Tuesday’s meeting of the board of stupidity and corruption was even worse than the usual drivel that passes for governing. Bushnell seemed to be fed leading questions to ask via text by John Ford. After the release of texts by the public records act recently, we saw that Bushnell and Ford were in collusion to try and remove a planning director that asks tough questions. So, it’s not a big leap to see what happened during Tuesday’s review of a letter from the planning commission as more of the same with Ford sending softball questions for Bushnell to ask so he could set the narrative.
Bottom line Board of Supervisors signaled to the planning commission don’t worry about the environmental damage and unequal playing field with the Humboldt cannabis industry.
It also appears John Ford is completely in charge and fully responsible for all inequity and dysfunction in the county’s treatment of cannabis.
Attorney General Merrick Garland’s success or failure in office depends on ensuring that the rule of law survives. That means preempting future coup plotters by holding the leaders of the insurrection fully accountable for their attempt to overthrow the government. But he cannot do so without a robust criminal investigation of those at the top, from the people who planned, assisted, or funded the attempt to overturn the Electoral College vote to those who organized or encouraged the mob attack on the Capitol. To begin with, he should focus on Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, and even Donald Trump — all of whom were involved, in one way or another, in the events leading up to the attack. It is important for the Department of Justice to focus on those at the top of the conspiracy to overturn the election results.
The legal path to investigate the leaders of the coup attempt is clear. The criminal code prohibits inciting an insurrection or ‘giving aid or comfort to those who do, as well as conspiracy to forcibly ‘prevent, hinder or delay the execution of any law of the United States.’ The code also makes it a crime to corruptly impede any official proceeding or deprive citizens of their constitutional right to vote,” they wrote. “Based purely on what we know today from news reports and the steady stream of revelations coming from the House select committee investigating the attack, the attorney general has a powerful justification for a robust and forceful investigation into the former president and his inner circle.
Garland’s failure to act will most likely result in a second and this time successful insurrection.
Without forceful action to hold the wrongdoers to account, the country will likely not be able to stop what some retired generals see as a march to another insurrection in 2024 if Mr. Trump or another demagogue loses. Throughout his public life, Mr. Garland has been a highly principled public servant focused on doing the right thing. But only by holding the leaders of the Jan. 6 insurrection, and we mean all of them, to account can he secure the future of our country and teach the next generation that no one is above the law. It’s time to demand the attorney general to step up to that task. If he won’t then it’s time for President Biden to replace him.
Source: A New York Times opinion piece by Laurence Tribe, Deputy Attorney General Donald Ayer, and former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut, via Raw Story.
“Dino” Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he will not vote for the Build Back Better Act, in a huge but predictable blow for this legislation favored by more than 70% of the American public. Sadly the Democrats and the American people need his vote to be able to pass this through the Senate. The democrats, unfortunately, need Manchin’s support for the $1.9 trillion spending plan focused on expanding the nation’s social safety net, reducing Americans’ childcare and health care costs, and climate change. His vote is necessary to pass this legislation using a process called budget reconciliation, which would allow it to pass with only 51 votes.
Manchin has always been a holdout on this legislation, blocking its approval with his never-ending and shifting concerns over provisions in this bill that would expand the nation’s social safety net.
Senator Sanders of Vermont spoke for many when he harshly criticized Manchin for revoking his support, saying, “I think he’s going to have a lot of explaining to do to the people of West Virginia” and calling on Democrats to put the bill to a floor vote to pressure Manchin into voting no on the record.
“I hope that we will bring a strong bill to the floor of the Senate as soon as we can and let Mr. Manchin explain to the people of West Virginia why he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the powerful special interests,” Sanders said.
“If he doesn’t have the courage to do the right thing for the working families of West Virginia and America, let him vote no in front of the whole world,” Sanders added.
As we have discussed in the past Manchin was never going to support this bill and that Democratic leadership gave up all their leverage to get this passed by voting on the Manchin favored Infrastructure Bill first.
So called “Democratic” U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia has just announced he will not support HR1, the critical voting rights protection and expansion bill already passed by the House of Representatives. “I believe Democrats and Republicans feel very strongly about protecting the ballot boxes allowing people to protect the right to vote making it…..
“Blue Dog Democratic” Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he is opposing President Biden’s nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden. The White House is standing by the nomination even as Manchin’s cowardly opposition makes it more precarious. Manchin cited negative comments about Republicans that Tanden made while running the……..
There were six brave and principled House Democrats who stood up for their constituents and voted against the infrastructure bill without the “build back better bill” being passed at the same time. Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New YorkRep. Cori Bush of MissouriRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New YorkRep. Ilhan Omar of MinnesotaRep. Ayanna Pressley of MassachusettsRep.
