Warm Southern Breeze

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Archive for the ‘– Read 'em and weep: The Daily News’ Category

Has news ever been limited to the rag we hold between our hands?

Crybaby Boeing Seeks To Divert Attention From Themselves

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Ummm… No, Boeing.

You’re just getting your ass kicked, and your hat handed to you, and you want to divert attention from your losing self.

Your ridiculously asinine claims aren’t even specious.

Face it… you’re old and in the way. And you’re becoming corrupt.

You’ve had your heydey, and it’s over now.


Boeing Cites Risks In Design Of Newest Airbus Jet

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbus-design-boeing/boeing-cites-risks-in-design-of-newest-airbus-jet-idUSKCN2AU2RJ

PARIS (Reuters) – Boeing Co has raised concerns over Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump & Republicans LITERALLY Destroyed United States Government

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Alejandro Mayorkas, Department of Homeland Security Secretary, White House press conference, Monday, March 1, 2021

“The prior administration dismantled our nation’s immigration system in its entirety.”

– Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Monday, March 1, 2021, White House briefing room press conference

That has been, and continues to be, the primary modus operandi of the former Grand Old Party, now known as the Banana Republican party – tear it down.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2021/03/01/press-briefing-by-press-secretary-jen-psaki-and-secretary-of-homeland-security-alejandro-mayorkas/

“Let me explain to you why it is hard and why it is going to take time. I think it is important to understand what we have inherited, because it defines the situation as it currently stands. Entire systems are not rebuilt in a day or in a few weeks. To put it succinctly, the prior administration dismantled our nation’s immigration system in its entirety.

“When I started 27 days ago, I learned that we did not have the facilities available or equipped to administer the humanitarian laws that our Congress passed years ago. We did not have the personnel, policies, procedures, or training to administer those laws. Quite frankly, the entire system was gutted.

“In addition, they tore down Read the rest of this entry »

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AOC is a better Representative than Ted “Cancun” Cruz is a Senator

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 22, 2021

(L-R ) Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sylvia Garcia help distribute food at the Houston Food Bank on February 20, 2021 in Houston, Texas. – Texans are in need of aid after an unprecedented and deadly “polar plunge” burst pipes and left millions in the US state shivering without power or clean water for days. (Photo by Elizabeth Conley / POOL / AFP)

You KNOW things’re bad when a renown New York City Progressive Democrat has more chutzpah, and gets more things done for Texans than does their ne’er do well, out-of-touch privileged U.S. Senator Ted “Cancun” Cruz.


 

https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/22/politics/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-texas-fundraising-future/index.html

The Stunning Political Power Of AOC

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 3:51 PM ET, Monday February 22, 2021

(CNN) – Last Thursday, New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) announced her plan to raise money to help victims of the extreme weather — and power grid failure — in Texas.

On Sunday night, her office confirmed that she had raised almost $5 million for that effort in less than 96 hours.

Obviously, the most important thing here is that millions more dollars will go to Texans still struggling to find potable water and deal with the damage from last week’s deep freeze. (Ocasio-Cortez also traveled to the state over the weekend to see the situation firsthand.)

But it’s also extremely important Read the rest of this entry »

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ERCOT To Be Sued Into Oblivion

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 22, 2021

What’d I tell you, eh?

Just a matter of a few days ago, on Thursday, February 18, 2021, in an entry entitled “Details On Texas’ Electrical Power Grid Production Problems,” I wrote in part that,

“It would not be too far-fetched to imagine (unless the Texas State Legislature asserted otherwise, and chose not to protect the people, but industry instead), that in the future, if such deliberate failures to act to prevent catastrophic loss in Texas – primarily as loss of human life, but property loss, as well – would be subject to litigation by others against the offenders – that being the entire spectrum of participants, ranging from  Power Generators, Investor-Owned Utilities aka Retail Electricity Providers, and ERCOT as the esrtwhile ne’er do well pseudo-manager, and perhaps even the Public Utility Commission of Texas for allowing it all to happen under their watchful eyes.

“Ultimately, of course, the responsibility lies with Texas politicians who have horrifically and bitterly failed their constituents… again, and in magnificently resplendent fashion – making this catastrophic fiasco their magnum opus of failure.

“And there is precedent for the same. Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE), the primary electrical utility and NatGas service provider for California, was sued recently, and consequently filed bankruptcy because of the sheer volume of lawsuits filed citing PGE’s deliberate failures to act in a preventative manner to secure their power lines to prevent fire, which in turn caused massive wildfires in the state. To assert that affirmative corporate responsibility is somehow tortuous or onerous to justice or jurisprudence is beyond the scope of the pale. And ERCOT is a well-known name in Texas.”

And, have you noticed?

The ERCOT website, ERCOT.com has remained off-line for several days, and at last check, moments ago, remained off-line.

Fortunately, however, there is a thing called the “Internet Archive” which has a “Wayback Machine” that caches and “makes images” (copies) of websites worldwide. So the ERCOT website isn’t truly gone… even though they might wish it to be.

But ERCOT and Entergy… deserve to be punished for their failures.

The buck stops here.


$100M Lawsuit Alleges Negligence By Power Company, Grid Operator Led To Texas Boy’s Death During Winter Storm

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/539798-100m-lawsuit-alleges-negligence-by-power-company-grid-operator-led-to

The family of an 11-year-old boy who died in the freezing Texas weather last week has filed a lawsuit against the state’s grid operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), and power company Entergy, alleging that gross negligence led to the child’s death.

Local Houston news station KHOU reports that the family of Cristian Pavon has filed a lawsuit and is represented by attorney Tony Buzbee.


