, fake news, and the media, saying: "There are rabid coyotes running around, you don't wait till you see one to go get your gun, keep your gun handy. And every time you see one, shoot one."

Liberty University Sues Falwell Jr. For Millions Over Lies and “Loose Lifestyle”

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

The transparent moral and religious hypocrisy of the evangelical movement in our country has never been better exemplified than in the ongoing salacious allegations, images, lawsuits, and claims going on between Liberty University and its former leader, Jerry Falwell Jr. At issue is the scandal that broke out where once close family friend Giancarlo Granda began making allegations that the Falwells lived a lifestyle filled not only with standard business and political corruption, but one that was clearly the opposite of evangelical expectations.

Now, Talking Points Memo reports that on Thursday, Liberty University launched a lawsuit against Falwell, saying that this prodigal son of the university's founder conspired to conceal important business details and personal details from the school. The lawsuit seeks $10 million in compensatory damages, which the university says can be tripled under Virginia law to no less than $30 million, from Falwell, saying that in hiding the details of his wife's intimate affair—and his alleged appreciation of this affair—Falwell mislead Liberty officials down a dark road that has damaged the school's reputation and subsequently cost them financially. They want additional money for punitive damages as well as other damages. Thoughts and prayers.

The Liberty lawsuit claims that Falwell misled the school when renegotiating his 2019 employment agreement. It's also a clear opportunity for the school to create a legal wedge between future litigation that might target their connections with the Falwells and their corruption. Of course, Liberty University sat a long time with a man who has been publicly embarrassing and wrong at every turn. They have also been sued for taking advantage of their embarrassing leader's lies to the public and the student body. As Granda tweeted along with the TPM story:

Falwell parted ways with the school in August of 2020. This came with the publishing of a report by Reuters with Granda. Granda gave a very descriptive and long interview to Reuters. He provided emails and other pieces of evidence detailing how he met the Falwells as a pool attendant at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel in 2012, and he began having a sexual affair with Becki Falwell when he was 20 years old that went on for some time in various places around the country. The salacious aspect of the story was that Granda alleged that Jerry Falwell Jr. was a willing audience for his wife's affair with Granda, and the three continued this open lifestyle for quite a while all over the country.

Falwell has admitted that his wife had an affair with Granda, but he says that all of this was extortion on Granda's part and every other allegation made by Granda about Jerry's complicity was a lie. Liberty points to the existence of numerous images, posted to social media over the months leading up to the Granda revelations, that seem to confirm that the Falwells did not live a particularly Christian lifestyle—at least not the kind of "Christian lifestyle" Liberty is selling.

Liberty accuses Falwell in the lawsuit of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and of engaging in a "conspiracy of silence" over alleged extortion attempts from Granda while negotiating a higher payment package from the evangelical institution.
"Had Liberty's Executive Committee known in 2018 and 2019 that Granda was attempting to extort Falwell Jr. and thus planning to damage Liberty, and had it known the full circumstances of Granda's extortion of Falwell Jr., then the Executive Committee would have refrained from entering into the 2019 Employment Agreement," the suit states.

Let us all be clear here: This is not a story about shaming Jerry Falwell Jr. or his wife Becki for living an open sexual lifestyle. This is a story about shaming the Falwells for living a lifestyle that they're afforded by promoting shame against that lifestyle in others. They're being shamed because the loose boundaries of their relationship have been condemned in others by themselves and the powerful organizations they represent—and from which they make lots of money. The money they make, the homes they own, and the private chartered planes they fly are built on this morally bankrupt lie.

A day before the lawsuit was filed, Politico confirmed with the university that Falwell's son, Trey Falwell, was "no longer employed by the university." According to the source, this was brand new news to Trey. It also was in line with stories that school officials were trying to further distance themselves from the Falwell family. Politico reported that the university's president, Jerry Prevo, had sent out an email to the school's employees that "No Liberty University employee at any level is permitted to communicate with Jerry Falwell, Jr. or Becki Falwell about university matters."

According to The New York Times, the lawsuit directs the court to Falwell's redesign of his contract, saying he deceived the Liberty board's executive committee into adding "a higher severance payout if he resigned for 'good reason' or if Liberty terminated his contract without cause. Mr. Falwell claimed to the committee that this would serve as a 'safety valve' for both him and the university if his full-throated support of former President Donald J. Trump proved damaging to the school's reputation." The lawsuit says that this was a little look at this hand while my other hand picks your pocket, and that Falwell was insuring himself against the Granda allegations and subsequent fallout on the horizon. In so doing, Falwell's "infidelity, immodesty, and acceptance of a loose lifestyle would stand in stark contrast to the conduct expected of leaders at Liberty."

Will this change the minds of racist evangelicals who have blindly followed this corrupt leadership for years? The short answer is no, it won't. What Falwell has been peddling for many years now is evangelicalism based in anti-Christian morality of business and land ownership over people. The fact that he seems to be a hypocrite of the highest (or lowest) order might not matter to people who think Donald Trump is someone you should vote for.

Kevin McCarthy Won’t Discuss Gaetz, But Roger Stone Threatens Times Reporter

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

By now you have probably read something about Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida and the investigation into his connections to the alleged sex trafficking of a minor. The allegations stem from Gaetz's rosy relationship with disgraced former Seminole County, Florida, Republican tax collector Joel Greenberg. Greenberg faces a slew of charges that include allegations that he used his access to state tax databases to "recruit and solicit an underage girl for sex."