As more ugly information emerges of Donald Trump’s stranglehold on millions of Americans, the shocks continue to reverberate as to how the huge organization, once called “Fox News” has shackled the minds and hearts of millions of Americans. For a decade, I’ve more correctly referred to the behemoth of lies and distorted allegations as “Faux” media, using the French term for “False.” The term, “News,” has never been of value at the institution.
Rupert Murdock’s litany of paid liars has seen much turmoil through the years as criminality keeps surfacing. But new revelations on December 13 about how Fox spokespeople (never referred to as newscasters), acknowledged Trump’s evil on the January 6 assault on our Capitol, have downgraded the media giant’s disgusting practices to a new low.
Fox Media clowns Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham tried to dismiss the release of their text messages to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during the 6 January Capitol Hill riot, whining that it’s a “smear campaign” against them.
The House Select Committee investigating the insurrection released a report detailing Mark Meadows’ communications, including tests from coup leader Donald Trump’s son, Fox Media personalities, and lawmakers, urging him to get Trump to stop the riots in real-time.
“Can he make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?” wrote Hannity in a text to Mark Meadows.
Later, Hannity invited Meadows on his show to defend himself, but of course, made no mention of his text messages to the former White House official urging him to ask Trump to stop the riots.
Under fire for not addressing the text messages on his show, Hannity sniveled that the text messages only said what he claims to have said publicly.
“In an attempt to smear yours truly (Sean pointing to himself) as well as Trump, Congresswoman Cheney presented one of my text messages from 6 January to Mark Meadows,” Hannity said on his show. By the way, where is the outrage in the media over my private text messages being released again publicly?!” Sean whined “Do we believe in privacy in this country? Apparently not.”
Hannity then complained about Liz Cheney reading out his texts in public. “I am an honest, straightforward person. I say the same thing in private that I say to all of you. Liz Cheney knows this. She doesn’t seem to care.” Sniff sniff “She is only interested in one thing. Smearing Trump and purging him from the party.
He also demanded that Ms Cheney’s text messages with Trump be released…..
The wicked witch at Fox, Laura Ingraham wrote, “Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” a laughable phrase to anyone aware of Trump’s destructive impacts on America over four years. On her show, Laura Ingraham also defended her text messages from 6 January. In her message to Meadows, Ingraham had written, “(Trump) needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.” “Of course, the regime media was somehow trying to twist this message to smear me,” she said.
Maybe Fox’s Hannity, Ingraham, and Kilmeade were mostly concerned that their four years of Trump adulation and sucking up would finally be seen by all the QAnon, gun-crazy anti-vaxxers for the truth behind their façade.
The distorter of all truth and/or facts at Fox, Sean Hannity, also begged: “Can he make a statement, ask people to leave the Capitol?” he asked of Meadows.
Another Fox distorter, Brian Kilmeade, worried about his role model, Trump. So, he told Meadows to “get (Trump) on TV,” while nearly crying that the assault was “destroying everything you have accomplished.”
Of course, such craven Fox media staffers worried that their “great” Emperor Trump would suffer a stain on his wonderful record of “accomplishments.” Gag!
Polling, vaccination, and mortality data all suggest that Republicans are the biggest group of unvaccinated Americans and are suffering the worst consequences as a result.
Since May 2021, people living in counties that voted heavily for Donald Trump during the last presidential election have been nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19 as those who live in areas that went for now-President Biden. That’s according to a new analysis by NPR that examines how political polarization and misinformation are driving a significant share of the deaths in the pandemic.
NPR looked at deaths per 100,000 people in roughly 3,000 counties across the U.S. from May 2021, the point at which vaccinations widely became available. People living in counties that went 60% or higher for Trump in November 2020 had 2.7 times the death rates of those that went for Biden. Counties with an even higher share of the vote for Trump saw higher COVID-19 mortality rates.
In October, the reddest tenth of the country saw death rates that were six times higher than the bluest tenth, according to Charles Gaba, an independent health care analyst who’s been tracking partisanship trends during the pandemic and helped to review NPR’s methodology. Those numbers have dropped slightly in recent weeks, Gaba says: “It’s back down to around 5.5 times higher.”
The trend was robust, even when controlling for age, which is the primary demographic risk of COVID-19 mortality. The data also reveal a major contributing factor to the death rate difference: The higher the vote share for Trump, the lower the vaccination rate.
The analysis only looked at the geographic location of COVID-19 deaths. The exact political views of each person taken by the disease remains unknowable. But the strength of the association, combined with polling information about vaccination, strongly suggests that Republicans are being disproportionately affected.
Recent polling data show Republicans are now the largest group of unvaccinated individuals in the United States, more than any other single demographic group. Polling also shows that mistrust in official sources of information and exposure to misinformation, about both COVID-19 and the vaccines, run high among Republicans.
