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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,624

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The Biggest Takeaway From the First Night of the Jan. 6 Hearings Was About Mike Pence

(Slate) On Thursday, the House select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 attack held the first of a series of summer hearings to illuminate the findings of their year-long investigation into the Donald Trump-inspired insurrection and attack on the Capitol.

Ranking member Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming led a compelling 30-minute introduction that featured new footage of interviews with key witnesses including former Attorney General William Barr, Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner, and Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump. While many of the new details in these video snippets merely expanded on information already known, there were a series of crucial revelations about Vice President Mike Pence: Basically, it was confirmed that Pence was acting as president on Jan. 6, even as he was being hunted by a mob that Donald Trump had virtually sent after him.

First, Cheney expanded on last month’s blockbuster reporting by Politico that “Trump had signaled a positive view of the prospect of hanging the vice president.” The critical new details stated by Cheney were this:

Aware of the rioters’ chants to hang Mike Pence, the president responded with this sentiment: “Maybe our supporters have the right idea.” Mike Pence “deserves it.”

This followed Trump’s rally at which he told his supporters he would be disappointed if Pence didn’t single-handedly overturn the election results during the electoral college certification. It was also around the time that he tweeted “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution” as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol chanting for Pence’s head.

During the riots, Pence was escorted to safety by secret service agents, even as the mob swarmed the inside of the Capitol rotunda. As president, it was Trump’s duty to restore order to the nation’s government and call off the mob he had sent after Pence. But it was actually Pence that was issuing the orders for the military to send the National Guard. Those troops would eventually clear the Capitol. ...........(more)


This video......

..... is taking me back to how surreal that day was. I'm getting (bad) chills.

FBI arrests pro-Trump Michigan governor candidate who stood on Capitol steps on Jan. 6

Ryan Kelley, a pro-Trump candidate for governor in Michigan, has been arrested by the FBI following a Thursday morning raid on his house, reports Crain's Detroit.

It is not immediately clear what charges have been filed against Kelley, whom polls show was lead in the primary to be the Michigan Republican Party's candidate for governor. .......(more)


State Senate Democrats walk out of hearing over bill to ban teaching about systemic racism

(Detroit Metro Times) Two Democratic state senators walked out of a committee hearing Tuesday in protest of a bill that critics say will prevent teachers from frankly discussing racism in classrooms.

Sens. Erika Geiss, D-Taylor, and Sen. Dayna Polehanki, who are both former teachers, said they refused to participate in the Senate Education and Career Readiness Committee, where Republicans were advocating the passage of House Bill 5097.


The bill, which passed the House in November, would prohibit schools from teaching any curriculum that includes the “promotion of any form of race or gender stereotyping or anything that could be understood as implicit race or gender stereotyping.”

In November, House Democrats walked out of a meeting after Republican leadership prevented Rep. Cynthia Johnson, D-Detroit, who is Black, from addressing the legislation.

“I’m tired of white legislators lecturing black people that the U.S. is post-racial and that things like ‘privilege’ or ‘oppression’ based on race no longer exist,” Polehanki, a former teacher, tweeted after walking out of the meeting. “These bills are designed to terrify teachers into avoiding any meaningful discussion about racial discrimination.” ..............(more)


Brightline aims to start Orlando service by Christmas, Edens says

WASHINGTON — Brightline trains to Orlando aim to be in operation “hopefully by Christmastime,” Fortress Investment Group co-CEO and Brightline chairman Wes Edens said Tuesday.

Edens made the comment during a “Washington Post Live” event on the future of transportation. He also said he hoped construction would be under way on the Brightline West project between Las Vegas and Southern California by then, with that line in operation three years later.

Edens told the Post there are 20 city pairs Brightline considers “really compelling” for similar rail passenger service, and believes that once the current projects provide proof of concept, similar operations will be developed over the next 10 to 20 years. ...........(more)


Name and Shame White Christian Nationalism, the Ideology Behind Jan. 6

Name and Shame White Christian Nationalism, the Ideology Behind Jan. 6
Democrats should insist that Republicans denounce this racist, undemocratic ideology as a danger to our country—and to Americans’ safety.

Wajahat Ali
Published Jun. 09, 2022 4:49AM ET

Democrats have an opportunity to serve the majority of the American people during the six investigative hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. But they will fail unless they name and shame the increasingly violent ideology of former President Donald Trump’s acolytes: white Christian nationalism.

Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin has promised that the House select committee’s exhaustive findings from over 1,000 witnesses will “blow the roof off the House” by revealing “concerted planning and premeditated activity” by Trump, the White House, and MAGA allies (still) trying to overthrow a free and fair election.

However, in order to truly connect the dots for the American public, Democrats, and their two Republican fellow committee members, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, have to put a label on the underlying white supremacist narrative that has now gone mainstream in the GOP.

Christian nationalism believes in the enduring and dangerous “deep story” that America is a special nation divinely favored by God and entrusted to white Christians as its sovereign protectors, in order to implement and spread the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. These “Christian” values and morals are allegedly under active threat and assault by “invaders”—who presently include feminists, LGBTQ+, Jews, people of color, Muslims, immigrants, and essentially anyone who opposes their proposed theocratic state.

In this worldview, America can only be made “great” again if we return to its previous natural order, in which white Christian patriarchy reigned supreme. Violence, as blessed and rationalized by a militarized reading of the Gospel and a belief in a warrior Jesus, is justified to “take back” the country by any means necessary. ..............(more)


The Jan. 6 Committee Should Keep Calling It an Attempted Coup

The Jan. 6 Committee Should Keep Calling It an Attempted Coup
Analysis by Timothy L. O'Brien | Bloomberg

When a pro-Trump mob laid siege to the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, several people died and scores were injured, including some 140 police officers. Windows were smashed. Desks were overturned. Feces were smeared on the Capitol’s walls.

