Flip-Flop Champion says McConnell must work with Trump if he wants to stay as a Party Leader


The Republican Senator from South Carolina

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham urged Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to rekindle a “working relationship” with former president Donald Trump after the pair fell out over Trump’s conduct in the wake of his defeat in the 2020 election…

While some Republican lawmakers have conceded that the former president’s influence is too great over the voter base to sever ties, other members wish to forge a GOP in which he is not a major player. Trump’s endorsement is still considered valuable for any aspiring Republican representative, and the former president has found a way to wield this power to shape the party.

The NATIONAL REVIEW has championed the most conservative elements in Americn politics since its founding in 1955 by William F.Buckley and friends. They’ve tiptoed forth-and-back for decades aiming to be the official voice of an ascendant Right Wing…free of centrist accommodation. Whatever that means, this week.

FBI now has authority to access corporate computers without owners’ knowledge or consent


<–The only Feds I trust

The FBI has the authority right now to access privately owned computers without their owners’ knowledge or consent, and to delete software. It’s part of a government effort to contain the continuing attacks on corporate networks running Microsoft Exchange software, and it’s an unprecedented intrusion that’s raising legal questions about just how far the government can go.

On April 9, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas approved a search warrant allowing the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out the operation.

The software the FBI is deleting is malicious code installed by hackers to take control of a victim’s computer. Hackers have used the code to access vast amounts of private email messages and to launch ransomware attacks. The authority the Justice Department relied on and the way the FBI carried out the operation set important precedents. They also raise questions about the power of courts to regulate cybersecurity without the consent of the owners of the targeted computers.

Have we reached one of those dream-state moments when lawyers and judges rollover, stick all four feet in the air and declare “oh, what a good boy am I!” … just for being obedient and unthinking?

Which conspiracy theory do you think is the truth?

Everyone believes at least one conspiracy theory,” says Asbjørn Dyrendal, a professor in NTNU’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies who specializes in conspiracy theories.

The more conspiracy theories you bring up, the more people answer yes to one of them.

That fact leads American conspiracy researcher Joseph Uscinski at the University of Miami to posit that all people believe in at least one conspiracy theory. Dyrendal basically agrees, but he modifies Uscinski’s statement slightly, saying all people believe some conspiracy theory “a little.”

As they do in many belief systems, degrees of belief can add up and sooner or later a generalized accumulation of quantitative beliefs topples over into a qualitative change. You’re now convinced.

It’s a conspiracy.

Phony campaign to smear Mayor Pete

❝ On April 29 someone shared a post titled “Pete Buttigieg Sexually Assaulted Me” on Medium, a site that lets anyone upload stories, essays and any other bit of text. It was attributed to a college student named Hunter Kelly.

Within hours, the fake allegation against the South Bend, Indiana mayor and Democratic presidential candidate would begin to crumble, and the real story — the story of the smear campaign — would emerge…

❝ According to Kelly, the scheme started when Jacob Wohl, a far-right internet personality, messaged Kelly on Instagram. “Do you want to be part of a political operation?” the message said, according to a copy reviewed by CNN.

Kelly, a 21-year-old, gay, Donald Trump-supporter, was intrigued. On Sunday, the Michigan native took a late flight to the Washington area booked for him by Wohl and Jack Burkman, a Republican lobbyist and a conspiracy theorist…

Hunter Kelly was sickened by the plan to produce a phony account of sexual assault by Mayor Pete. Wohl and Burkman went ahead with their plan, anyway. Apparently, they didn’t expect Kelly to speak up once they had the plot rolling.

They were wrong.

Student yanked off flight for cellphone conversation about chicken dinner – in Arabic


The crime of Flying while Muslim

A college student who came to the United States as an Iraqi refugee was removed from a Southwest Airlines flight in California earlier this month after another passenger became alarmed when she heard him speaking Arabic.

The student, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, a senior at the University of California, Berkeley, was taken off a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Oakland on April 6 after he called an uncle in Baghdad to tell him about an event he attended that included a speech by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

“I was very excited about the event so I called my uncle to tell him about it,” he said.