“An unvaccinated person is three times as likely to lean Republican as they are to lean Democrat,” says Liz Hamel, vice president of public opinion and survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank that tracks attitudes toward vaccination. Political affiliation is now the strongest indicator of whether someone is vaccinated, she says: “If I wanted to guess if somebody was vaccinated or not and I could only know one thing about them, I would probably ask what their party affiliation is.”
It was not always this way. Earlier in the pandemic, many different groups expressed hesitancy toward getting vaccinated. African Americans, younger Americans, and rural Americans all had significant portions of their demographic that resisted vaccination. But over time, the vaccination rates in those demographics have risen, while the rate of Republican vaccination against COVID-19 has flatlined at just 59%, according to the latest numbers from Kaiser. By comparison, 91% of Democrats are vaccinated.
Being unvaccinated increases the risk of death from COVID-19 dramatically, according to the CDC. The vast majority of deaths since May, around 150,000, have occurred among the unvaccinated, says Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
While vaccine hesitancy exists in many different groups, Hotez suspects that the deaths are “overwhelmingly” concentrated in more politically conservative communities.
New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has accused the top Republican in the House of allowing a “Ku Klux Klan caucus” to target nonwhite, female members for their supporters to attack and threaten.
In a series of tweets posted from her personal account on Tuesday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Trump suck-up McCarthy “is so desperate to be Speaker that he is working with his Ku Klux Klan caucus to look aside & allow violent targeting of [woman of color] members of Congress”.
“This cannot be ignored,” she said.
The progressive firebrand’s comments were meant to illustrate how most Americans “truly don’t understand the scale, intensity, & volume of threats” which have been targeted at her colleague, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.
One of only two Muslim women in Congress — and the only one to wear a hijab, or headscarf, Ilhan Omar has been the focus of derogatory rumors, right-wing conspiracy theories, and even death threats from the time she was first sworn in.
On Tuesday, Ilhan Omar revealed that she had been on the receiving end of a vulgar threatening phone message in the wake of Lauren Boebert posting a video regarding her aborted so-called attempt to apologize for the Islamophobic remarks she’d made which had recently gone viral.
The message, which she played for reporters, consisted of a male voice saying: “You fucking Muslim piece of shit… you fucking traitor, you will not live any longer”.
Continuing, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Kevin McCarthy’s acceptance of his colleagues’ violent rhetoric “is not just about nasty phone calls and emails”.
“[Republicans] are given the freedom to incite without consequence. They don’t have to pay for the security required from their acts. We do,” she wrote, adding that her GOP colleagues actually make money from the threats by fundraising.
“They are targeting those least likely to be institutionally protected first,” she said.
The second-term New York congresswoman has also been the target of violent rhetoric from Republicans. Last month, Crazy Arizona Representative Paul Gosar became the first member to be censured in over a decade after he tweeted an animated video depicting him killing AOC and threatening President Joe Biden.
One of the most potent political forces in the U.S. is “white male anger” which has Americans looking over the shoulders and living in fear of what comes next.
Linking together the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse — who was found not guilty in the killing of two Black Lives Matter protesters — with the Ahmaud Arbery trial in Georgia and the civil case against the organizers of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, it’s pretty obvious, there is nothing more frightening in America today than an angry White man.
It’s not the ‘radical Islamic terrorist’. Nor is it the brown immigrant or the fiery Black Lives Matter protester, or whatever the latest bogeyman is that some politician tells us we should dread. It’s encountering an armed White man in public who has been inspired by the White men on trial in these three cases,”.
There is nothing inherently violent about White men, or any human being, but recent events should not only give everyone pause but should lead the country to ask how we reached the point again that White men feel as if they can rule and brutalize without consequence.
With America’s history of brutality, and now with the attack on the Capitol on Jan 6th by supporters of Donald Trump — the problem is growing worse instead of getting better.
Talking about assaulting and killing political enemies has become so normal — and seemingly acceptable — in conservative circles today that a White man felt comfortable enough to ask a right-wing activist at a public forum in Idaho last month: “When do we get to use the guns?” … “How many elections are they going to steal before we kill these people?”
The US has enough problems with White male violence as it is. Mass shootings in the US are committed more often by White men than by any other group. Top law enforcement officials now say the nation’s biggest domestic terror threat comes from White supremacists. Many of the most indelible news images of recent years include angry, red-faced White men, often armed with guns.”
Look at these three trials, because they point to one frightening future. This is what that future looks like: More angry White men emboldened by “stand your ground” and citizen’s arrest laws, inspired by a conservative interpretation of the Second Amendment. And more dead Americans.