Family of Conroe boy who died during winter storm suing ERCOT, Entergy for $100M

The lawsuit alleges gross negligence by the power grid operator and the electricity provider, saying it led to the death of 11-year-old Cristian Pavon.
Published: 7:24 PM CST February 20, 2021

https://www.kens5.com/article/weather/11-year-old-found-dead-after-freezing-cold-night-in-a-conroe-mobile-home-with-no-power/285-4781bcb9-6643-4224-8b5b-c1fc5c725b61

CONROE, Texas — A Conroe family whose young son died during the winter storm has enlisted to help of high-profile attorney Tony Buzbee in their lawsuit against ERCOT and Entergy.

The lawsuit alleges gross negligence by the power grid operator and the electricity provider, saying it led to the death of 11-year-old Christian Pavon.

The boy died Tuesday after spending the night in his frigid mobile home that lost power.

The lawsuit says Christian died of hypothermia, and the family is asking for more than $100 million in damages.

Medical examiners have not yet released his cause of death.

Entergy released the following statement on the lawsuit:
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of life in our community. We are unable to comment due to pending litigation.”

ERCOT also released a statement:
“We haven’t yet reviewed the lawsuits and Read the rest of this entry »

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Feel Like Overturning A Few Elections? Here’s Where It’s Now Happening.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 19, 2021

Imagine for a minute, if you can, what it would be like for your elected Representatives and Senators, at either the State, or Federal level to literally “undo,” or attempt to “undo,” an election that was in every way conducted properly (meaning ethically, honestly, and openly, in accordance with all applicable laws), simply because they didn’t “like” the way The People voted – the results or outcome of the election wasn’t to their suiting, or liking.

There was such an attempt at the State level by the former President – the most notably infamous one being an hour-long phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, of which there is a publicly available audio recording of the entire call (transcript of entire call here), in which the former President said numerous times “I just want to find 11,780 votes” (Joe Biden won Georgia by a margin of 11,779 votes) – trying to enlist Secretary Raffensberger’s assistance in his effort to “find” votes which would dishonestly, unjustly, inequitably, and illegally “throw” the election to himself.

The Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney and the Georgia State Attorney General’s Office are both investigating that matter in order to determine what, if any, election-related laws were broken in the course of that phone call, which may include “the solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”

The audio taped recording of the Trump-Raffensperger phone call is quite likely much worse than any of the numerous covert so-called “smoking gun” audio tapes of Richard Nixon’s presidency. Nixon’s numerous recorded conversations with staff, and others, including of his phone calls, which detailed his involvement in the numerous crimes of the Watergate burglary/break-in, also revealed him to be paranoid.

And cockamamie conspiracy theories aside – especially and particularly the one of “The BIG Lie,” as told by the former President – NO ONE made any overt, or clandestine effort or attempt to “steal” any election from anyone. PERIOD.

But the point of the matter is this:
There are
GENUINELY
now-ongoing efforts
to literally “undo”
the results of honest elections
in the United States.

No, this is NOT a joke… and, NO this is NOT a conspiracy theory.

It is a documented fact.

What does it say for democracy and the democratic process if the expressed will of the people is somehow, overridden, undone, or cancelled?

Yeah… it’s that “cancel culture” thing.

And it is Republicans who are doing it.

Remember the thing about “psychological projection” – a morbid behavior in which people deny or defend in themselves the very characteristic or behavior they abjure and detest in others? It’s a type of “blame shifting,” and a refusal to accept either reality or responsibility.

Read for yourself the following 2 news items to learn what GOP-Banana Republican types are doing in some states.


Marijuana Foes Deploy New ‘Playbook’ To Thwart State Legalization, Upend Election Results

By Jeff Smith
Published February 18, 2021
https://mjbizdaily.com/marijuana-legalization-foes-aim-to-overturn-election-results/

Efforts to thwart voter-approved marijuana legalization in Mississippi, Montana and South Dakota are evidence of a “playbook” that reflects new legal strategies and greater willingness among local government officials to nullify election results, experts say.

Those efforts – led by anti-marijuana politicians and other opponents – threaten to stop or delay the implementation of new medical and recreational cannabis markets that would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in sales a year.

In Idaho, some state lawmakers are Read the rest of this entry »

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Details On Texas’ Electrical Power Grid Production Problems

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Texas Interconnection, which covers 213 of Texas’ 254 counties, is managed by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Counties NOT included: Bailey, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cochran, Dallam, El Paso, Gaines, Gregg, Hansford, Hardin, Harrison, Hartley, Hemphill, Hockley, Hudspeth, Hutchinson, Jasper, Jefferson, Lamb, Liberty, Lipscomb, Lubbock, Marion, Moore, Morris, Newton, Ochiltree, Orange, Panola, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Sherman, Terry, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur and Yoakum. (Total = 41)

By now, you’ve likely read or heard numerous stories of Texans’ suffering because of electrical power outages, that are now becoming rolling blackouts.

And, perhaps as well you’ve read that deregulation has been a significantly influential part of the problem.

And then, you may have also read or heard that failure to properly insulate and protect against wintry weather conditions has been the preliminary finding of a root cause analysis.

But you may also wonder why other states or nations which regularly experience much colder temperature extremes don’t have the same kinds of problems that Texas has.

Scandinavian countries, Minnesotans, Michiganders and Mainers all regularly have much cooler temperatures and wind power, but their windmills and electrical power grids don’t stop operating like the ones in Texas did. And Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, and other European nations also regularly have cold weather that doesn’t shut down their power grid. So, what gives?

The weather-related failures of Texas’ natural gas (NatGas) infrastructure that has resulted in this present and most unfortunate crisis, are because NatGas pipelines froze in the very time of year and season in which they are most heavily relied upon.

Again, states and nations with much colder climes don’t seem to have the kinds of problems that Texas is experiencing. And there remains at least 42 signatory nations with permanent, year-round research stations in the Antarctic, which also have electricity. So again, why exactly did natural gas pipelines freeze in Texas? Water is the primary thing that freezes, right?