Rep. Gaetz's short political career has been marked by histrionics like wearing a gas mask for an early House vote on COVID-19 relief, lying about election fraud conspiracy theories and the insurrection at the Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021, and controversy like wondering whether or not Black Lives Matters protesters could be lynched. These new allegations are both disturbing and, unfortunately, not surprising.

Also less than surprising: Republican legislators' reactions to these new charges. Rep. Jim Jordan, best known for allegedly turning his back on numerous young men being sexually abused under his watch while an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, told CNN's Ryan Nobles that "I believe Matt Gaetz."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was asked about the Department of Justice investigation into Rep. Gaetz on Fox News and it was strange to watch the California Republican look into the camera with a smile on his face while responding. It was even stranger when McCarthy was asked about Rep. Gaetz's lone vote against human trafficking legislation back in 2017.

It was exactly two weeks ago that Rep. McCarthy filed a motion to the House Ethics committee to have Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell removed from the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, based on reports of the Swalwell campaign's connection to an alleged Chinese intelligence officer. Fox News mentioned that bit of news and asked McCarthy if the same rules would apply to Rep. Gaetz—pointing out that if the allegations are true, Rep. Gaetz would have "violated federal sex trafficking laws."

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: Look, I haven't heard from DOJ. I haven't been able to talk to Matt Gaetz yet, I just read the story. Those are serious implications. If it comes out to be true yes we would remove him, if that was case but right now, as Matt Gaetz says [sic] it is not true. We don't have any information. So let's get all the information.

The likelihood that the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives has not spoken with one of his party's most public figures in the 20 hours after serious allegations have been leaked to the press—in which time that public figure has appeared on television—seems low. But, who knows? Based on how the GOP and corruption work these days, plausible deniability seems to be every conservative operative's best defense.

As Vox's Aaron Rupar illustrated on social media, McCarthy's entire defense of his party is pleading ignorance when it comes to Rep. Matt Gaetz. Back in 2017, Rep. Gaetz became the sole human being in Congress to vote against the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act, a bill that everyone thought would improve our country's ability to stop human trafficking. Fox News hosts brought this up to McCarthy and asked why did Gaetz do that? Along with his tieless off-gray dress shirt and dark blazer, McCarthy gave this remarkable answer.

REP. MCCARTHY: For human trafficking? No, no I have no idea whatsoever why he would vote against that.

Rep. Gaetz was forced to do a livestream Facebook explanation of why he voted against the human trafficking law back in 2017, and said something something big government. "Unless there is an overwhelming, compelling reason that our existing agencies in the federal government can't handle that problem, I vote no because voters in Northwest Florida did not send me to Washington to go and create more federal government."

It was a strange bit of business even for a Republican following the lead of the Trump administration. But the Minority Leader of the Republican Party almost seems as if he's barely met Rep. Gaetz.

Meanwhile Trump-pardoned, criminally convicted Roger Stone added to his list of threatening social media posts an attack on the New York Times reporter who broke the Rep. Gaetz story, Mike Schmidt, saying:"I am going to publicly humiliate New York Times reporter Mike Schmidt tomorrow. He is the single most dishonest fabricator of the Russian hoax narrative in American press corps. And now he's doing it again with the smear of Matt Gaetz. Watch for the slap down of this cretin #The NewYorkTimessucks." (A special note here: Stone put a space between the "e" in "The" and the "N" in "New," thus turning his attempted hashtag into #The.)

It's important to remember here that people like Matt Gaetz and Kevin McCarthy are the guys that QAnon conspirators mostly support in their pretend crusade against the evil sex trafficking being perpetrated by liberals, Jews, and other "elites" in the basements of pizza places everywhere.

The Republican Party's hypocrisy knows no bounds. This is a sentence that could be placed in virtually every story written on politics and society over the last four or five decades. The preoccupation they have shown with the sexual scandals, the implications of sexual scandals, the whiff of a possible sexual scandal across the the aisle, has led to tens of millions of dollars spent in federal money on the non-criminal sexual activities of Democrats. Meanwhile, the very real implication of a true crime being committed, a crime that virtually every American agrees is a crime, leads to the GOP creating nothing but wiggle room. The wheel spinning done to obfuscate their own party's sexual mistakes, their moral sexual failings, and most importantly their criminal sexual assaults and criminal complicity in the coverups of sexual assaults, is a dark bit of business.

Our very own Jen Hayden has some ideas on how to get Fox News to pursue this news story.

That might just work.

New Photos Indicate Oath Keepers Prepared To Enter Capitol With Weapons

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

A local Virginia news outlet is publishing previously unseen photos taken by staff in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6. The images reportedly show a group of men "loitering near the Marine Corps War Memorial," with a view of the Capitol building. According to the report, the men stood around a small parking area, their SUVs and out-of-state plates conspicuous enough that Arlington County police were notified by passersby of their presence. According to ARLnow.com, which published the images, one of the pickup trucks in the parking area where the men loitered was left running with a "large toolbox in the back."

