Oath Keeper planned coordinated action with Proud Boys before riot


Reuters

A reputed leader in the Oath Keepers militia group discussed forming an “alliance” and coordinating plans with another extremist group, the Proud Boys, ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, according to new court papers.

The court filing — detailing messages from Kelly Meggs, described by authorities as the leader of the Florida chapter of the Oath Keepers — is the first time prosecutors have suggested that the members of the two far-right extremist groups were communicating with each other before coming to Washington.

Meggs is among 10 members and associates of the Oath Keepers charged with plotting to stop the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. The case against those affiliated with the Oath Keepers is the largest conspiracy case brought by prosecutors so far in the attack.

Several members of the Proud Boys, who describe themselves as a politically incorrect men’s club for “Western chauvinists,” have also been charged with conspiring to obstruct Congress.

On Dec. 19, Meggs wrote in a Facebook message that he “organized an alliance” between the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and Florida Three Percenters, an anti-government movement.

We have decided to work together and shut this s—t down,” Meggs wrote…

No surprises…other than these ego-smitten, middle class reactionaries didn’t have the smarts to keep from bragging before, during and after the fact about their plan to disrupt the constitutionally-required counting of ballots.

Republican Party still trying to block the Equal Rights Amendment

…The Equal Rights Amendment, which passed Congress in 1972 and would amend the Constitution to give women equal standing under the law, is on the verge of ratification. Within the next few weeks, Virginia is expected to become the 38th state to ratify the ERA, clearing the Constitutional threshold for ratification, which is three-fourths of the states.

Already, Republicans are in court trying to block the ERA’s inclusion in the Constitution. At the end of December, three GOP attorneys general filed a suit in a federal court in Alabama to block the ERA’s ratification, arguing that it’s not constitutional…

The litigation marks the start of a new chapter in the decadeslong fight to get women’s rights into the Constitution…

“It’s kind of disturbing that in 2020 that any state would spend resources trying to maintain women’s second-class citizenship in this country,” Wendy Murphy said.

Some Democratic attorneys general also put out a strong statement…lambasting their Republican counterparts for being on the wrong side of history.

Nothing surprising to me about today’s Republican Party dedicating all its resources to reactionary and bigoted causes. Is anyone actually surprised?

Georgia politicians shut down abortion rights. Netflix will answer by shutting down production.


Click to enlargeJoeff Davis

❝ Netflix has become the first major Hollywood company to take a stand against Georgia’s recent passage of a strict abortion law, with chief content officer Ted Sarandos saying Tuesday that the streaming giant would “rethink our entire investment in Georgia” if legislation known as the “heartbeat bill” became state law…

“We have many women working on productions in Georgia, whose rights, along with millions of others, will be severely restricted by this law,” Sarandos said in a statement. “It’s why we will work with the ACLU and others to fight it in court. Given the legislation has not yet been implemented, we’ll continue to film there — while also supporting partners and artists who choose not to. Should it ever come into effect, we’d rethink our entire investment in Georgia…”

❝ The bill’s passage earlier this month comes as Georgia has become a vital production hub for the film and TV industries. The region known “Y’allywood” is responsible for more than 92,100 jobs and nearly $4.6 billion in total wages in the state, according to the MPAA. State officials said that for the fiscal year ending June 30 film and TV production generated $2.7 billion in direct spending.

Boycotts are a time-honored tool against racism in the Confederacy and across the United States. The tactic is overdue IMHO against bible-thumping bigots who would impede women’s rights. They deserve the same opportunity to feel the hurt where they care the most. In their wallets.

Need a reminder? Republican Congressional candidate, “I do not support a livable wage”

❝ With two weeks until the election, Republican candidate Karen Handel has given her Democratic opponent a gift-wrapped present in the special election for an open Georgia House seat.

At a debate on Tuesday, Handel said that she did not support a “livable wage” because she’s a conservative, not a liberal. Immediately, Democrat Jon Ossoff pounced on the admission, releasing an ad highlighting his support for the living wage.

❝ “This is an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative: I do not support a livable wage,” Handel said…“What I support is making sure that we have an economy that is robust with low taxes and less regulation.”…

❝ Handel’s remarks, which were widely reported in the media, may prove another example of how conservative policy orthodoxy — rather than Donald Trump’s many scandals — are dragging down Republican candidates in congressional and state elections.

Some pundits have argued that Trump’s low approval ratings and Russia-related scandals are helping to sink Republican candidates nationally. But opposition to a living wage is well-entrenched as Republican Party dogma, going back decades. By contrast, though he’s taken contradictory positions, Trump began his campaign by running on increasing the minimum wage to $10 an hour. It’s a position many of his voters supported. Republicans’ unpopular opposition on minimum wage hikes isn’t something they can pin on Trump.

Seattle is the best example of lying Republicans trying to hide from their opposition to an increased minimum wage. This instantly becomes disposable income – helping the wallets of folks who need a wage increase the most.

As for the Republican yawner about tax cuts and deregulation giving us a booming economy, take a look back at the Republican economies that started with this crap and ended with recessions or depressions. From Herbert Hoover to George W. Bush.

Trump gives up on forcing TWITTER to turn over names of anti-Trump opposition users

❝ The U.S. government has dropped its request for Twitter to produce records that could identify users behind an account opposed to President Donald Trump…

As a result, Twitter is withdrawing a federal lawsuit that challenged the government’s request. On Thursday, Twitter charged that efforts by the government to “unmask” the people behind the account violated the First Amendment

❝ “The speed with which the government buckled shows just how blatantly unconstitutional its demand was in the first place,” American Civil Liberties Union attorney Esha Bhandari said in a statement. Bhandari represents the unidentified person or people behind the Twitter account.

❝ The account in question is @ALT_uscis, a reference to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. In the two months of its existence, the account has been critical of the Trump administration’s immigration policies. The account described its users to The Associated Press in February as employees and former employees of the agency.

The account is one of dozens of rogue Twitter accounts that have sprung up since Trump took office, purporting to represent current or former federal employees at various agencies who oppose the administration’s policies. Other such “alternative” — or “alt” — accounts include @Alt_CDC for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and @AltUSEPA for the Environmental Protection Agency…

I think someone must have explained the First Amendment to Trump. Not that he’d agree with most of the Bill of Rights. He’s just stuck with it.

Republicans turn Sessions vote into a vote of approval for racism and bigotry


“Here comes another kissy-kiss from the Klan”

Sen. Mitch McConnell used a little known Senate bylaw to stop Sen. Elizabeth Warren from using the words of Dr. Martin Luther King’s widow to question Trump’s pick for U.S. Attorney General on Tuesday night.

The Democrat from Massachusetts was about to speak of Session’s voting record on domestic violence when McConnell said Warren was “impugning the motives and conduct” of Sen. Jeff Sessions with Coretta Scott King’s 1986 letter opposing his failed judicial appointment.

The March 19, 1986 letter Warren recited was addressed to former South Carolina Sen. James Thurmond and stated Sessions used his position of power “in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.”

McDonnell accused Warren of violating Senate Rule 19, which prohibits lawmakers from impugning a colleague’s conduct on the floor.

“I am surprised that the words of Coretta Scott King are not suitable for debate in the United States Senate,” Warren fired back…

The GOP majority Senate found Warren in violation of impugning Session’s conduct with a 49-43 vote, prohibiting Warren from speaking for the rest of the debate.

Yes, it comes to this. The words of Coretta Scott King aren’t white enough to please Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party. The party of racist innuendo has become an open voice for racism and bigotry. The party of racism now uses its majority position to silence critics even from the grave.