With single-digit temperatures, Texas’ Natural Gas pipelines froze up because there was moisture in the gas. Like moisture on the exterior of an iced beverage glass, cold temperatures cause moisture to condensate, and once liquefied, then exposed to freezing temperatures, gas pipelines were literally blocked with ice, and in some cases, the compressors lost power. It’s common for Natural Gas to be stored underground, which is also where it originates. So in its “raw” state, or untreated condition, it is not uncommon for water – either as liquid, or vapor – to be present in the unrefined gas, which in turn, must be “dried out,” or dehumidified to certain levels in order to be salable and usable.

In response, pumps which were used to deliver Natural Gas then slowed down. The Diesel engines which were used to power the pumps refused to start. And from there, it was a cascade of failures – a “domino effect” – one power plant after another went offline. Even 1 of Texas’ 2 nuclear reactors went dark, hampered by inoperable equipment. And to be certain, the nuclear power plant wasn’t “crippled” in the sense that it was incapable of operations, but a decision – in the interest of safety – was made to shut down the plant because a critical component – a sensor – was not working because of the cold temperatures. Further complicating matters, the NatGas that was available was prioritized for heating residences and businesses, rather than for generating electricity.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

“The measurement of moisture in natural gas is an important parameter for the processing, storage and transportation of natural gas globally. Natural gas is dehydrated prior to introduction into the pipeline and distribution network. However, attempts to reduce dehydration result in a reduction in “gas quality” and an increase in maintenance costs and transportation as well as potential safety issues.. Consequently, to strike the right balance, it is important that the water component of natural gas is measured precisely and reliably. Moreover, in custody transfer of natural gas between existing and future owners maximum allowable levels are set by tariff, normally expressed in terms of absolute humidity (mg/m3 or lbs/mmscfh) or dew point temperature.

“Prior to transportation, water is separated from raw natural gas. However some water still remains present in the gaseous state as water vapor. If the gas cools or comes in contact with any surface that is colder that the prevailing dew point temperature of the gas, water will condense in the form of liquid or ice. Under pressure, water also has the unique property of being able to form a lattice structure around hydrocarbons such as methane to form solid hydrates. Ice or solid hydrates can cause blockage in pipelines. In addition, water combines with gases such as Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) and Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to form corrosive acids. Water in natural gas also increases the cost of transportation in pipelines by adding mass and as water vapor has no calorific or heating value it also adds to the expense of compression and transportation. When natural gas is sold, there are contractual requirements to limit the concentration of water vapor. In the United States the limit or tariff is expressed in absolute humidity in units of pounds per million standard cubic feet (lbs/mmscf). The maximum absolute humidity for interstate transfer is set at 7lbs/mmscf. In Europe, bodies such as EASEE-gas make recommendations on the maximum permissible amount of water vapor in the gas. EASEE-gas has approved a limit of -8°C Dew Point, referenced to a gas pressure of 70 Bar(a). This recommended limit is generally being adhered to in the gas industry across Europe.”

–– “Moisture Measurement Technologies for Natural Gas,” By Gerard McKeogh, Regional Product Manager, GE Measurement & Control

ASTM D4888 – 20; Standard Test Method for Water Vapor in Natural Gas Using Length-of-Stain Detector Tubes

Water content of high pressure natural gas: Data, prediction and experience from field,” by Kjersti Omdahl Christensen, Torbjørn Vegard Løkken, Even Solbraa, Cecilie Fjeld Nygaard, Anita Bersås;

Equinor, a Stavanger, Norway-based international energy company, engaged in exploration, development and production of oil and gas, including wind and solar power. They sell crude oil and are a major supplier of natural gas, with activities in processing, refining, and trading.

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

Of course, politicians Read the rest of this entry »

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Racist Radio Shock Jock Rush Limbaugh Dead

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Rush Romney Porn Sex Pig

Right Wing Political Pundit-Radio Entertainer Rush Limbaugh caught Hell for one of his caustically outrageous diatribes… again. This time, his target was a woman. Next up, children.

A portion of the Wikipedia entry on Limbaugh, which has since been removed.

Hell yawns wide to receive his rotted, cancer-riddled, tone-deaf, racist, drug-addled corpse.

Good riddance.

Just desserts, you know.

He had no pity for others.

Others will have no pity for him.

The racist son-of-a-bitch got what he wanted:
“A medal for smoking cigars.”

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Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott says…

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 17, 2021

“This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America. Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10 percent of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis. It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary.”

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott says stupid shit.

The chart below, from the United States Energy Information Administration, shows that in Texas, Natural Gas-Fired electricity generation is BY FAR – by at least TWICE – the SINGLE LARGEST SOURCE of electrical power in Texas.

It is NOT Nonhydroelectric Renewables, which supplies only 8679 thousand MWh while Natural Gas which supplies 19,890 thousand MWh.

Yeah.

But wind turbines are the problem – according to Governor Abbott and other nuts.

What kind of ding-dong dumbass is Greg Abbott?

Governor Abbott had an embarrassing and unannounced public case of verbal diarrhea on The Blame Game show on Tuesday’s edition of Faux Newz with Right Wing Nut Job Extremist Sean Hannity as the talking head show.

But, let’s be fair about this, shall we?

It happened on YOUR watch, Governor Greggy-poo. Therefore, it’s YOUR fault.

It’s YOUR FAULT
because
YOU DID NOTHING
TO
PREVENT IT FROM HAPPENING.

Simply put, you did NOT look out for the welfare of your state’s citizens.

You FAILED.

In a series of Tweets, Dan Crenshaw, Texas Republican U.S. Representative for CD2-Houston stated what many agreed is the problem – there’s no insulation in natural gas pipelines in Texas. Thus, they were freezing up, and creating problems.

