Bannon, post-conviction, lays out “polite threats” to Democrats

Steve Bannon lashed out at the House January 6 committee hours after being found guilty of contempt of Congress on Friday.

Speaking to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Bannon warned committee staffers that Republicans would have their own committee if they returned to power.

“We have to have a real January 6 committee, including to get to the staffers now and see about the lies and misrepresentations they put on the national television to defame people,” Bannon said…

Bannon said a Republican January 6 committee would look at “intelligence failures, FBI involvement, DHS involvement, the intelligence services, what happened to the Pentagon and the National Guard…”

As for Bannon’s blather … regardless of many displays of the facts he denies … the True Believers in Republican ranks who think the sun shines out Trump’s butt will believe anything they are told by their Fearless Leaders. NO CHANGE THERE.

The electoral, political and ethical struggle will take all the courage and devotion to truth that Democrats can muster. A wish that applies equally to the numbers who find no need or interest in either category of the 2-party lockstep surrounding political discourse in the patriot game. Still…a good time to join hands.

A year of Biden crying about an “imminent” wolf!

On Groundhog Day, February 2nd 2021, Biden said he’d stop his blather about an ‘imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine“.

TOPLINE White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday said the Biden Administration is no longer referring to a Russian invasion of Ukraine as “imminent,” saying it “sent a message that we weren’t intending to send” after Ukrainian officials blasted the White House for promoting what it claims is unnecessary alarm.

KEY FACTS Psaki said at a press briefing the wording may have caused confusion since it suggested Russian President Vladimir Putin had already decided to invade and military action was simply a matter of timing.

Though it is not clear if Putin has decided one way or the other, Psaki said the White House still believes “he could invade at any time.”

Ukrainian officials have repeatedly said the American government is overreacting to the threat so far, including its decision to evacuate nonemergency diplomatic employees from Ukraine last month.

Biden waited several days, then, resumed his threat of imminent war. I figured since we’re celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Biden’s fear-mongering, I’d wander back a year just to remind folks how long this has been “imminent”.

I have no access to any super reporting in Europe or the US that tells me when and/or if Putin is nutso enough to want to squash Ukraine to keep them from tying up with NATO. Nor, do I have any source that can verify Biden has offered the keys to the White House safe to Ukraine officials to get them to stop pointing out – at least to American reporters – that they ain’t worried; so, would he please shut up!

But, it’s been a year of “IMMINENT!”, Joe. Pick a new word, will you?

Mexico drafts legislation to respond to Trumpublican xenophobia


Reuters

❝ Miriam Grunstein is an attorney and former advisor to the Mexican Senate on energy and international law. Legislation has been proposed at the Mexican Senate that bans the use of public funds on any project that is “against the country’s interest.” That’s widely taken to mean the wall.

“Just because of, you know, tantrums, we could really waste a golden opportunity of uniting,” Grunstein said.

❝ The proposed Mexican legislation would lead to a review of some of the most fundamental treaties between the two countries, among them the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe. The treaty ceded Texas and California, as well as parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming to the U.S.

❝ The bill also states, “in cases where the assets of our fellow citizens or companies are affected by a foreign government, as Donald Trump has threatened, the Mexican government should proportionally expropriate assets and properties of foreigners from that country on our territory.”

Translated that means that should Trump follow through on threats to expand the wall, withdraw U.S. participation in NAFTA or stop remittances, Mexico could target U.S. assets in Mexico. Assets estimated by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative at over $100 billion.

Trump’s blather seems to have drawn a film of ignorance over the brains of many papier-mache journalists. Favorite example? Financial analysts who wonder why housing construction “suddenly” lacks sufficient skilled and/or experienced labor to meet demand.

Reason 1: Greedy contractors who put Mexican immigrant labor to work for cheaper than trained native workers. Driving the latter from that jobs market a couple of decades ago.

Reason 2: The Great Bush Recession killed many of those jobs. Folks went back to Mexico. Harder to return, now – especially since many of those who returned to Mexico now have jobs back home. Why come here to get their chops busted all over again?

Fake news provokes Pakistan Minister to aim a nuclear threat at Israel

❝ A fake news article led to gunfire at a Washington pizzeria three weeks ago. Now it seems that another fake news story has prompted the defense minister of Pakistan to threaten to go nuclear.

