McConnell McCarthy and the seditious cowardly republicans

McConnell McCarthy with their “dear leader”

The cowardly Republicans’ constantly keep shifting explanations for why they don’t support the Capitol riot commission, it obvious there must be a deeper and far more sinister reason the party can’t get behind it, ignoring the fact that the Democrats gave them just about everything they asked for. The Democrats even included a questionable a power-sharing arrangement under which the GOP would have had a virtual veto power over subpoenas. The GOP would have had equal representation on the 10-member panel, as well as a say in any subpoenas it might issue. They could have obstructed to their hearts content.

These chicken shit Republicans just quake at the thought of doing anything that might cause Mt. Trump to get mad.  The more sinister reason to explain why they appear unconcerned about paying a political price for failing to acknowledge what happened on Jan. 6, is that a large portion of the GOP’s Trumpian base actually believe that the violent mob was justified in its effort to try and stop Congress as it conducted its certification of the electoral votes that made Joe Biden President.

A poll released by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core shows that these dangerous and conspiratorial beliefs are not just limited to the red state’s inbred backwaters. A shocking 20 percent of more than 5,500 adults questioned in all 50 states — and 28 percent of Republicans among them — said they agreed with the statement that ‘there is a storm coming soon that will sweep away the elites in power and restore the rightful leaders.’ The most alarming is that 15 percent overall and, 28 percent of Republicans, think that because “things have gotten so off track, true American patriots may have to resort to violence in order to save our country.”

This is all completely on brand with the QAnon conspiracy theory, right down to the idea of “the storm” where Trump overthrows a shadowy cabal of demonic pedophiles ruling the country and declares martial law. What Republicans said with their cowardly and seditious vote on Friday is that they would rather encourage this thinking to grow within their base, and assume that it works to their political advantage, than to stand up a rebuke it as sedition, which it is.

edited from Raw Story

Cutting off aid to tens of millions of Americans is totally on Mcconnell and the Republicans

Purposefully allowing emergency, $600-a-week unemployment payments to expire on July 31, Trump and Republicans are creating chaos and looming poverty for tens of millions of jobless Americans as Covid-19 spreads nationwide. Amidst inner-party squabbling, the GOP was incapable of coming up with a coherent plan to extend enhanced benefits until hours before the payments ran out, leaving no way for a bill to be passed. Yet the press for days has described the fiasco as “Congress” failing to act, and “Congress” not being able to meet the challenge of America’s burgeoning crisis.

The press needs to leave “Congress” out of this and be more direct about what’s going on — Republicans just ruined the lives of millions of struggling Americans as the economy falls off the cliff. The reason more than 20 million Americans will no longer receive the $600 checks is because Republicans don’t want them to receive the $600 checks. Not because “Congress” couldn’t agree on more relief. And not because Congress “dissolved into partisan bickering,” as the New York Times insisted.

Republicans are only willing to sanction $200 per-week in unemployment assistance, stripping away billions in much-needed aid each week. It’s a draconian move that could destroy as many as 5 million jobs, according to an analysis by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. “Small businesses desperately need the consumer demand” Small Business for America’s Future, a coalition of small business owners, said in a statement. “We need legislation that puts money in the hands of people who will spend it at local small businesses. The future of our Main Street economies depend on it.”

Back in May, Democrats in the House passed their emergency, $3 trillion legislation to extend the crucial $600 payments, as well as provide more money to states and help hospitals. Republicans in the Senate, who refused to take up the House bill, diddled for months. The crucial fact about the House bill being passed months ago is often omitted in news coverage regarding how “Congress” can’t get unemployment benefits extended.

Now is not the time for the media to embrace Both Sides coverage and blame the GOP debacle on “gridlock” and “bickering.” Not when the issue at stake is truly life or death, and not when Republican incompetence and indifference remains so glaring.

Yet the lazy media trend continues:

  • “Congress Unemployment Gridlock Leaves 25 Million On Brink of Income Crisis” (Newsweek)
  • “Congress Nowhere Near Deal; Unemployment Benefit to Expire” (CNN)
  • “With Jobless Aid Set to Lapse, Lawmakers Fail to Agree on Extension” (New York Times)
  • “Partisan Gridlock: Why Can’t Congress Work Together?” (MassLive)
  • “North Texas Families Left in Limbo as Talks Stall Over Jobless Benefits” (Fox4News)

Scanning these headlines, news consumers would assume that both parties support extended benefit payments (they don’t), and that both parties are equally incompetent when it comes to passing important legislation (they’re not). An accurate headline last week would have read, “Republicans Refuse to Extend $600 Unemployment Benefit as Economic Crisis Worsens.”