The acquittal of teenage vigilante Kyle Rittenhouse encourages other rightwing white terrorists and other self-appointed, heavily armed vigilantes to take this verdict as a green light to act out their bloody “own the libs” fantasies.
The jury with the guidance of the very biased Judge Schroeder, accepted the defense’s claim that Rittenhouse’s of killing two men and wounding another during a Black Lives Matter protest in Kenosha, Wis., in August 2020 — was an act of self-defense.
Rittenhouse, then 17, was at home, across the state line in Illinois, when he saw reports of anger and unrest in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man. Rittenhouse’s response was to make himself some kind of teenage avenger and rush to Kenosha, where he carried an assault rifle that he was too young to legally buy, to “defend” the white community against these social justice protesters.
Rittenhouse ended up killing protesters Joseph Rosenbaum, 36, and Anthony Huber, 26, and wounding a third person, Gaige Grosskreutz, 26. One of the men tried to take Rittenhouse’s rifle, the defense argued; another tried to attack him with a skateboard; another pointed a gun at him. In each instance, defense lawyers claimed, Rittenhouse had reason to fear for his life — and therefore had the right to fire in self-defense.
Clearly, Rosenbaum, Huber and Grosskreutz saw Rittenhouse as a threat. They, too, had the right to defend themselves, by disarming, restraining or somehow deterring this wild-eyed kid — a civilian with no uniform or badge of authority — who was stalking around with a weapon of war.
The fear is that the verdict will encourage like-minded yahoos to take it upon themselves to act as guardians of law and order. In a nation where there are more firearms than people, no good can come of such vigilantism. For proof one need only look to Brunswick, Ga., where the killers of Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed Black jogger, are on trial for murder — also claiming they were acting as guardians of their community, and also claiming they acted in self-defense.
Unlike in Arbery’s killing, all the principal actors in the Rittenhouse case — the defendant and his three victims — are White. But since the Kenosha protest was about racial justice and police violence against Black Americans, race was very much the subtext of the Rittenhouse trial, too. Rittenhouse became seen as an avatar of White grievance and anger.
The bottom line is Rittenhouse killed two people who were there protesting racial injustice and police brutality—and he killed them in cold blood. Just days later, GOP leaders in Wisconsin and nationwide flocked to his defense and began raising money for Rittenhouse and his family—and shortly after he was released from jail, he was caught partying with members of the Proud Boys and gleefully flashing “white power” signs for photos. Instead of accountability, he’s gotten stardom—and now he has gotten away with killing two people and injuring a third person.
Rittenhouse’s trial has made a complete travesty of our justice system and it is a warning to all of us.
Sources Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post, Raw Story and NPR
Many Americans still rely on phones or other critical emergency devices that can connect only to 3G networks. Recent studies show that nearly 20 percent of Americans were still on 3G networks.
Big corporate telecom has long planned to phase out 3G networks to free up valuable resources for higher profit 5G networks, which carriers say will bring faster speeds and allow more mobile devices to connect than ever before. But the transition has been complicated by the pandemic, as safety concerns hampered outreach, especially to older Americans, and snarled supply chains globally, adding to a chip shortage that makes it more difficult to replace outdated devices.
Phone carriers have resisted slowing the transition, arguing that they have warned for years that the transition is coming and they claim they’ve taken extensive steps to ensure that their customers aren’t disconnected. Count us skeptical of that.
AT&T, which plans to shutter its network in February, says it has reached out to affected customers and provided them with discounted or in some instances free phone upgrades. Other networks, including T-Mobile, have delayed their shutdowns until slightly later to accommodate people who still haven’t upgraded: T-Mobile will shut down Sprint’s 3G network on March 31, 2022; Verizon has said it will shut down its network on Dec. 31, 2022.
Rural residents and many older Americans are finding the transition challenging, especially as the delta variant makes them wary of contact with technicians.
Family members have found themselves going to extraordinary lengths to help relatives upgrade. Many emergency alert systems were designed to work on 3G networks
There were six brave and principled House Democrats who stood up for their constituents and voted against the infrastructure bill without the “build back better bill” being passed at the same time.
Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan
In what we can only view as a failure of leadership the House passed the infrastructure bill without the game changing “build back better bill”
Chuckling from the sidelines was Republican House member Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) who admitted she was attempting to cripple the influence of the progressive Democrats, “I weakened their hand. They have no leverage now,” Malliotakis explained before adding, that progressives will no longer be able to hold the bill hostage and predicted Build Back Better will be ‘drastically weakened’ in the Senate or ‘die altogether’ as a result of the infrastructure bill passing.” And there’s the brutal truth the democrats just got played by the Do-nothing Republicans and the DINO’s (Democrats in name only) headed by Sinema and Manchin