“Low Supply of Natural Gas: ERCOT planned on

Read the rest of this entry »

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Deregulation Has Caused Texas’ Energy Problems

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Texas Electrical Energy Deregulation map
The Texas and Dallas deregulated energy service areas are divided into six Transmission and Delivery Utility (TDU) Companies. Those TDUs are:
• Texas New Mexico Power Company (TNMP)
• Sharyland Utilites
• AEP North (American Electric Power)
• AEP Central
• Oncor (most of DFW, Dallas-Fort Worth included)
• CenterPoint (Houston and surrounding areas)

While it’s cold – and yes, it’s a Polar Vortex (see the motion gif showing 2 months of daily changes at the bottom of this page) – it’s NOT like the Polar Vortex of February 2019.

But if you’ve been wondering WHY Texas is having problems delivering electricity right now with a relatively minor cold snap moving through much of the United States, and other states aren’t, wonder no more.

Texas has a DEREGULATED energy/electrical power grid.

Texas, which is the nation’s the largest energy producer and consumer, is the only state in the nation to have and use its own power grid.

There are three electrical power grids in the Lower 48 states:
1.) The Eastern Interconnection;
2.) The Western Interconnection, and;
3.) The Texas Interconnection.

For more information, see:
U.S. electric system is made up of interconnections and balancing authorities
https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=27152
;
See also:
Learn More About Interconnections
https://www.energy.gov/oe/services/electricity-policy-coordination-and-implementation/transmission-planning/recovery-act-0
.

Texas’ electrical power grid is called ERCOT, which is Read the rest of this entry »

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Senate Banana Republicans Are Spineless Jellyfish

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

More Compelling Evidence That Senators Are Members Not Of Congress, But Of The Cult of Trump

Banana Republicans in the United States Senate are a bunch of spineless jellyfish.

And… Kentucky Senate Minority Leader Moscow Mitch “The Bitch” McConnell is their leader.


An Impeachment Manager Says Republicans Privately Told Her She Made A Compelling Case To Convict Trump, But They Acquitted Him Anyway

• Delegate Stacey Plaskett (D-Virgin Islands) was a House manager in Trump’s second impeachment trial.

• She told CNN some Senate Republicans privately told her she “made the case” for conviction.

• But she said they already planned to acquit Trump and didn’t want to “stand out on a limb” by convicting.

A House impeachment manager says Republican senators told her privately that she “made the case” to convict former President Donald Trump, but they still voted to acquit him.

Delegate Stacey Plaskett, a Democrat from the Virgin Islands, told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday about the interactions she had with unnamed Republican senators during Trump’s second impeachment trial last week.

“I had Senators, even after we presented, who stopped me in the hallway, Republicans, who said that we had made the case, but yet they were going to vote to acquit the president,” Plaskett said.

Plaskett said she tried to win these senators over by saying they could vote to acquit Trump, but not vote to disqualify him from holding office in the future – a vote which would have taken place after conviction, and only requires a simple majority.

“The response was, Read the rest of this entry »

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Mitch McConnell: Acquittal Vindicated the Constitution, Not Trump

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 16, 2021

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Joseph Story (1779-1845), Daguerreotype portrait by Matthew Brady’s Studio c.1844/45

Joseph Story (1779-1845) was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, nominated by President James Madison, who served in office from February 3, 1812 until September 10, 1845.

He was also: Republican Congressman from Massachusetts, 1808-1809; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, 1811-1845; Acting Chief Justice, 1835-1836, 1844; Professor of Law Harvard University 1829-1845.

He is perhaps most renown for his work “Commentaries On The Constitution of the United States” which was first published in 1833, though he authored several other books on the law, and Constitution.

The United States Constitution states in part as follows:

Article I, Section 3, Clause 7:
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

Article II, Section 4:
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Justice Story wrote about the matter of impeachment at great length, and in part wrote that:

§393. It is obvious, that, upon trials on impeachments, one of two courses must be adopted in case of a conviction; either for the court to proceed to pronounce a full and complete sentence of punishment for the offence according to the law of the land in like cases, pending in the common tribunals of justice, superadding the removal from office, and the consequent disabilities; or, to confine its sentence to the removal from office and other disabilities. If the former duty be a part of the constitutional functions of the court, then, in case of an acquittal, there cannot be another trial of the party for the same offence in the common tribunals of justice, because it is repugnant to the whole theory of the common law, that a man should be brought into jeopardy of life or limb more than once for the same offence. A plea of acquittal is, therefore, an absolute bar against any second prosecution for the same offence. If the court of impeachments is merely to pronounce a sentence of removal from office and the other disabilities; then it is indispensable, that provision should be made, that the common tribunals of justice should be at liberty to entertain jurisdiction of the offence, for the purpose of inflicting the common punishment applicable to unofficial offenders. Otherwise, it might be matter of extreme doubt, whether, consistently with the great maxim above mentioned, established for the security of the life and limbs and liberty of the citizen, a second trial for the same offence could be had, either after an acquittal, or a conviction in the court of impeachments. And if no such second trial could be had, then the grossest official offenders might escape without any substantial punishment, even for crimes, which would subject their fellow citizens to capital punishment. [emphasis added]

§394. The constitution, then, having provided, that judgment upon impeachments shall not extend further, than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold office, (which, however afflictive to an ambitious and elevated mind, would be scarcely felt, as a punishment, by the profligate and the base,) has wisely subjected the party to trial in the common criminal tribunals, for the purpose of receiving such punishment, as ordinarily belongs to the offence. Thus, for instance, treason, which by our laws is a capital offence, may receive its appropriate punishment ; and bribery in high officers, which otherwise would be a mere disqualification from office, may have the measure of its infamy dealt out to it with the same unsparing severity, which attends upon other and humbler offenders.

Joseph Story, “Commentaries On The Constitution of the United States” §393, §394, p278-280, Book III, chapter X; 1833

How the cowardly, weasel-like jellyfish of a man “Moscow Mitch, the Bitch” McConnell could POSSIBLY use the word “vindicate” in reference to the United States Constitution is beyond the scope of imagination – however derelict and perverted it may be – and it is definitely most perverted.