According to the Arlington County police, an officer was sent to look into the reports of "9-10 males acting suspiciously and looking around on the Iwo Jima War Memorial property" at 4 pm that day. According to a spokesperson for the police department, "nothing was located and the call was cleared." ARLnow points to far-right militia groups and prosecutors' filings against various Oath Keeper suspects who have been arrested and charged in the Capitol insurgency. Specifically highlighted is a memo against Oath Keeper leader Edward Caldwell that details an elaborate "quick reaction force" (QRF) of militia men who were to stay outside awaiting orders and could bring "the tools if something goes to hell"inside the Capitol, "that way the boys don't have to try to schelp [sic] weps on the bus." According to the prosecutors' filings, these individuals were potentially waiting outside, ready with weapons to bring into the Capitol.

On Friday, Washington Post reporter Rachel Weiner, who is covering legal cases in Alexandria, reported on Oath Keeper leader Jessica Watkins of Woodstock, Ohio, and other militia member cases:

Judge is now asking whether there really was a "quick reaction force" stationed outside D.C. with weapons for militia members' use on Jan. 6. Prosecutor: "That is our understanding." And after that tantalizing detail, they are moving off the record.

This comes after Proud Boy members tried out the legal defense of, "Whoops, we didn't know we were breaking the law," or, "Whoops, we thought Donald Trump was telling us the truth," or, "Whoops, we didn't think we could get arrested for breaking the law." Watkins in particular tried to renounce her involvement in the Oath Keepers and say she was finished playing seditionist, so could she go home and pretend none of this happened? U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta was not having any of that. Maybe this selection from the prosecutors' court filings is why:

The next day, Watkins exchanged text messages with Co-defendant Thomas Caldwell about the operational plans for January 6, 2021. This included coordinating about where and when to meet and where to stay. Operational plans also contemplated the possession and use of weapons in D.C. before and on January 6. Caldwell referenced "a quick reaction force [QRF] [that would be]bringing the tools if something goes to hell. That way the boys don't have to try to schelp weps on the bus." Watkins previously stated that the QRF provided ready access to guns during operations. As she explained to a contact when preparing to attend a November election fraud rally in Washington D.C., QRF was designed so that "If it gets bad, they QRF to us with weapons for us," but that, otherwise, "[w]e can have mace, tasers, or night sticks. QRF staged, armed, with our weapons, outside the city" and advised "to be prepared to fight hand to hand" while "guys outside DC with guns, await orders to enter DC under permission from Trump, not a minute sooner." Watkins's own operational role extended well beyond providing medical aid. As she explained to a recruit, "I'm no doctor. I'm a soldier. A medic with a rifle, maybe, but a solider. I will hurt/kill those who try to hurt/kill me or others."

Like most of the Oath Keepers and other militia members being arrested and charged right now, the defense being employed amounts to, "Hey, we're full of shit, and we thought this would work but it didn't so how about we pretend we didn't do it." Hopefully the photos that ARLnow reporter Jay Westcott took are helpful in bringing more justice against fascists.

Kansas Judge Asks Court To Probe NRA Leadership's ‘Hidden Compensation’

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

At the beginning of the new year, the National Rifle Association announced its plans to file for bankruptcy in order to reorganize and set up shop in Texas. One of the reasons the Second Amendment cult and money-laundering scheme organization filed for bankruptcy was to get out from under the New York state investigation into the dubious financial dealings of the "nonprofit."

Those dubious dealings had been leaking out to the press as a result of a legal civil war within the money-loving, gun-obsessed group and their longtime bankrollers, PR firm Ackerman McQueen. Even before those lawsuits and the public civil war between Ackerman McQueen and the NRA began, story after story of the financial woes of the organization leaked out. Since the battle between the two organizations has been unearthed, story after story after story has also leaked detailing wild spending habits, mismanagement, and alleged corruption among top executives. Meanwhile, board members have been pushed out or resigned.

In more bad* news, a possible new civil war is breaking out within the board as Wichita, Kansas, judge and veteran board member Phil Journey is adding a wrinkle into the NRA leadership's attempt to cleanly move through bankruptcy court in the Lone Star State. According to the Wichita Eagle, Judge Journey's attorney filed a motion in a Dallas court asking for "an independent examiner to investigate allegations that the NRA's longtime chief executive and others mismanaged the organization to enrich themselves and a handful of well-connected insiders." Journey is quoted as saying that in having an independent investigator mandated by the courts, "The hope is to either confirm or deny the allegations swirling around the association."

This move by Journey, who served on the board for three years in the 1990s and had returned to the board last year, is entirely plausible due to all of this crazy spending by higher-ups. This move might make the more cynical minds among us scratch their collective heads as to what exactly is happening here. According to the filing, at issue is NRA chief Wayne LaPierre's housecleaning over the past few years, as he has centralized his hold on the organization.

"The Debtors (the NRA) have improperly paid excessive compensation to current management in base salaries, and, perhaps more troubling, via a series of excessive perks that were wholly for the Debtors' insiders' personal benefit.
"The Debtors' insiders received this hidden compensation for items via direct payment of purely personal costs. This includes the Debtors paying for purely personal travel costs for private chartered airplane trips for the Debtors' insiders and extended family members and friends."

Journey's motion also alleges that a swath of board members were not made aware of the Chapter 11 filing, nor the new LLC, Sea Girt, being used to "bootstrap this filing into this district and venue." According to Judge Journey, he and others found out about all of this by way of the news. Teehee. Journey, of course, has no issue with the move to Texas, but he is clearly making a move against the current leadership. I'm praying for you guys!