He told his uncle about the chicken dinner they were served and the moment when he got to stand up and ask the secretary general a question about the Islamic State, he said. But the conversation seemed troubling to a nearby passenger, who told the crew she overheard him making “potentially threatening comments,” the airline said in a statement.

Mr. Makhzoomi, 26, knew something was wrong as soon as he finished his phone call and saw that a woman sitting in front of him had turned around in her seat to stare at him, he said. She headed for the airplane door soon after he told his uncle that he would call again when he landed, and qualified it with a common phrase in Arabic, “inshallah,” meaning “god willing.”

“That is when I thought, ‘Oh, I hope she is not reporting me,’ because it was so weird,” Mr. Makhzoomi said.

That is exactly what happened

An Arabic-speaking Southwest Airlines employee of Middle Eastern or South Asian descent came to his seat and escorted him off the plane a few minutes after his call ended, he said. The man introduced himself in Arabic and then switched to English to ask, “Why were you speaking Arabic in the plane?”

The employee spoke to him “like I was an animal.”…“I said to him, ‘This is what Islamophobia got this country into,’ and that made him so angry. That is when he told me I could not go back on the plane.”

Law enforcement officials arrived shortly after Mr. Makhzoomi accused the airline employee of anti-Muslim bias, he said. He was brought into the terminal and searched in front of a crowd of onlookers while half a dozen police officers, including one with a dog, stood watch.

Three agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived and brought him into a private room where they questioned him, he said…A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. in Los Angeles, Ari Dekofsky, confirmed that agents responded to the airport that day but had found there to be no threat. “We determined that no further action was necessary,”…

Mr. Makhzoomi was able to book a new flight on Delta Air Lines and arrived in Oakland eight hours after he originally planned. He said he has no plans to pursue legal action against Southwest Airlines but he does want the company to apologize for the way its employees treated him.

Politically correct speech and behavior is a practice that originated with our Right-wingers and is institutionalized throughout our culture. Republican candidates lie about PC and try to lay it off as a Liberal phenomenon – mostly because they don’t wish to deal with the racism and bigotry of American linguistics.

Chickenshit politicians blather with false pride about everything from menstruation to racism, rejecting criticism as political correctness. At the same time, they consider discriminatory behavior like this event justified as better safe than sorry. A funny way to describe ignorance and cowardice.

BTW, I date American PC from the time I witnessed “In God We Trust” put on our currency and “Under God” stuffed into the Pledge of Allegiance. By the craven politicians who knelt before the very politically-correct Joseph McCarthy.

Chamber of Commerce = right-wing extremists with the biggest budget in the USA

In 1912, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was created at the behest of President William Howard Taft as a business counterweight to the growing labor movement.

To say it was a success is an understatement. While organized labor has languished, the Chamber has become the single largest lobbying organization in the country. According to Open Secrets, a site that tracks political lobbying and spending, during the past 18 years the Chamber has spent three times more than any other organization on behalf of industry – $1.2 billion versus $351 million by the No. 2 lobbying group, the National Association of Realtors.

This is of great interest in the context of the Chamber’s opposition to the new fiduciary rules for retirement accounts, requiring brokers to put savers’ interests ahead of their own. Opposing the fiduciary standard may be pro-Wall Street, but it’s anti-small business.

So I decided to do a bit of digging to find out where the Chamber’s advocacy pits it against broader business interests. What I found was that the Chamber is at odds with the interests of some, if not most, of its membership in three other areas: climate change, minimum wages and tobacco.

Examination of other positions leads to the conclusion that the Chamber isn’t so much an advocate for industry as much as it is a conservative think tank.

On climate change, consider that 94 percent of Chamber campaign contributions went to candidates who were climate-change deniers…

Not surprisingly, this has provoked a considerable backlash. In 2009, Apple, the world’s largest company by market value, left the Chamber over its position on climate change. Yahoo left for the same reason in 2011. Athletic apparel powerhouse Nike resigned from the Chamber’s board, though it remained a member in order to press the organization to alter its positions. More recently, Nike joined with 100 other companies to support President Barack Obama’s proposed regulations on carbon emissions…

Ignoring those companies opposed to the Chamber’s stand on climate change is easy. Why? Money, of course. A third of the Chamber’s revenue comes from just 19 companies, many of them in the energy industry.