McConnell wrote “Our job wasn’t to find some way, any way, to inflict a punishment. The Senate’s first and foundational duty was to protect the Constitution.” -and- that “The text is unclear” about impeachment, whether “the Senate can try and convict former officers.”

McConnell had also earlier written a “dear colleague” letter to his fellow Banana Republicans in the Senate, in which he wrote in pertinent part that “I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal…”

His mind is like concrete – thoroughly mixed, and permanently set.

The cases of Tennessee United States Senator William Blount – impeached July 7, 1797, on charges of conspiring to assist in Great Britain’s attempt to seize Spanish-controlled territories in modern-day Florida and Louisiana, tried December 17, 1798–January 14, 1799 – and Ulysses Grant’s Secretary of War William Belknap – who tendered his resignation March 2, 1876 only moments before the House impeached him, was tried March 3–August 1, 1876 – demonstrate very clearly that officials may be tried on impeachment charges after they’re out of office. Or else, it completely absolves any official of any responsibility for any act of criminal wrong-doing while in office. It is the intellectual and moral equivalent of saying “so-and-so doesn’t live in Texas anymore, and moved to Minnesota 10 years ago, so s/he can’t be tried for murder or any crimes committed while residing in Texas.”

To assert as much is so absurdly preposterous that it defies imagination.

It’s an ethically reprehensible, morally wrong and judiciously untenable to deny anyone – including society – justice. And that is, in effect, what has happened with Donald Trump; society has been denied justice for the reprehensible, morally repugnant, and outright illegal acts of Donald Trump while in office as the President.

McConnell claims that Trump can be tried in other courts, and cites Justice Story’s writing that:

“There is also much force in the remark, that an impeachment is a proceeding purely of a political nature. It is not so much designed to punish an offender, as to secure the state against gross official misdemeanors. It touches neither his person, nor his property ; but simply divests him of his political capacity.” –– §406, chapter X, book III, p289

“And the final judgment is confined to a removal from, and disqualification for, office ; thus limiting the punishment to such modes of redress, as are peculiarly fit for a political tribunal to administer, and as will secure the public against political injuries. In other respects the offence is left to be disposed of by the common tribunals of justice, accord- ing to the laws of the land, upon an indictment found by a grand jury, and a trial by jury of peers, before whom the party is to stand for his final deliverance, like his fellow citizens.” –– §407, chapter X, book III, p290

But, rest assured: Trump is completely free and clear of any charges related to impeachment. However, there are other charges at the state level which he may face for things he did while in office, including most notably, attempting to persuade Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger to manipulate the results of the election in that state to throw the election to Trump’s favor. The Fulton County District Attorney, and Georgia State Attorney General are investigating that matter.

And just to be utterly and absolutely certain, the word “vindicate” is defined as meaning:

1. To clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments or proof: “Our society permits people to sue for libel so that they may vindicate their reputations” (Irving R. Kaufman).
2. To defend, maintain, or insist on the recognition of (one’s rights, for example).
3. To demonstrate or prove the value or validity of; justify: The results of the experiment vindicated her optimism.
4. Obsolete To exact revenge for; avenge.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition.)

1. to clear from guilt, accusation, blame, etc, as by evidence or argument
2. to provide justification for: his promotion vindicated his unconventional attitude.
3. to uphold, maintain, or defend (a cause, etc): to vindicate a claim.
4. (Law) Roman law to bring an action to regain possession of (property) under claim of legal title
5. (Historical Terms) Roman law to bring an action to regain possession of (property) under claim of legal title
6. rare to claim, as for oneself or another
7. obsolete to take revenge on or for; punish
8. obsolete to set free
(Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014)
1. to clear, as from an accusation or suspicion: to vindicate someone’s honor.
2. to afford justification for; justify.
3. to uphold or justify by argument or evidence.
4. to maintain or defend against opposition.
5. to claim for oneself or another.
6. Obs. to avenge.
7. Obs. to free.
8. Obs. to punish.
(Random House Kernerman Webster’s College Dictionary, © 2010)

“Moscow Mitch, the Bitch” McConnell is a Banana Republican from Kentucky, Senate Minority Leader, the biggest weasel in Washington, D.C., and an ardent, though oblique, supporter of the Cult of Trump.


Acquittal Vindicated the Constitution, Not Trump

wsj.com
Sunday, February 14, 2021
by Mitch McConnell

January 6 was a shameful day. A mob bloodied law enforcement and besieged the first branch of government. American citizens tried to use terrorism to stop a democratic proceeding they disliked.

There is no question former President Trump bears moral responsibility. His supporters stormed the Capitol because of the unhinged falsehoods he shouted into the world’s largest megaphone. His behavior during and after the chaos was also unconscionable, from attacking Vice President Mike Pence during the riot to praising the criminals after it ended.

President-elect Donald Trump leaves a meeting with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, at the U.S. Capitol November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC Zach Gibson/Getty Images

I was as outraged as any member of Congress. But senators take our own oaths. Our job wasn’t to find some way, any way, to inflict a punishment. The Senate’s first and foundational duty was to protect the Constitution.

Some brilliant scholars believe Read the rest of this entry »

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Impeachment v2.0 Day 5: We’re through now. Verdict: Not guilty by reason of insanity or mental defect.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, February 14, 2021

The United States Senate voted largely along party lines Saturday, 13 February 2021 to NOT CONVICT the former President of the United States, Donald J. Trump of the charge of inciting insurrection.

Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina joined Republican Senators Mitt Romney of Utah, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, and all 50 Democrats in voting GUILTY to convict. But, 57 votes was 10 shy of the 2/3 required by the Constitution in order to convict.

The Senate Minority Leader Moscow Mitch McConnell had the temerity, audacity and unmitigated gall to actually give a brief speech on the Senate floor following his “NOT GUILTY” vote for Donald J. “Loser” Trump, which follows at the conclusion of this entry.