Some of the many things at play here are NRA frontman Wayne LaPierre's spending habits. That includes little things like LaPierre's reported interest in getting the NRA to help him purchase a $6 million mansion on the company dime. LaPierre and his family also seemed to enjoy jetting about on private excursions, billing their lifestyle back to the 'nonprofit.' What all of these allegations and stories have in common is that they try to point fingers at one another to lay the blame for the company's continued financial decline.

But financial issues have been at the forefront of the gun group's concerns over the past couple of years, as proven by choices to pull back on lawsuits defending them against being labeled "domestic terrorists" and the like. Their fundraising efforts in recent years have led them far afield of our country's borders—you know, the way real faketriots like the NRA are wont to do.

Is this the first sign that Wayne LaPierre might really lose control over the organization he has worked so hard to make money off of? Possibly. It shows that the bankruptcy process is going to be more than simply getting out from under the numerous legal issues the Second Amendment conmen are running away from. If Journey is successful, he and whomever else he has in his corner might angle their way into leadership positions with the shady public relations claim that they have cleaned house of their bad apples.

The 126 House Republicans Who Signed Up For A Trump Putsch

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

When Texas sued to overturn four other states' election results in the hopes of installing illegitimate, two-time popular vote loser, and white supremacist mediocrity Donald Trump into a second presidential term, they exposed how many elected officials are straight-up wannabe oligarchs. The fact that even in the upside-down world we are living in, with the hijacked ultra conservative Supreme Court in place, most everybody knew there was little chance of the Supreme Court stepping in and hearing the case, which should tip one off to how far afield this maneuver is. It's the kind of thing that most people would rather not put their name on since it is the sort of thing people should go to jail for—if laws concerning sedition and treason are real laws.

Many of the people on this list came into office during the tea party wave of 2010. If you don't remember what the tea party is, it's sort of like if you looked at the American Revolution for independence and democracy and your takeaway was … being a racist asshole. Another way to look at it is if you looked at the Civil War in the United States and boiled it down to … being a racist asshole. Let's make sure we remember the 126 fascists who signed on for this attack on American democracy, and maybe even learn a smidgen more about them and their histories of being terrible people. A tip of the hat goes to community members republicinsanity and Carmeninvermont—republicinsanity for the Crazy/Stupid Republican of the Day series that is frequently sourced here, and Carmeninvermont for the easy-to-read and understand list of GOP anti-democracy Republicans who want to overthrow our elections process in order to hoist up the most mediocre man in American history.

Here is a nice list of the 126 Republican officials who whether charged with sedition and treason or not, are guilty of trying to, at the very least, thwart the will of the American people and overturn our democratically elected president:

Mike Johnson of Louisiana's 4th Congressional District made small headlines this past summer when his attempts to "gotcha" assistant U.S. attorney in Maryland Aaron Zelinsky for not appearing in person during a pandemic blew up in his face. Zelinsky, who had a newborn at home, explained that he had spoken with his family's doctor and they thought potentially exposing the newborn to a pandemic wasn't a good move.

Gary Palmer of Alabama's 6th Congressional District is one of those conservative think tankers whose big ideas include: attacking same sex marriage and nonbinary public restrooms. Big thinker.

Steve Scalise of Louisiana's 1st Congressional District is a storied hypocrite and swamp creature of epic proportions.

Jim Jordan of Ohio's 4th Congressional District is a person, so cowardly and so craven, he has built a career on his ability to ignore some of the most heinous crimes happening under his watch. Jordan's act of sedition comes down lower on his list of sins than most others on this list.

Ralph Abraham of Louisiana's 5th Congressional District is a shoot from the hip bigot with ideas that were last considered fresh in 1770.

Rick W. Allen of Georgia's 12th Congressional District has one truly great claim to fame, he "disgusted" some Republicans once upon a time by reading anti-LGBTQ passages from the Bible. Different times. Different times.

James R. Baird of Indiana's 4th Congressional District was attacked with an insensitive and offensive mailer, by an out of state conservative super PAC in 2018, during his Republican primary. He seemed pretty offended at the time, but I guess he's decided to let all of that go in order to overthrow the government.

Jim Banks of Indiana's 3rd Congressional District spent the early weeks of the global pandemic to help pen a nonbonding resolution blaming China for COVID-19. That's what he did to help Americans.

Jack Bergman of Michigan's 1st Congressional District blamed the press for the domestic terrorist shooting that injured Rep. Steve Scalise.

Andy Biggs of Arizona's 5th Congressional District didn't go so far as to call Democrats who didn't applaud during Donald Trump's State of the Union "treasonous" but did believe they were "disrespectful" and that they might have to answer to God. He's also had to leave public events after being booed offstage for saying that climate change wasn't settled science.

Gus Bilirakis of Florida's 12th Congressional District came into the office he sort of inherited from his father. He's been a good anti-women's rights Republican since 2006 and pretty much does what he's told to do. And he's in Florida where Republicans tell you to do the real bottom of the barrel stuff.

Dan Bishop of North Carolina's 9th Congressional District came into office after actual election fraudster Republican Mark Harris had to step away due to controversy over … election fraud. Bishop is best known for writing North Carolina's anti-trans "bathroom bill."

Mike Bost of Illinois's 12th Congressional District is famously prone to outrageous outbursts. He's also known for cowering away from constituents when asked about his attempts to rip away millions of people's health insurance.