The defense minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, wrote a saber-rattling Twitter post directed at Israel on Friday after a false report — which the minister apparently believed — that Israel had threatened Pakistan with nuclear weapons. Both countries have nuclear arsenals.

“Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh,” the minister wrote on his official Twitter account, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.”

❝ Mr. Asif appeared to be reacting to a fake news article published on awdnews.com.

That story, with the typo-laden headline “Israeli Defense Minister: If Pakistan send ground troops to Syria on any pretext, we will destroy this country with a nuclear attack,” appeared on the website on Dec. 20, alongside articles with headlines like “Clinton is staging a military coup against Trump.”

The fake story about Israel even misidentified the country’s defense minister, attributing quotations to a former minister, Moshe Yaalon. Israel’s current minister of defense is Avigdor Lieberman.

❝ The Israeli Defense Ministry responded on Twitter to say the report was fictitious.

Legitimate news sources haven’t had much of a problem in decades with promulgating fake news. Perhaps, online profiteers might consider moving beyond copouts. Even a sleazy neighborhood bar requires proof of age. Algorithms could be a sufficient first-level challenge.

Kentucky governor joins the chorus of Republicans forecasting Blood in the Streets if Hillary elected

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin told religious conservatives at the Values Voters Summit Sept. 9 that blood might have to be shed if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

“I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically,” Bevin said Saturday. “But that may, in fact, be the case.”

He added, citing Thomas Jefferson’s “blood of patriots and tyrants” quote: “The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood. Of who? The tyrants, to be sure. But who else? The patriots. Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren.”…

Bevin, a tea party supporter who has been known to make a controversial comment or two, clarified his comments to the Lexington Herald-Leader, saying blah, blah, blah. The usual craptastic clarification ritual required for right-wing nutballs to cover their butts over advocating/foretelling violence, anarchy and insurrection…

Bevin’s comments echo a tea party rallying cry that has cropped up from time to time. Activists and even some lawmakers have cited Jefferson’s quote to reinforce the stakes for their political movement.

As for the 2016 campaign, Bevin’s comments are the latest example of elected officials promising very bad things if the wrong candidate is elected…Former congresswoman Michele Bachmann warned recently that a Clinton win might mean this could be the “last election” in which Americans would be able to elect a president with “godly moral principles…”

Conservative talk show hosts have warned of even worse, up to and including civil war. But Bevin’s comments appear to be the most full-throated warning about a Clinton presidency so far from a high-ranking GOP elected official.

Easy to blame demagogues. Half the responsibility must be laid at the feet of fools who vote thugs like this into office. It doesn’t matter if their excuse is ignorance or stupidity. They lined up in support of fear-mongering.

Coppers rate sovereign citizen sect of right-wing nutballs more dangerous than ISIS

For decades, in courthouses and government offices all across the US, people have been filing bizarrely worded pseudo-legal documents filled with strange symbols, secret coded language, and even bloody fingerprints in an effort to unlock secret bank accounts set up for them by the evil impostor government that runs this country.

These people call themselves “sovereign citizens,” and the complex symbolism they use in these documents offers a fascinating insight into the beliefs and practices of a fringe movement whose prominence in America has grown over the past few decades and whose ideology overlaps with that of many other, often more dangerous, far-right extremist movements in the US, including groups like the militia that recently took over a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.

The sovereign citizens movement is a far-right anti-government extremist movement in the US that believes the government — at all levels, local, state, and federal — is illegitimate and has enslaved the American people.

Their belief system is complex and rooted in a series of bizarre conspiracy theories that hold that the original US government set up by the Founding Fathers has been replaced with an evil secret government that has sold all US citizens into slavery by using them as collateral against foreign debt.