The truth is, today’s Republican Party cannot govern. More specifically, the Republican Party does not want to govern and doesn’t see the federal government as an instrument to help working Americans, even during a national health crisis when millions of families approach the economic abyss. The press doesn’t want to highlight that fact, though. Instead, the coverage hides behind a phony Both Sides shield and let’s the GOP off the hook.

The jobless benefits debacle represented a failure of leadership from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), whose job it is to make sure he has votes to pass bills in times of a national crisis. It’s startling that during a global pandemic, Republican leaders in the Senate crafted a bill so objectionable that not a single Democrat was willing to support it. Still, much of the press opted to blame “Congress,” which puts half the onus on Democrats.

What’s distressing is how often the Beltway press presents legislative battles through the lens of the GOP. Republicans today want their unemployment benefits blockade to be presented as a stumble by “Congress,” and a troubling example of “gridlock.” (It’s an essential Republican talking point.) That way, news consumers throw up their hands and blame both parties for failing to pass the extension for the wildly popular $600 relief checks.

Note that back when the pandemic first started destroying the U.S. economy and Congress debated the initial emergency stimulus relief, the press told that story through the eyes of the GOP as well, claiming Democrats were “blocking” the crucial legislation. They weren’t “blocking” anything; they were making the bill better by increasing funds for extending unemployment and getting more money and aid for hospitals and healthcare workers, as well as for destabilized states and localities.

The “blocking” narrative was a classic example of how the Beltway press too often embraces Republican rhetoric, especially when Republicans hit the Phony Outrage button, as they so often do in hopes of generating sympathetic press coverage.

Cutting off aid to tens of millions of Americans today represents a stunning act of political malfeasance by the GOP. It has nothing to do with “Congress.”

Press Run Eric Boehlert

Just what we need, more online right-wing propaganda fo-news sites

Republican propagandists have been bust launching bogus local news outlets in 2020 swing states

An investigation by the fact-checking outlet Snopes found that several new local news websites are actually being launched by Republican consultants whose company is funded in part by the candidates the sites cover.

Politico first reported last year that Tea Party-linked conservative activists Michael Patrick Leahy, Steve Gill, and Christina Botteri were behind the “Tennessee Star,” a website that purported to be a local news website but mostly posted content licensed from groups linked to big Republican donors.

Snopes discovered that the trio has since launched similar sites in other battleground states ahead of the 2020 elections: the Ohio Star and the Minnesota Sun. All three claim to be the “most reliable” local newspapers in their states and provide “unbiased updates on Investigative Reports, Thoughtful Opinion, Sports, Lifestyle.”
But the coverage is hardly by “unbiased journalists.”
Gill, who is listed as the Tennessee Star’s political editor, owns a media consulting firm that at least one candidate and one political action committee paid before they received positive coverage on the website.

Snopes reported that several of the site’s writers work or have worked for PACs or political campaigns that they cover without disclosing that information. The Tennessee Star’s “investigative journalist,” Chris Butler previously worked for a PAC affiliated with Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican. Two of the site’s other writers have their own PAC devoted to maintaining a Republican majority in the Tennessee state legislature. Roughly 40 percent of the other content on the sites comes from prominent conservative news sites like the Daily Caller and the Daily Signal.

In some cases, the sites are carbon copies of the Tennessee Star despite being in different states. Snopes noted that the Ohio Star recently republished a glowing “letter to the editor” titled “If You Want to Change State Politics Then Support Bill Lee for Governor.” Lee is the governor of Tennessee.

Kathleen Bartzen Culver, who heads the Center of Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, told Snopes that political operatives are free to launch their own news platforms, but it’s a problem if they are trying to deceive readers into believing the sites are nonpartisan local news.

“I have no problem with advocacy organizations creating content that reinforces the positions they take on public policy issues on the left, right or center. The issue comes in when they’re not transparent about that advocacy,” Culver said. “In this case, if you have a conservative take on a policy issue and you want to promote that take, go ahead. But just claim it for what it is.”

Leahy claimed in an email to Snopes that the sites “are in business to make a profit” and make their money from ads.