Feb 13 59 (57-43) Not Guilty Guilty or Not Guilty H.Res. 24

The Roll Call vote by member may be found here:
https://www.cop.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=117&session=1&vote=00059

This

Valentine’s Day “We love you Donald” edition

is brought to you by:

Senate Minority Leader “Moscow Mitch” McConnell who wrote email to his Senate minions saying,

“Colleagues, as I have said for some time, today’s vote is a vote of conscience and I know we will all treat it as such. I have been asked directly by a number of you how I intend to vote, so thought it right to make that known prior to the final vote. While a close call, I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal and we therefore lack jurisdiction. The Constitution makes perfectly clear that Presidential criminal misconduct while in office can be prosecuted after the President has left office, which in my view alleviates the otherwise troubling ‘January exception’ argument raised by the House.

“Given these conclusions, I will vote to acquit.

“Mitch”

Yeah… that Kentucky heathen not only voted to acquit the POS45, aka Liar in Chief, leader of the Cult of Trump, but passed the buck.

Not guilty, not guilty 2x, guilty. Alcee Hastings was impeached and found guilty of on charges of perjury and conspiring to solicit a bribe, and was removed from office as a Federal judge in 1989. He’s been a United States Representative for Florida’s 20th Congressional District since 1993.

Here’s the thing, though: For a man who claims to have an interest in historicity for the purpose of the Senate, he is DEAD WRONG about his opinion that, as he writes, “I am persuaded that impeachments are a tool primarily of removal…”

  As a matter of history, there has been of late at least a moderate amount of discussion and news made about an historical matter involving circumstances very similar to this one (in which the impeached individual is no longer in office), insofar as the two individuals impeached had ALREADY been resigned from, or otherwise out of office when their impeachment occurred.

Concerning the historical record, the FIRST impeached Federal official was Read the rest of this entry »

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Impeachment v2.0 Day 3: The Devil Made Me Do It

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, February 12, 2021

“Trump told us to do it.”

Trump’s MAGA supporters rioter-insurrectionists who were assembled at the White House Ellipse Park January 6, 2021 quickly became violent exclusively because they believed that Trump was asking them to do so – that they were doing his bidding.

“He said, ‘Be there.’ So I went and I answered the call of my president.”

House Impeachment Managers cited social media posts, recorded video, and court documents which reflected as much.

Impeachment Managers also extensively documented that several months BEFORE the election, Trump was laying the groundwork for convincing his cult of followers that the November presidential election was fixed, and that his victory was stolen because of Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Impeachment Trial v2.0 – Day 2… or, Senator Mike Lee Gets Pissed

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 11, 2021

Suddenly, a Juror becomes a Witness!

Senator from Utah, Mike Lee suddenly stood up and said…

“Statements were attributed to me moments ago by the House Impeachment Managers. Statements relating to the content of conversations between a phone call involving President Trump and Senator Tuberville were not made by me. They’re not accurate, and they’re contrary to fact. I move pursuant to Rule 16 that they be stricken from the record.”

There is NO court of jurisdiction EVER which has allowed a juror to become a witness also.

Lead Impeachment Manager Representative Jamie Raskin, Maryland-8, Democrat

In the trial’s final hour of arguments on Day 2, Wednesday, February 11, 2021, Representative David Cicilline, an Impeachment Manager, and Democrat of Rhode Island-1, spoke of then-President Trump who, during the very midst of the insurrection and breach of the Capitol building, had mistakenly called Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah, in an effort to reach newly-elected first-time politician Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, a former football coach for Auburn University. In describing the call, which was detailed in numerous news reports, Representative Cicilline asserted that Senator Lee had stood by as Trump asked Senator Tuberville to make additional objections to the certification of President Biden’s electoral votes.

In an interview with Deseret News on January 7, 2021, Senator Mike Lee described a phone call made to him by then-President Trump, which reported that,

“With a mob of election protesters laying siege to the U.S. Capitol, Sen. Mike Lee had just ended a prayer with some of his colleagues in the Senate chamber when his cellphone rang.

Caller ID showed the call originated from the White House. Lee thought it might be national security adviser Robert O’Brien, with whom he’d been playing phone tag on an unrelated issue. It wasn’t O’Brien. It was President Donald Trump.

“How’s it going, Tommy?” the president asked.

Taken a little aback, Lee said this isn’t Tommy.

“Well, who is this? Trump asked. “It’s Mike Lee,” the senator replied. “Oh, hi Mike. I called Tommy.”

Lee told the Deseret News he realized Trump was trying to call Sen. Tommy Tuberville, the newly elected Republican from Alabama and former Auburn University football coach. Lee walked his phone over to Tuberville who was talking to some colleagues.

“Hey, Tommy, I hate to interrupt but the president wants to speak with you,” Lee said.

Tuberville and Trump talked for about five to 10 minutes, Lee said, adding that he stood nearby because he didn’t want to lose his cellphone in the commotion. The two were still talking when panicked police ordered the Capitol to be evacuated because people had breached security.

As police were getting anxious for senators to leave, Lee walked over to retrieve his phone.

“I don’t want to interrupt your call with the president, but we’re being evacuated and I need my phone,” he said.

Tuberville said, “OK, Mr. President. I gotta go.”

Lee said when he later asked Tuberville about the conversation, he got the impression that Trump didn’t know about the chaos going on in the Senate chamber.

Impeachment Manager David Ciciline, a Democrat representing Rhode Island-1 said,

“Senator Lee described it. He had just ended a prayer with his colleagues here in the Senate chamber, and the phone rang. It was Donald Trump. Senator Lee explains that the phone call goes something like this. ‘Hey, Tommy,’ Trump asks. Sen. Lee says, ‘This isn’t Tommy.’ He hands the phone to Senator Tuberville.

“Senator Lee then confirmed that he stood by as Senator Tuberville and President Trump spoke on the phone. And on that call, Donald Trump reportedly asked Senator Tuberville to make additional objections to the certification process.”