Kevin Brady of Texas's 8th Congressional District was that diminutive bald white guy that got a nice grin going in the Rose Garden when the Republican Party gave away billions to the rich in their tax scam. That's his great achievement.

Mo Brooks of Alabama's 5th Congressional District read Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf on the floor of the House in a twisted attempt to skewer the Democratic officials over their pursuit of an investigation into Trump's campaign ties to Russia. He did this on the heels of calling for the National Guard to "be allowed to use whatever force is necessary to secure that border."

Ken Buck of Colorado's 4th Congressional District has faced questions over whether he pressured another party official to submit incorrect election results and then blew through some RNC money to make that fraud work. To call Buck a scumbag is offensive to bags filled with scum.

Ted Budd of North Carolina's 13th Congressional District is one of the Republicans who signed on to this bit of treason while in quarantine, after announcing he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Tim Burchett of Tennessee's 2nd Congressional District believes in Bigfoot and eating roadkill instead of providing better social services.

Michael C. Burgess of Texas's 26th Congressional District is the kind of guy that called for President Barack Obama to be impeached over Benghazi and then became suspiciously silent when Donald Trump was impeached for his law breaking and corruption-filled campaign.

Bradley Byrne of Alabama's 1st Congressional District took time away from releasing racist attack ads to sign on for fascism!

Ken Calvert of California's 42nd Congressional District is a famous "family values" hypocrite (see busted with pants around his ankles, with a sex worker who was not his wife).

Earl L. "Buddy" Carter of Georgia's 1st Congressional District. I couldn't find much on Buddy, but I do know that he doesn't believe in democracy.

Ben Cline of Virginia's 6th Congressional District was one of the dozen security threats with feet that breached national security for a hack partisan performance piece, led by Florida man Matt Gaetz.

Michael Cloud of Texas's 27th Congressional District owes his seat to the fact that repeatedly disgraceful Blake Farenthold had to leave office, and Republicans have successfully repressed the vote in his district.

Mike Conaway of Texas's 11th Congressional District knows a ton about stealing elections as he famously said, in 2017, that Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and other Democrats had enlisted "Mexican soap opera stars, singers and entertainers who had immense influence in those communities into Las Vegas, to entertain, get out the vote and so forth. Those are foreign actors, foreign people, influencing the vote in Nevada."

Rick Crawford of Arkansas's 1st Congressional District is maybe best known for his opposition to taking down Confederate monuments saying it was akin to Holocaust denialism and would lead to the closure of Holocaust museums. There's not much else to say about that.

Dan Crenshaw of Texas's 2nd Congressional District is a dirtbag who lies and pretends he isn't just a groveling McConnell follower.

Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida's 25th Congressional District has the distinction of being the first member of Congress to test positive for COVID-19. He will also be remembered as one of those Republicans who refused to speak to Donald Trump's describing countries as "shitholes." Courage is something these men do not have.

Jeff Duncan of South Carolina's 3rd Congressional District has enjoyed trying, and failing, to do away with important census data, by attempting to have it legislated out of being collected. Too much thinking for Mr. Duncan, I guess.

Neal P. Dunn of Florida's 2nd Congressional District has made sure to tell news outlets how worried he was and is for children separated from their loved ones due to Trump and the Republican Party's zero tolerance immigration policies. Not surprisingly, he's done absolutely nothing to fix this inhumane practice.

Tom Emmer of Minnesota's 6th Congressional District has complained about constituents wanting stuff like healthcare protections and he's tried in vain to weaken the Endangered Species Act. He's never been particularly interested in a Democracy and doesn't plan on starting now.

Ron Estes of Kansas's 4th Congressional District literally walked in a swamp in the hopes of riding his way through a tight election. Sadly, Estes never left that swamp, he seems to have just grown gills.

Drew Ferguson of Georgia's 3rd Congressional District has a social media team that can't tell the difference between World War II American soldiers and Nazis. True story!

Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District is the kind of guy that takes a question about the many outrageous attacks made publicly by Donald Trump and answers it by blaming Nancy Pelosi for being mean. But in Fleischmann's defense, he's been peddling the election fraud fantasy publicly, with zero evidence, since his lord and liege Trump told him to.

Bill Flores of Texas's 17th Congressional District has made sure to point out that he would ignore the calls from his constituents in regards to Trump's problematic relationship with Russia and instead make claims that same sex marriage led to civil unrest in Baltimore. The civil unrest in Baltimore connected to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody and the lack of justice he ultimately received.

Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska's 1st Congressional District got off his high horse to finally openly expose himself as the right-wing, batshit bananas hack that he's always been and pretended not to be.

Virginia Foxx of North Carolina's 5th Congressional District took time away from analogizing the regulation of for-profit colleges with the Holocaust to practice some good old Nazi fascism and overthrow our Democracy. She also once tried to argue that the murder of Matthew Shepard was not a hate crime. In fact, she said the premise was a "hoax."

Russ Fulcher of Idaho's 1st Congressional District is a climate denier … as of 2018. He also claims that God wants Idahoians to mine the ground and log away the trees in the state.

Matt Gaetz of Florida's 1st Congressional District is this guy. What can be said about Matt Gaetz that hasn't been written in excrement on the soles of Donald Trump and Sean Hannity's tiny shoes?