But Snopes found that the websites are supported by conservative mega-donors, and many of the ads on the Tennessee Star are from groups like the Koch-founded Americans for Prosperity. Even the actual local business ads they have are for companies owned by prominent Tennessee conservative donors.

“Transparency is a critically important element in journalism,” Culver said. “When you are opaque about funding sources and their influence when you don’t disclose to readers where the money is coming from and where the conflicts of interest may be, you are robbing those people of important information that they need to judge credibility.”

The group behind the sites does not appear content with just three outlets. According to Politico, Leahy has purchased domain names associated with Missouri, New England, the Dakotas, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin, most of which are electoral battleground states that will be vital in 2020.

Leahy, Gill, and Botteri are only a few of the players in the growing space. Politico reported last year that a campaign committee for Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., was funding a local news site called the California Republican, which claimed to feature “the best of US, California, and Central Valley news, sports, and analysis.”

“The information sphere is so polluted right now that the average citizen has trouble telling what is real and what is not,” Culver told Snopes. “I find that very troubling within a democracy.”

From Salon via Raw Story

 

 

 

Morning Joe host thinks the Republican party will be swept away by the deluge that is sure to come.

Normally we don’t place much value in what Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman and host of Morning Joe, has to say, but this piece and what he has to say is particularly relevant just because who he represents. TE

We learned this week that President Trump in June ordered the firing of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, but few Republicans on Capitol Hill bothered to raise an eyebrow. In more settled times, this kind of presidential assault on an independent investigation would have stirred grave concerns throughout the halls of Congress. But Trump’s corrupted coalition has instead trotted out one twisted conspiracy theory after another, all designed to distract the president’s most fevered fans and concoct a case against Mueller’s investigation.

Wild tales of secret societies, Obama wiretaps and “deep-state” conspiracies flow freely from the tongues of Trump apparatchiks. Those preposterous narratives are then spread across cable news networks and inside Capitol Hill cloakrooms.

Not so long ago, Republican leaders prided themselves on protecting middle-American minds from the liberal intellectual rot being spread by politicians and college professors they viewed as being hostile to law enforcement, contemptuous of constitutional traditions, indifferent to personal morality and accommodating to Russian tyrants. They claimed to be the intellectual heirs of Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk and William F. Buckley Jr. Now those same politicians debase themselves daily in service to Trump.

In the Age of Trump, it is no longer in vogue to stand athwart history in defense of American institutions, constitutional norms and cultural traditions. These days, Republicans’ intellectual firepower is rather focused on defending Stalinist attacks on the press and pricey payoffs to porn stars.

The president now finds himself in full panic mode. The revelation that Trump ordered the firing of the special counsel charged with investigating the White House is just one more in a long line of desperate attempts to derail his Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference during the 2016 campaign.

Early in his presidency, the commander in chief demanded a loyalty oath from FBI Director James B. Comey and pressed him to drop the investigation of the national security adviser, Michael Flynn. This presidential pressure was applied even though Trump would later admit that he knew Flynn committed a federal crime. After Comey rebuffed Trump’s loyalty demands during their famous one-on-one dinner, Trump would fire the FBI director, concede to NBC’s Lester Holt that he did it to end the agency’s investigation, and offer the same confession to both Russia’s foreign minister and the ambassador to the United States.

“I faced great pressure because of Russia,” America’s president told the Russians. “That’s taken off. I am not under investigation.”

But Trump’s brash move against Comey and the FBI’s investigation created an even more toxic legal reality for White House lawyers. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had already been forced to recuse himself, and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed Mueller to conduct his own probe. Sessions had no choice in removing himself, but the panicked president began planning to dispose of his attorney general.

Facing pushback from his Breitbart base, Trump ultimately backed down, and he turned his focus instead to the firing of Rosenstein. As the New York Times’s Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman reported this last week, Trump considered firing Rosenstein and replacing him with another deputy, who presumably would follow his orders to fire the special counsel. The president ultimately ordered that deed to be done by White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn, but McGahn threatened to resign first.

Imagine that.

Beneath the blizzard of news headlines pounding ceaselessly at our nerves, this week we discovered a Republican loyalist willing to sacrifice his political standing over a higher principle. McGahn’s stand contrasts greatly with Capitol Hill conservatives who do little more than occasionally tweet a veiled critique of the president or deliver a meaningless speech from the Senate floor.

As a storm gathers over Washington and the world, Donald Trump’s Republican Party remains complicit in his frenzied efforts to undermine the American institutions and established values that conservatives once claimed to share.