Senator Lee NEVER objected to the news report which he himself had told to Deseret News on January 7, 2021.  Nor did he note that any corrections should be made to it, and there is no errata or corrections cited on the story.

As Impeachment Manager Representative Ciciline was speaking, Senator Lee became apparently agitated and wrote in large letters upon a sheet of paper from a legal pad at his desk “This is not what happened.” and then handed the paper to David Schoen, one of Trump’s lawyers.

As Lead Impeachment Manager Representative Jamie Raskin, a Democrat representing Maryland’s 8th Congressional District, was at the speaker’s podium and was attempting to close the day’s session, Senator Lee then stood up, and Read the rest of this entry »

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Rest In Peace, Larry Flynt: Renown First Amendment Advocate, Vietnam Veteran, Entrepreneur Dies Aged 78

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 11, 2021

Larry Flynt, known globally as an entrepreneur and First Amendment champion, has died aged 78.

Mr. Flynt had a strong desire for service to the nation, and first enlisted in the United States Army using a false birth certificate when he was aged 15, and had dropped out of the 9th grade. After 7 months, in 1960, he was declared supernumerary and honorably discharged. He then repeated that performance, and joined the United States Navy, where he served for 5 years, and was honorably discharged in 1964 during the Vietnam War. While serving aboard the USS Enterprise as a radar operator, he was on duty during the operation to recover John Glenn’s space capsule after splashdown following his first space orbit.

Larry Flynt (center) makes his way through a crowd at a rally in Cincinnati in 1977.

He was a native Southerner, and was born and raised in Lakeville, Kentucky, in Magoffin County, a still-small village in the practical middle of nowhere, in the state’s eastern central portion, due east of Lexington about a 2-hour drive on Kentucky State Highway 9009.

Mr. Flynt may perhaps best be known as pornographer, and publisher of Hustler magazine, a title of which he was unashamed, and for which an attempted assassin’s bullet severed his spinal cord outside the courthouse in Gwinnett County Georgia, on March 6, 1978, where he was facing obscenity charges, which he won. From that point on, he was never able to walk, and relied upon a wheelchair for mobility, albeit, a custom-made, gold-plated one.

For many years thereafter, Mr. Flynt’s sniper went undiscovered until an arrest for two unrelated killings elsewhere, when the suspect confessed to being Flynt’s shooter. White Supremacist John Paul Franklin said the reason he shot Flynt, was because he objected to photos in Hustler depicting interracial couples. He was executed by the state of Missouri in 2013 – an act which Mr. Flynt disapproved of as an opponent of the death penalty.

For many years, he had a long-term friendship with the Reverend Jerry Falwell Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Impeachment Trial v2.0 – Day 1

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 10, 2021

The Temerity Of Alabama’s David Schoen,
Impeachment Defense Attorney For Donald Trump

The utter temerity of David Schoen!

David Schoen is a Montgomery, Alabama-based attorney whom is a Jew.

The mention of his religion is of no consequence, save perhaps, for the fact that he had asked for, then rescinded his request for the trial to take a day off – Saturday, beginning from sundown Friday, to sunrise Sunday (the Jewish “sabbath”) – to attend Synagogue, wear his little beanie, not use electricity, not serve dairy and meat together (like on a cheeseburger), or to practice whatever superstitious silliness that religiously observant Jews practice on Saturdays – just like Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, Loser Trump’s second child, and first-born daughter, of whom he said that he would be “dating her” (TRANSLATE: Having sex with) if he wasn’t married to Malaria, er… Melania, and noted that she was a “fine piece of ass.”

The TEMERITY to quote Lincoln in his closing remarks!

Is he trying to defend, or prosecute his client?

The atrocity occurs very near the closing after 3:57… that’s 3 HOURS and 57 minutes.

“Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right, and PART with him when he goes wrong.”
–– The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, “Speech at Peoria, Illinois” (October 16, 1854), p. 273.

And then, to read – and give an UTTERLY HORRIBLE performance of – an 1849 poem by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow!

That’s utter heresy!

The atrocity!

A goddamn moron, he is.

Schoen, a 3rd rate goofball, who the Piece of Shit former loser President hired after his first slew of attorneys quit in disgust, after the shit bag insisted that they base their claim of defense that he lost because of massive vote fraud, and they refused.

What?

Giuliani couldn’t do it?

Loser Trumpanzee is a goddamn moron.

Schoen is the 3rd, or 4th string.

Loser Trumpanzee can barely sign his name with a Sharpie permanent marker. He butchers words like “Yosemite” pronouncing it instead as “Yo – Semite” as if he were talking to his bigoted Semite son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Yeah… the bigot who was credibly accused of housing discrimination (he’s a slumlord) against Blacks, and rather than go to trial, agreed to Read the rest of this entry »

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Senate Banana Republicans Will Let Trump Go Free, And In The Process, Damage Themselves

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

Banana Republicans in the United States Senate do NOT, and will NOT need, “smoking gun evidence” to convict Donald Trump of Insurrection, because in their warped imaginations, he did nothing wrong.

Those feckless individuals have not merely bowed the knee to Trump, or fallen prostate at his feet to lick his boots and the ground he walks upon, but by so doing, they have unambiguously signaled that they are not merely corrupted, but are traitorously and treasonously aligned, as well.

Allan Lichtman

Their fealty, their loyalty, their oath, though it may have appeared so, is NOT to the Constitution, but to some other nation, some other government, one that is NOT the United States of America – The Cult of Trump.

The benighted Moscow Mitch McConnell and his equally benighted Kooky Kentucky Klown pal Rand Paul are still up to no good.


Here Is The Smoking Gun Evidence To Back Impeachment Of Donald Trump

By Dr. Allan Lichtman, PhD, opinion contributor
02/08/21 10:00 AM EST

Allan Lichtman is a Distinguished Professor of History at American University, and an election forecaster. He is the author of “The Embattled Vote in America: From the Founding to the Present.” He tweets @AllanLichtman.