Greg Gianforte, governor-elect of Montana, assaulted a reporter for asking tough questions and then lied about it to police.

Bob Gibbs of Ohio's 7th Congressional District is the classic overly emotional conservative white male politician that uses hyperbole but demands that people take that incongruous hyperbole as fact.

Louie Gohmert of Texas's 1st Congressional District is an unintelligent person but he is also a relatively powerful and disturbingly racist and unintelligent person.

Lance Gooden of Texas's 5th Congressional District has been in the pocket of a Texas hotelier for years and owes most of his financial support to him. In fact, Gooden is in business with millionaire Monty Bennett and it seems that Bennett is the only person in the state of Texas that Gooden feels he needs to answer to. Gooden's one claim to fame over the past couple of years was coming up with a plan to DNA test all new immigrants at the border, something that is problematic for about 1 million reasons.

Sam Graves of Missouri's 6th Congressional District is the kind of guy that runs on homophobia.

Mark Green of Tennessee's 7th Congressional District is also a homophobe with a history of trying to create laws that would allow for the wholesale discrimination of LGBTQ folks in businesses throughout the Volunteer State.

Michael Guest of Mississippi's 3rd Congressional District is on the House Committee on Ethics. Drink that in: a guy that signed on for a coup d'etat represents Republican ethics in the House. Guest is also a supporter of Confederate fashion-lover and general old-timey racist Cindy Hyde-Smith.

Andy Harris of Maryland's 1st Congressional District is a person who ran on a campaign against the Affordable Healthcare Act and then demanded to know why his government-sponsored healthcare didn't take effect until after one month in office. And his dad was a Nazi-supporter—not like a neo-Nazi supporter, but an actual Germany during World War II Nazi supporter. Hubris is too nice a word for what Andy Harris is about.

Vicky Hartzler of Missouri's 4th Congressional District is really most famous for being an anti-gay activist. Imagine if that was your claim to fame?

Kevin Hern of Oklahoma's 1st Congressional District is directly connected to arguably the single most corrupt official in recent Oklahoma history, Scott Pruitt. He's also been a big promoter of superspreader COVID-19 events.

Clay Higgins of Louisiana's 3rd Congressional District is a former Louisiana police officer who lost his job for what would be considered criminal behavior if he hadn't been on the unjust side of the thin blue line. He's also a scary racist fascist who believes in authoritarian rule.

Trey Hollingsworth of Indiana's 9th Congressional District believes that the hundreds of thousands of Americans dead from COVID-19 are the "lesser of these two evils." The other evil in that sentence is "our way of life as Americans."

Richard Hudson of North Carolina's 8th Congressional District is your run-of-the-mill, anti-women's rights, Obama birther conspiracy theorist, demands drug testing in exchange for food assistance Republican.

Bill Huizenga of Michigan's 2nd Congressional District has been investigated for corruption and has gone so far as to try and get rid of corruption laws that might conflict with his … corruption.

Bill Johnson of Ohio's 6th Congressional District is a big Islamophobe GOP official.That seems to be his main strength. Like many of the people on this list, Johnson came into office on the ultra-conservative tea party wave of 2010.

John Joyce of Pennsylvania's 13th Congressional District is new to the scene, but we now know one thing about his political ideology.

Fred Keller of Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District barely understands his own elections, let alone national ones.

Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District has been on board this election fraud train since suing to have Black people's votes in Pennsylvania nullified.

Trent Kelly of Mississippi's 1st Congressional District gave his in-person seal of approval on the Trump administration's family separation practices.

Steve King of Iowa's 4th Congressional District is a lame duck racist who would sign anything so long as the devil told him to.

David Kustoff of Tennessee's 8th Congressional District's biggest claim to fame is being a sort of poor man's Tom Cotton.

Darin LaHood of Illinois's 18th Congressional District took time away from trying to govern women's bodies with his Bible to sign off on treason!

Doug LaMalfa of California's 1st Congressional District has been promoting doubt about the Democratic process, with zero evidence, since the beginning of November. LaMalfa is a mixture of painfully pathetic xenophobia along with quoting the bible to deny climate science.

Doug Lamborn of Colorado's 5th Congressional District is the guy that continued to force his staff to work in the close proximity of his office during the current pandemic, and then reportedly told his staff not to tell their roommates about COVID-19 symptoms they were having after coming into contact with someone with COVID-19. Think about that.

Robert E. Latta of Ohio's 5th Congressional District has magically increased his wealth while in Washington by a reported 238%, and while he isn't the wealthiest Ohio Republican, he's made the biggest jump in wealth since entering office. Strange!

Debbie Lesko of Arizona's 8th Congressional District once said that the dozens of sexual assaults alleged against Donald Trump should be investigated and then promptly forgot all about that as she co-sponsored a bill that would require women to prove to their employers that they took birth control for reasons other than … birth control.

Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri's 3rd Congressional District's main function in the Republican Party is to figure out ways to allow payday lenders to launder their money.

Kenny Marchant of Texas's 24th Congressional District is retiring and throwing democracy under the bus as he walks out the door.

Roger Marshall of Kansas's 1st Congressional District is the kind of guy that runs away from answering questions and participating in debates while also plagiarizing other people's campaigns, because he has no ethical standards.

Tom McClintock of California's 4th Congressional District is the kind of guy that was still hanging out with right-wing criminal and strange lying machine Dinesh D'Souza.D'Souza is one of those guys that almost makes you feel bad for being a human being.

Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington's 5th Congressional District is a person that literally said she had made "protecting those with pre-existing conditions" a "priority" during her time in office. She voted to repeal those very protections nine times—as in one less than 10 times.

Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania's 9th Congressional District has called the Postal Service's dismantling by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy a "fabricated problem being pushed by Democrats."

Carol D. Miller of West Virginia's 3rd Congressional District has the distinction of being the only new woman Republican congressional member in the 2018 blue wave election cycle. Miller wants to make sure the other fascists in her party know that she, too, can be a fascist!

John Moolenaar of Michigan's 4th Congressional District's only claim to fame has been to vote against calling Donald Trump's racist statement against "the Squad" racist. This makes John Moolenaar a racist.

Alex X. Mooney of West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District was one of the dunderheaded crew of Matt Gaetz-led legislators breaking the law and threatening the country's national security in the hopes of being on camera

Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma's 2nd Congressional District doesn't know how many branches of government there are, nor does he understand how government works. He's clearly not alone in this.

Gregory Murphy of North Carolina's 3rd Congressional District told the public that the only reason Sen. Kamala Harris was chosen to be Joe Biden's running mate was because of "her color and her race." He finished that thought by wondering aloud if this was "how we pick our leaders now in America??" I guess Murphy is hoping that we just pick a white pseudo-billionaire to make important decisions for a majority of people that do not want him to.

Dan Newhouse of Washington's 4th Congressional District is one of the many Republican officials that recently contracted COVID-19.

Ralph Norman of South Carolina's 5th Congressional District brandished a loaded weapon during a constituent breakfast and placed it on the table in front of people discussing gun safety.

Scott Perry of Pennsylvania's 10th Congressional District once argued that God, as in the Judeo-Christian deity of the Bible, was an environmental polluter like, say, Duke Energy.

Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania's 14th Congressional District believes that the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police means that taxpayers should invest more money into police departments. He's also a guy that wrote a forward for an incredibly hate-filled book, and then said he hadn't read the book, even though his forward was about reading the writer's hate-filled work. U-S-A!

Tom Rice of South Carolina's 7th Congressional District spent weeks in the state legislature refusing to wear a mask indoors and then announced that he and his wife and his son had all tested positive for COVID-19.

John Rose of Tennessee's 6th Congressional District's big claim to fame was being one of the many Republicans, at different times, to block disaster relief help for Puerto Rico.

David Rouzer of North Carolina's 7th Congressional District is a Trump defender with all of the general Republican bonafides we have come to expect: tax breaks for the rich, voting against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, and being a part of the Gaetz impeachment crash party.

John Rutherford of Florida's 4th Congressional District has frequently been dragged on Twitter for the most racist and idiotic attacks on Democratic women of color.

Austin Scott of Georgia's 8th Congressional District recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Mike Simpson of Idaho's 2nd Congressional District took his head from out of his own ass long enough to sign on for fascism.

Adrian Smith of Nebraska's 3rd Congressional District sort of disappeared on his constituents, just like the rest of the Republican Party during this year's pandemic.

Jason Smith of Missouri's 8th Congressional District's great moment of cleverness was when he attacked the ACA for taxing tanning salons, saying Democrats might as well "tax the sun." He also spun it as a tax on women. Of course, Smith had a long history of attacking women in the legislature by trying to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as attacking children by voting against Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program funds.

Ross Spano of Florida's 15th Congressional District took time away from his campaign finance scandal, and losing his primary, to support another one-term corrupt politician.

Elise Stefanik of New York's 21st Congressional District is something of an easily verifiable liar. Let's all look forward to the day, likely a few weeks from now, when Stefanik tells a local news reporter that she never supported the wholesale destruction of the democratic process.

Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District is a big Second Amendment fella who has said things in the past like "You know, the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting. It's about safety. If someone is coming into my house in the middle of the night to hurt my family, I want as many bullets as possible." I guess he needs all the bullets to shoot holes in Democratically casted votes?

Tom Tiffany of Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District knows lots about election fraud and election law violations as he has been tied to all kinds of under-the-table, dirty, and likely illegal tricks to win his position in Wisconsin's legislature.

William Timmons of South Carolina's 4th Congressional District is most recently remembered for defending Trump's racism by saying everybody is being called racist and so nobody is racist. Trying to get rid of Black Americans' votes wholesale is a great example of an attempt at systemizing racism. Just a thought.

Ann Wagner of Missouri's 2nd Congressional District is one of the legislators in Congress with the least amount of votes on actual legislation. I guess she's lazy? She was one of the first Republican officials to stand in front of microphones and tell Americans that based on her high level of knowledge, from "multiple, multiple briefings at the federal level," she knew—as of March 7—that the United States was at a very "low risk" of having a COVID-19 pandemic. Ann Wagner should be disqualified from doing anything but eating oatmeal.

Tim Walberg of Michigan's 7th Congressional District is one of those "family values" Republicans who wants to take away everyone else's rights using the federal government.

Michael Waltz of Florida's 6th Congressional District is already having newspapers who endorsed him apologize for supporting sedition. This is one of those "never Trumpers" who very quickly began licking the boots of Donald Trump the moment Trump came into power.