And while the clouds overhead are cause for all to be concerned, it will be the husk of a once-proud Republican Party that will be swept away first by the deluge that is sure to come.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/even-now-republicans-are-ignoring-the-storm-clouds/2018/01/26

Anything to defend Trump: Republicans now attacking FBI

 Nunes demands Russia dossier intel and threatens to hold Jeff Sessions in contempt

“Disgraced” House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) went after Jeff Sessions in a letter threatening to subject the attorney general to a public hearing if he won’t hand over the intelligence surrounding the Russian dossier.

CNN obtained the letter, which details Nunes’s threats to subject Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray into a public hearing. He also threatened to hold the two in contempt of Congress if the dossier intelligence isn’t turned over.

The explosive 35-page dossier linked Donald Trump to Russian efforts to interfere with the election, and was published by the media shortly before his inauguration.

Nunes had his committee issue subpoenas in August specifically asking whether the FBI or Justice Department compiled any investigation or research into the dossier. He also asked for information on whether the dossier was used as a justification for any surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Nunes intends to extend his deadline to Sept. 14 but refused to wait around any longer.

“If all responsive documents are not produced by the revised deadline, the Attorney General and Director of the FBI shall appear before the committee at 9 a.m. on September 14, 2017 in room HVC-210 of the US Capitol during an open hearing, to explain under oath DOJ’s and FBI’s unwillingness or inability to comply in full with the subpoenas issued on August 24,” Nunes threatened in the letter.

He further demands that if the two refuse to turn over documents he’ll hold them in contempt, which could mean a up to a year in prison.

“We’ve got to run this thing to ground,” said Rep. Michael Conaway (R-TX), the GOP leader of the House Russia investigation.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who heads the Democratic side of the committee, objected to the subpoenas, saying he thinks they are being used by Nunes to “undermine” claims about the Trump campaign and Russia.

Conway isn’t sure what will happen if both the FBI and Justice Department refuse to hand over information and enforcement of contempt will be left to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Nunes refused to comment.

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/devin-nunes-loses-it-with-jeff-sessions-demands-russia-dossier-intel-and-threatens-to-hold-him-in-contempt/

Mr. Bullshit Benghazi; Twenty months, $5 million dollars and one movie later, the GOP’s Hillary slayer is still on the war path now targeting the FBI

Mr. Bullshit Benghazi Trey Gowdy

A key House committee investigating an opposition-research dossier containing salacious details on Donald Trump has reportedly subpoenaed personally the heads of both the FBI and the Justice Department over their agencies’ noncooperation with the panel’s previous efforts.

According to a report Tuesday in the Washington Examiner, the House Intelligence Committee is gathering a “growing frustration … over the FBI and Justice Department’s lack of cooperation in the Trump-Russia investigation.”

The panel wants to know what relationship the FBI and Justice had with Christopher Steele, the document’s compiler, and whether it was used to justify spying on Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign.

According to the Examiner, the House panel subpoenaed the FBI and Justice both for documents related to those matters, to be provided by Sept. 1.

“We got nothing,” Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, and an Intelligence panel member, told the Examiner on Tuesday. “The witnesses have not been produced and the documents have not been produced.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/5/trey-gowdy-fbi-not-cooperating-trump-dossier/

The House Intelligence Committee has issued subpoenas requesting that the FBI and Department of Justice provide documents related to an unverified dossier about President Donald Trump. The latest subpoenas reportedly call on FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appear before the House panel.

The House Intelligence Committee is one of several congressional committees investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Robert Mueller, a Justice Department special counsel, is overseeing a separate FBI investigation into the matter. Divisions between the congressional investigators and those with the Justice Department have been rising, CNN reported Tuesday morning, and the subpoenas seem to provide further indication of that tension.

On August 24, the committee issued two identical subpoenas to the FBI and Justice Department, the Washington Examiner reported Tuesday evening, citing an interview with Congressman Trey Gowdy, a committee member. The committee had given the bureau and department until September 1 to provide the information, the report said. When the committee did not receive the information by the deadline, it reportedly extended that deadline to September 14.

“We got nothing,” Gowdy, a Republican, told the Washington Examiner. “The witnesses have not been produced and the documents have not been produced.”

Congressman Trey Gowdy speaks a House Intelligence Committee hearing concerning Russian meddling in the 2016 United States election on March 20. On September 5, the committee issued subpoenas for information about an unverified dossier, according to Gowdy.