The case of pharmacy giant CVS Health is also instructive. In 2014, it became the first big drug-store chain to remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from its stores — the reasoning being that it’s in a business related to health care. The following year, after reports that the Chamber was working around the world to fight antismoking measures, CVS decided to drop its membership.

Another schism between the Chamber and most of its membership is over the minimum wage. The Washington Post reported that leaked documents from Republican pollster Frank Luntz showed that 80 percent of business owners supported raising the pay floor…

The Chamber is opposed to a higher minimum wage…

When an organization chartered to represent nation-wide interests deliberately chooses to ignore the needs and wants of the whole class premised in that charter it deserves to be dissolved.

Should that include Congress as well as the Chamber of Commerce?

Thanks to my favorite Recovering Republican.

Homeland Security chose to ignore anti-government movement, militias


Daryl Johnson + whistle blowing = office shutdown by Homeland Security

Daryl Johnson once worked in the branch of the Department of Homeland Security that studied the threats posed by antigovernment groups. His former office was shut down more than five years ago.

But when members of an armed group took over a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon last week, Mr. Johnson was not surprised.

In 2009, the former analyst wrote a report that warned of a growing antigovernment movement and the possible recruitment of returning military veterans that could “lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone-wolf extremists.

His words drew fierce criticism from Republican lawmakers and conservative news media, labeling the report an unfair assessment of legitimate criticisms of the government. The document was retracted after Janet Napolitano, who was then the Homeland Security secretary, apologized to veterans, and the Extremism and Radicalization Branch was quietly dismantled.

Now, as the takeover of the remote federal wildlife preserve enters its second week, a renewed focus is being placed on the so-called militia movement and on the efforts of the federal government, particularly the Department of Homeland Security, to identify and combat potential threats.

First, RTFA. It describes the abandonment of any consideration of right-wing domestic terrorism once the furor over Timothy McVeigh’s mass murder in Oklahoma City had died down. This was followed by Bush’s bright, shiny new Department of Homeland Security – cowed by the Republican Party, cringing in the corner they painted themselves into through fear of right-wing mobs like the Tea Party created by creeps like the two Dicks, Armey and Cheney.

The rebirth of proto-fascist militias was inevitable. Between a racist base, redemption-seeking religious fundamentalists and the lineage of conservative anarchists who reject republican government, American history is always ready to reap what was sown by the Confederacy.

The cowardice of Establishment Liberals from the time of Bill Clinton through Barack Obama parallels their distant kin before the Civil War. Importing slaves was made illegal in 1808. The law was never enforced. The market for slave-produced profits was too great for Union liberals to confront. Peace at any price is always acceptable to both liberals and conservatives if the profits are dispersed sufficiently.

So, we can expect studies, panels, reports, press conferences and more tiptoeing around the fact that American-born right-wing extremists kill a helluva lot more Americans than any Islamist nutballs.

Gun-toting idjit militias grew by more than one-third in the last year


Just another militia — less camo

In its annual count of militias…the Southern Poverty Law Center identified 276 militia groups – up from 202 in 2014, a 37 percent increase.

The number represents a renewal of growth after several years of declines. The movement grew explosively after President Obama was elected, from 42 groups in 2008 to a peak of 334 in 2011 before declining in recent years.

What’s happening in Oregon was entirely predictable.

“We believe these armed extremists have been emboldened by what they saw as a clear victory at the Cliven Bundy ranch and the fact that no one was held accountable for taking up arms against agents of the federal government,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.

Among the militiamen occupying buildings at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, are Cliven Bundy’s sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy.

“When the federal government was stopped from enforcing the law at gunpoint, it energized the entire movement,” Beirich said. “The fact is, Bundy is still a free man and has not paid the money he owes to the federal government – and the militiamen who aimed rifles at federal agents have gotten away with it.”

Take a peek sometime at the Hatewatch Blog — another jog in the road to insanity preferred by the mixture of gun nuts and racist rightwing anarchists.