But the attack wasn’t just a depraved and violent episode: It also required the evacuation of the Capitol, disrupting the confirmation of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. It was an insurrection, part of a much broader and sustained assault on democracy, months in the making, that represents the most serious domestic threat to America since the Civil War.

In other words: It was an attempted coup. When the bipartisan House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack takes its proceedings to prime-time TV tonight, it needs to hammer home this essential truth.

Democracy, not partisan politics, is what’s at stake. An airing of what the committee has learned won’t interest or sway always-Trumpers who have displayed little interest in democracy anyhow. But a focused narrative that establishes how far-reaching the coup attempt was, and who led it, will remind Justice Department prosecutors of the work they still have to do — and challenge voters to stand up for democratic values. ..............(more)


Memo to the media: GOP policies -- not the rare liberal prosecutors -- are driving crime

Memo to the media: GOP policies — not the rare liberal prosecutors — are driving crime
Rising crime is a national problem, escalated by Trump policies that Democrats haven't been able to repeal


(Salon) Asure sign of how distorted American politics have become: The average news consumer may very well be more likely to know the name of the progressive prosecutor in San Francisco than the name of their own congressional representative. That's because Republican propagandists have centered Chesa Boudin, and their successful effort to recall him in San Francisco, in their story about American crime. The mainstream media, meanwhile, has duly played along. Los Angeles had a similarly distressing electoral outcome in a too-close-to-call mayoral race between Democrat Karen Bass and Republican Rick Caruso, who switched party affiliations just to tank the Democratic primary.

"Democrats tested on crime," blared the headline at the Washington Post.

"California Sends Democrats and the Nation a Message on Crime," declared the New York Times.

It's a compelling story, this tale of a city electing a progressive prosecutor in a bout of wokeness, and then reeling him back after watching crime explode as a result. Certainly, that's the story that Republicans have been hyping, especially on Fox News, which nightly portrays liberal cities as dystopian hellholes where everyone is getting raped and mugged every time they leave the house. But it also happens not to be true.

As Paul Waldman of the Washington Post notes, similarly-sized cities with "Republican mayors and Republican chief prosecutors" have even worse murder rates than San Francisco. In fact, violent crime is more of a red state problem than a blue state one, as 8 out of the 10 states with the highest murder rates voted for Donald Trump in 2020. The murder rate in the 25 states that went for Trump is, on average, 40% higher than that of states that voted for Joe Biden. But, as Waldman notes, the mainstream media ignores this cold statistical evidence in favor of the right-wing framework that pins the blame on liberal prosecutors. Liberal prosecutors are exceedingly rare even in Democratic cities and, as in San Francisco, often helm cities with lower crime rates than their "tough-on-crime" counterparts. ...........(more)


Fox News viewers have no clue: Network blocks nearly all critical coverage of Donald Trump

Fox News viewers have no clue: Network blocks nearly all critical coverage of Donald Trump
Fox News viewers are almost completely in the dark about Trump's Jan. 6 insurrection or the revelations since then


(Salon) I doubt there is anyone in America who is surprised that Fox News has decided not to carry the January 6th committee hearings. Why would they want to make their audience feel disoriented with a bunch of disturbing information they've heard nothing about despite tuning in regularly to their favorite "news" network? It would be like getting a dispatch from another planet. It's very upsetting, and if there's one thing neither Republicans nor their propaganda channels are willing to do it's make their followers angry.

Recall that Fox News was the first network to call the Arizona election for Joe Biden, which sent the entire right-wing into a frenzy. It resulted in Fox finally giving up any pretense of being a real news network. According to "Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth" by CNN's Brian Stelter, Trump got the ball rolling by tweeting out his anger and going on "Fox and Friends" to complain, asking: "What's the biggest difference between this and four years ago? I say Fox. It's much different now." Soon his rabid supporters were gathering outside the Phoenix, Arizona counting center yelling "Fox News Sucks" and Facebook groups were forming telling people to switch to Newsmax and One America News. And for a while, they did just that. In December of 2020, for the first time, Newsmax actually beat Fox News in the ratings. Fox executives greeted this crisis as an existential threat with one producer telling Stelter, "we're bleeding eyeballs, And we're scared." Their ratings were nosediving "20, 25, 30 percent, even though the news cycle was nothing short of epic." Remember, this was the post-election period — it was epic indeed. Stelter wrote:

"Our audience hates this," one executive said to me in a moment of candor. "This" was Biden as president-elect and Kamala Harris as VP-elect. "They're pissed," said a second source. "Seething," said another.

The word apparently came from on high that they'd better figure out a way to get their audience back. So Fox News fired the election team that called the Arizona election results and re-tooled immediately, starting by giving the audience what they were demanding: false hope. They pushed the voter fraud conspiracies to the point that Fox News even became the subject of huge defamation lawsuits by the voting machine companies. And then the network went after anyone who didn't go along with the program.

Rupert Murdoch himself was said to be guiding decisions to remove anyone who wasn't deemed hysterical and shrill enough to entice the disappointed Trumpers back into the fold, marginalizing the few more or less straight news people and giving carte blanche to their "opinion" personalities to follow their bliss into the right-wing fever swamps. The result is Tucker Carlson and his Great Replacement Hour. .............(more)


40 COVID-19 cases now linked to Mackinac Policy Conference

(Detroit News) The number of COVID-19 cases tied to the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference has risen to 40, officials confirmed Tuesday.

"The individuals testing positive report being asymptomatic or experiencing mild symptoms, and we wish them a speedy recovery," the chamber said in a statement.

The number represents about 3% of the 1,347 attendees at the annual event on Mackinac Island last week, a representative told The Detroit News. ............(more)


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