On Tuesday, the committee issued two new subpoenas, one for FBI Director Christopher Wray and one for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Washington Examiner reported. The new subpoenas call on the officials to appear before the committee and explain why they did not comply with the previous requests, the report said.

Christopher Steele, a former British spy, wrote the intelligence dossier, about Trump and his alleged ties to Russia. Republican lawmakers have shown interest in the dossier, and some have alleged that it possibly began as an opposition research project against Trump. Buzzfeed published its contents in January.

Spokespeople for the FBI and Justice Department were not immediately available to comment on the subpoenas Tuesday evening.

http://www.newsweek.com/house-intelligence-committee-subpoenas-fbi-justice-department-659960

 

The battle between McCain and the White House is picking up steam

Note: We at the Examiner are not in any way endorsing Senator McCain’s world view, but do think he represents the voice of the establishment right. So we offer up this opinion piece from the Washington post for prospective as an example of what the otherwise intimidated and silent mainstream Republicans think…………Pretty sobering.

mccain-v-trump

John McCain is increasingly mad as hell about President Trump. And on Friday, he went after Trump — hard.

During a speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, the Republican senator from Arizona delivered a pointed and striking point-by-point takedown of Trump’s worldview and brand of nationalism. McCain didn’t mention Trump’s name once, but he didn’t have to.

And even considering the two men’s up-and-down history and the terrible things Trump has said about McCain, it was a striking display from a senior leader of a party when it comes to a president of the same party.

In his speech, McCain suggested the Western world is uniquely imperiled this year — even more so than when Barack Obama was president — and proceeded to question whether it will even survive.

“In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism; not this year,” McCain said. “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”

In case there was any doubt that this was about Trump. Here’s what followed:

“[The founders of the Munich conference] would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood and race and sectarianism.”

“They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see towards immigrants and refugees and minority groups — especially Muslims.”

“They would be alarmed by the growing inability — and even unwillingness — to separate truth from lies.”

“They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent.”

That’s Trump, Trump, Trump and Trump.

McCain continued: “But what would alarm them most, I think, is a sense that many of our peoples, including in my own country, are giving up on the West, that they see it as a bad deal that we may be better off without, and that while Western nations still have the power to maintain our world order, it’s unclear whether we have the will.”

Trump has repeatedly suggested a desire to pull out of or scale back on international involvement and agreements. His slogan is “America first,” after all. And it’s not just on free trade: It’s also when it comes to things like NATO, the transatlantic military alliance that Trump has suggested the United States is getting a bad deal on and has flirted with not enforcing.

Then McCain invoked some of those close to Trump and emphasized that his message won’t square with theirs:

I know there is profound concern across Europe and the world that America is laying down the mantle of global leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I do not believe that that is the message you will hear from all of the American leaders who cared enough to travel here to Munich this weekend. That’s not the message you heard today from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. That is not the message you will hear from Vice President Mike Pence. That’s not the message you will hear from Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. And that is certainly not the message you will hear tomorrow from our bipartisan congressional delegation.

McCain then concluded with another direct shot at Trump.

Then McCain invoked some of those close to Trump and emphasized that his message won’t square with theirs:

I know there is profound concern across Europe and the world that America is laying down the mantle of global leadership. I can only speak for myself, but I do not believe that that is the message you will hear from all of the American leaders who cared enough to travel here to Munich this weekend. That’s not the message you heard today from Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. That is not the message you will hear from Vice President Mike Pence. That’s not the message you will hear from Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly. And that is certainly not the message you will hear tomorrow from our bipartisan congressional delegation.

Two weeks ago, you may recall, Trump suggested the United States didn’t exactly have the moral high ground on Russia. Asked by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly about wanting good relations with a “killer” like Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump demurred. “There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers,” Trump said. “Well, you think our country is so innocent?”

Ever since, it seems, he and McCain have been on a collision course. McCain didn’t fight back when Trump questioned his war-hero status long ago — perhaps because both men were trying to win elections — but the battle between McCain and the White House is picking up steam.

And on Friday, McCain traveled across the Atlantic to deliver a calculated, planned attack on Trump’s entire system of beliefs.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/02/17/john-mccain-just-systematically-dismantled-donald-trumps-entire-worldview/?utm_term=.dff9e17e186b&wpisrc=nl_fix&wpmm=1