Randy Weber of Texas's 14th Congressional District replaced Ron Paul in Congress. There's not much more that needs to be said. A second-rate version of Ron Paul, while better than the fifth-rate version of Paul that is Rand, is still worse than having an old can of Tab sitting in a seat and being your representative.

Daniel Webster of Florida's 11th Congressional District is … so much Florida!

Brad Wenstrup of Ohio's 2nd Congressional District just followed in the footsteps of Jim "I-turn-the-other-way-when-being-told-about-the-wholesale-molestation-of-young-people-I'm-supposed-to-be-in-charge-of" Jordan.

Bruce Westerman of Arkansas's 4th Congressional District has sat on top of a pile of logging industry money for years and shockingly (read: "not shockingly") has been a lead sponsor on some super anti-climate, pro-logging bits of legislation that attempt to hand our trees over to private industry for profit.

Roger Williams of Texas' 25th Congressional District is the guy that tried to pressure a bank to help out his flailing oil investor donor. Swamp stuff.

Joe Wilson of South Carolina's 2nd Congressional District loves to vote for American wars but not for healthcare funding for American veterans of said wars. He's almost a perfect Republican! He's also in a district that's drawn deeply red and acts like the petty little emperor he wants to be.

Rob Wittman of Virginia's 1st Congressional District was able to fly mostly under the radar for his attempts at profiteering off of the COVID-19 pandemic when he bought into a pharmaceutical company which was producing an antiviral drug that hoped to help with COVID-19 treatments, and at the exact same time emailing his constituents that there was no coronavirus pandemic in the United States, and you didn't need to worry about it. You know, like a real piece of shit.

Ron Wright of Texas's 6th Congressional District is a relatively new congressman, whose views on school mass shootings include calling for public hangings as a solution. Not working on the gun thing, just hanging people.

Ted S. Yoho of Florida's 3rd Congressional District is the soon-to-be retiring congressman from Florida who famously "didn't attend one single deposition" as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee when Congress was investigating Trump's Ukrainian bribery. He's also the sweetie pie who, in a confrontation with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez resorted to calling her a "fucking bitch," because his ability to debate matches the size of his courage.

Lee Zeldin of New York's 1st Congressional District is best known for his intense Islamophobia and his unerring and idiotic support of the Trump administration from Day One.

Remember these (mostly white) men (and a couple of white women). They are the people who hope to be a middle-management fascistic vanguard in an oligarchy for the rich.

Happy New Year!

Biden Selects Medicare Advocate Becerra For HHS Secretary

Former Congressman and current California attorney general Xavier Becerra has been tapped to become president-elect Joe Biden's secretary of health and human services. The New York Times reports that Becerra "became Mr. Biden's clear choice only over the last few days," but had been seemingly off the radar up until the last few days.

The 62-year-old Becerra became California's first Latino attorney general in 2017, succeeding the Senator-elect Kamala Harris. Becerra will have his job cut out for him as, like with everything over the past four years, the HHS has been turned into a swampy racist mess. His job has been further complicated by Trump and the Republican Party's insistence on sabotaging every department, including HHS, all while almost 300,000 Americans have died due to the out of control COVID-19 pandemic in our country.

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Attacked By Texas Republican, Sen. Markey Silently Drops Crushing Tweet On Him

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Sen. Ed Markey is the Massachusetts Democrat who has continued to move towards the more progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and the voters have rewarded him, first by defeating the strange Pelosi-supported primary bid by Rep. Joe Kennedy III and then by winning reelection to his Senate seat with a commanding 66.5 percent of the vote.

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Sen. Grassley, Who Hasn’t Missed Vote Since ’93, Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Early on Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley announced that he was quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19. By late afternoon, Grassley released a statement announcing that he had tested positive for the virus, saying "I'll be keeping up on my work for the people of Iowa from home … and I look forward to resuming my normal schedule when I can."

This is big news for a variety of reasons. One obvious reason is that the Republican Party, its terrible handling the COVID-19 pandemic, and their members' bad public health examples have led to the very real threats of sickness and death within their ranks. The other reason is that Chuck Grassley, up until today, had not missed a Senate vote since 1993. Being in actual COVID-19 quarantine will mean that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's attempts at further packing the courts during the lame duck session of Trump's tenure as corrupter in chief will not include Sen. Grassley's vote.

Losing Grassley today means that the loss McConnell took trying to get Judy Shelton (Trump's loony toon nominee for the Federal Reserve) through has been further hampered.

Trump’s Latest Grift Is His ‘Official Election Defense Fund’

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Early Friday evening, professor of law and political science at UC Irvine Rick Hasen tweeted out that "If you give money to Trump's recount/postelection litigation efforts, half of that money will go towards retiring his campaign debt instead, per the fine print." The tweet was accompanied by a screenshotof the purported fine print on one of the Trump campaign's fundraising emails, that said "50 percent of each contribution, up to a maximum of $2,800 ($5,000), to be designated toward DJTFP's 2020 general election debt retirement until such debt is retired." The emails have been sweatily sent out from the sinking garbage can fire called his campaign since Election Day.

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White House Failed To Disclose That Meadows Has Coronavirus

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for the coronavirus. Jennifer Jacobs of Bloomberg News reported that "Meadows informed a close circle of advisers after the election." Meadows becomes yet another member of the Trump administration to come down with the virus. Bloomberg also reports that Trump's campaign director of battleground strategy Nick Trainer has also tested positive for the virus.

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