Saturday, April 9, 2022

Something to Know - 9 April

There is a disease that has spread into the vital offices of our government.   It is a virus that was cooked up and intentionally released.   The origin of this sickness has been around for centuries, and it has had its moments of enough severity to take down civilizations.   It is a classic test-tube study of authoritarianism vs. democracy.  There is no vaccine for it, and no known cure.   Its culture of cynicism is borne in racism and thrives on the subjugation of eliminating those germs that do not look or act like themselves.    We are in the midst of an outbreak and we may all well die from it, unless we take appropriate actions.   Apathy and ignorance along with Racism is what keeps it going.   We have a Constitution, to which we look for guidance, but written into its amendments, are carefully crafted articles that allow the disease to exist.   What do we do?   Can this be peacefully rectified, or are we doomed for another Revolution?   Stay alert and forceful.  Do not expect it to be resolved by "others".

"I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free," Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson said today at a White House ceremony celebrating her confirmation to the Supreme Court. 

Also today, we learned that Donald Trump, Jr., texted Trump's White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on November 5, 2020, two days after the presidential election and two days before the media would call the election for President Elect Joe Biden: "We have operational control Total leverage…. Moral High Ground POTUS must start 2nd term now." 

The text, in the possession of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol and reviewed by CNN reporters Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen, and Annie Grayer, suggested that even before the election was called for Biden, Trump's people knew he would lose. Trump, Jr., offered a number of different ways in which Trump could nonetheless steal the election, most of which later materialized. Trump, Jr. apparently could not see why this would be a problem, since, "we have operational control." "It's very simple," he texted: "We have multiple paths[.] We control them all." 

At least some of Trump's inner circle were clearly conspiring to overturn our democracy. Just who was involved remains unclear to the public, although the January 6 Committee has more information than we do, not least because both Ivanka Trump, the former president's daughter, and Jared Kushner, her husband, both of whom acted as White House advisors, testified before the committee recently. Trump spoke with the committee virtually on Tuesday, for 8 hours. Kushner testified for several hours on March 31. 

Their cooperation stands in stark contrast to the refusal of the rest of Trump's senior advisors to respond to subpoenas. But on April 6, the January 6 committee received the 101 emails that Trump advisor John Eastman, the author of the Eastman memo laying out an illegal plan for Vice President Mike Pence to throw the election to Trump, had refused to hand over but that a federal judge, David Carter, reviewed and ordered released. In his decision, Carter wrote that it is "more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021."

The committee today secured cooperation from an important witness to the insurrection. Charles Donohoe, the leader of a chapter of the extremist Proud Boys in North Carolina, pleaded guilty this morning to conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding and to assaulting police officers. He has agreed to testify against his co-defendants.

Hugo Lowell at The Guardian reports today that the January 6 committee is focusing on cooperation between the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers in a plan to stop the certification of Biden's victory using physical force. The committee has reviewed video from Nick Quested, a documentary filmmaker who filmed a meeting between the two groups in a parking garage on January 5. It has focused even more closely, though, on 17 minutes filmed at the attack itself, along with communications between the Proud Boys and rally organizers including Ali Alexander and right-wing media personality Alex Jones. 

Quested testified before the January 6 committee on Tuesday. "They've done an incredible amount of hard work and have an exceptional grasp," Quested told Politico's Kyle Cheney.  He called the events of January 6 a "constitutional attack" that was "very serious."

The committee is digging into how organizers used social media to spread disinformation and plan the January 6 insurrection. Cristiano Lima and Aaron Schaffer of the Washington Post reported yesterday that the committee has been talking to experts on social media, disinformation, and online extremism, and has recently hired a new analyst to pull things together. Committee members are also looking into the ways in which key influencers used social media to push their plans.

Right-wing activist Ali Alexander also agreed today to comply with a grand jury subpoena from the Department of Justice, seeking information about the organization of the events surrounding January 6. This indicates that the Justice Department is looking broadly at people close to Trump and that prosecutors believe those people might have committed crimes. In a statement made through a lawyer, Alexander said: "I did nothing wrong, and I am not in possession of evidence that anyone else had plans to commit unlawful acts."

But in videos posted online and now deleted, Alexander boasted about his work planning the events of January 6. He claimed that he worked with Representatives Mo Brooks (R-AL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ),  and Andy Biggs (R-AZ) to put "maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting…so that who we couldn't lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside."

And yet, for all the new information about the January 6 attack on our democracy, Republican lawmakers are focusing elsewhere. Today, in an unprecedented attack by a senator on a newly confirmed Supreme Court justice, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released a video attacking Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. Although Graham voted to confirm Jackson to a Senate-confirmed judgeship just last year, yesterday he voted against her elevation to the Supreme Court. Today he said: "I voted no to Judge Jackson, and now I understand why the radical left wanted her so badly. She's a judicial activist, she gets the outcome she wants no matter how the law's written, when it comes to crime, her record is very, very dangerous."


Only drug dealers, cartel bosses, scam artists, and other criminals trying to hide use burner phones.

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