As explained by the Southern Poverty Law Center, they believe the government creates a secret alternate identity for each American at birth and sets up a secret US Treasury account — sort of like a corporate “trust” — under that alternate identity. The US government funds these “corporate shell” accounts to the tune of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars…

Part of their proof is that birth certificates and other government documents, said to represent this scheme, put names in all capital letters. So whereas Jennifer Williams is the real person, JENNIFER WILLIAMS is the secret Treasury account…

According to the FBI, which considers this a domestic terrorist movement, “By declaring themselves ‘sovereign citizens,’ they believe that they are emancipated from the responsibilities of being a U.S. citizen, including paying taxes, possessing a state driver’s license, or obeying the law…”

These beliefs may be nutty, but the groups are quite serious. A 2014 survey asked US law enforcement officials to rank terrorist threats to the United States. They ranked sovereign citizens as the highest threat — with Islamic extremists coming in second.

I’m not wasting time or space detailing the crap dementia of these fools. RTFA if you want a cold, shuddery chuckle. Just understand, this level of paranoia is at the root of a number of run-ups to violence – with phony patriotic names – in this land.

Cardinal Mahony versus the Truth


Washing away responsibility is as easy as ignoring crimes

No member of the Roman Catholic hierarchy fought longer and more energetically than Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles to conceal the decades-long scandal involving the rape and intimidation of children by rogue priests. For years, the cardinal withheld seamy church records from parents, victims and the public, brandishing endless litigation and fatuous claims of confidentiality.

The breadth of Cardinal Mahony’s cover-up became shockingly clear last week with the release in court of archdiocese records detailing how he and a top aide concocted cynical strategies to keep police authorities in the dark and habitual offenders beyond the reach of criminal prosecution.

“Sounds good — please proceed!” the cardinal, now retired, instructed in 1987 after the aide, Msgr. Thomas Curry, cautioned against therapy for one confessed predator — lest the therapist feel obliged to tell authorities and scandalize the archdiocese. The two discussed another priest, Msgr. Peter Garcia, who admitted specializing in the rape of Latino immigrant children and threatened at least one boy with deportation if he complained. Cardinal Mahony ordered that he stay out of California after his release from a New Mexico treatment center out of fear that “we might very well have some type of legal action filed in both the criminal and civil sectors.” Monsignor Curry worried that there might be 20 young people able to identify the priest in “first-degree felony” cases.

It was the cardinal’s obligation under the primacy of secular law to instantly notify authorities of any priest’s criminal behavior. Instead, he invoked a nonexistent church privilege to hide miscreant clergy and shield the church and his own reputation. Cardinal Mahony has repeatedly apologized in recent years and insisted that the archdiocese was mending its ways. A lawyer for the archdiocese insisted that the scandal and the cardinal’s cover-up were “part of the past.” Not really. While statutes of limitations on possible criminal charges may have run out, Cardinal Mahony and his former aide could be deposed in civil suits. Monsignor Curry also managed to advance up the hierarchical ladder and would seem to merit instant removal from his current post as auxiliary bishop for Santa Barbara.

Religions that reward corruption and collusion deserve investigation and special watchdogs. We do it to corporations which persistently operate outside the laws of state and civil decency. Seems to me there’s no reason to exempt the Roman Catholic church from the same sort of scrutiny.

And speaking of exemptions — how about paying taxes?

Young Indian woman fights to annul her child marriage

A 20-year-old girl has sought protection by the Rajasthan authorities from members of a village community council who, she says, are threatening her with serious consequences if she did not accept her childhood marriage, officials said Monday.

She also requested the district administration officials to annul her marriage that was solemnised when she was a mere five-year old, they added.

The girl, Rekha Kumari, is a resident of Peepar city area of the district, some 330 km from state capital Jaipur.

“She filed an application before the local sub-divisional officer Sunday, requesting security from a village community council or panchayat. She says that they were threatening to expel her from the locality, which means she and her family members would not be able to mingle with other villagers. It also warned of slapping huge cash fines on her and her family members if she did not accept the marriage,” a senior district administration officer told IANS.

The officer said that Rekha is doing graduation from a government college in Peepar city. She was married with the consent of her grandfather when she was only five years old

“After the death of her grandfather recently, her so-called in-laws started pressuring the girl to start living with them which she refused as the boy she was married to is hardly literate,” said the officer. He added that the in-laws then approached the village panchayat members who started threatening the girl.

The police are waiting to see if threats escalate before they intervene – which is scary enough. Though child marriage is technically illegal in India, like a lot of leftover cultural practices, community response can be deadly.