While the House impeachment managers have focused on events leading up to the Capitol breach, it was the real time response from Donald Trump to the rioters which yields smoking gun evidence of his intent to incite the insurrection. Trump failed to promptly call off his followers or to summon timely assistance for the police, despite pleas from his fellow Republicans caught up in the mayhem. His final words that day connect his incendiary statements about a “stolen election” to the storming of the Capitol.

As he watched the insurrection unfold on television, with some delight according to witnesses, Trump made no immediate demand that the rioters leave the Capitol. He failed to heed the pleas of Republicans in Congress, who desperately tried to call him with no response. “We are begging essentially, and he was nowhere to be found,” Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio said. We know Trump did call Senator Tommy Tuberville of Alabama after mistakenly dialing Senator Mike Lee of Utah. Trump called Tuberville not to ask about his safety or to offer assistance, but to discuss a strategy for objecting to the count of electoral votes.

When rioters breached the Capitol in full view of cameras, Trump did not appear on television to denounce them or tell his followers to cease and desist. Instead, he stoked the incitement with a tweet to attack his vice president and double down on claims about a stolen election. He wrote, “Mike Pence did not have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones.”

Trump later sent a tweet in the passive voice, “Stay peaceful!” He sent a similar message more than half an hour later. He still had not appeared in person on any medium at this point. Trump eventually released a video that told his supporters, Read the rest of this entry »

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Dershowitz: “I’m just not a fixer or an influence peddler.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

The New York Times today published a story which detailed a very suspicious, and quizzical relationship to then-President Trump in his last days in office.

The Hill was a bit more succinct with their headline about the story and its findings:
Dershowitz Made Use Of Trump Access To Help Secure Pardons And Clemency For Clients
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/537932-dershowitz-used-trump-access-to-help-secure-pardons-and-clemency-for

Dershowitz was adamant to the Times that he wasn’t “a fixer or influence peddler.”

Just Remember: Anytime anyone says they’re NOT something, they usually are.

“Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz was involved in at least Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump’s Georgia Shakedown A Preparatory For January 6 Insurrection

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

The transcript of then-President Trump’s hour-long call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is too lengthy to duplicate here, per se, but suffice it to say, it all boiled down to this oft-repeated remark by Trump during the call:

“The ballots are corrupt, and they’re brand new, and they don’t have seals, and there’s a whole thing with the ballots. But the ballots are corrupt. And you are going to find that they are — which is totally illegal — it is more illegal for you than it is for them because, you know, what they did and you’re not reporting it. That’s a criminal, that’s a criminal offense. And you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer.

“All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”

The audio and transcript of the call may be read and heard at several sites, but here are two:
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/the-post-has-published-trumps-full-phone-call-with-georgia-election-officials-listen-to-the-audio-and-read-the-transcript/ar-BB1crmJx

https://www.cnn.com/2021/01/03/politics/trump-brad-raffensperger-phone-call-transcript/index.html

The call, which occurred on a Saturday afternoon, January 2, 2021, is a classic example of a shakedown.

In common parlance, the term “shakedown” refers to a criminal activity, describing extortion of money, as by blackmail. It is the preferred and primary definition in most reputable, and modern dictionaries.

Even the “Urban Dictionary,” a repository of modern colloquial use acknowledges similarly, but takes it at least one step further, by also acknowledging context of usage by writing that shakedown is,

“Another word for extortion/blackmail, or the obtaining of a good or service through means of force, threats/intimidation, or abuse of power.
Shakedown by force, threats and intimidation:

“Shakedown by abuse of power:”

Only one other dictionary acknowledges that capacity by writing that shakedown refers to “extortion, as by blackmail or threats of violence.”

Merriam-Webster defines it as “to rob by the use of trickery or threats.”

The Online Slang Dictionary finds similarly, by writing that it means “to extort. That is, to obtain something via force, threats, intimidation, abuse of power, etc.”

Abuse of power by threats – such as Read the rest of this entry »

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BIG GOVERNMENT IS COMING TO EAT YOUR BABIES!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

There’s a segment of society that’s cool with totalitarianism, and authoritarianism.

They’d be happy as a lark to live in a prison, with security cameras at every corner watching everything they do 24/7/365, complete with concertina wire-topped electric fences, armed guards, and people telling them what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and when and where to go – complete with patdowns and searches for contraband. Every moment of their life would be under scrutiny and available for public consumption.

Those are the Banana Republicans – people who have so little confidence in the government that they’ve helped to destroy since 1980, that they feel like they have to carry firearms and other weapons, openly and clandestinely, in order to protect themselves. People who say hate is love, and war is peace, and slavery is freedom all while doing their damnedest to convince the ignorant and fearful that the GREAT BIG BOOGEYMAN OF BIG GOVERNMENT IS COMING TO EAT YOUR BABIES!

Boo!


AP-NORC Poll: Few In U.S. Say Democracy Is Working Very Well

By Steven Sloan and Thomas Beaumont
Monday, Feb ruary 8, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — Only a fragment of Americans believe democracy is thriving in the U.S., even as broad majorities agree that representative government is one of the country’s bedrock principles, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Just 16% of Americans say democracy is working well or extremely well, a pessimism that spans the political spectrum. Nearly half of Americans, 45%, think democracy isn’t functioning properly, while another 38% say it’s working only somewhat well.

The core elements of democratic government, including free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power, were put to a dire test by the baseless claims of election fraud advanced by former President Donald Trump. Those assertions of fraud were a root cause of the deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol last month, which damaged the country’s reputation as a model for democracy.

Trump will face an unprecedented second impeachment trial in the Senate this week for his role in sparking the violence. About half of Americans say the Senate should convict the Republican former president.

Only 16% Of Americans Say Democracy Is Working Very Or Extremely Well

A new AP-NORC poll finds Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to say democracy is working at least somewhat well. Few Republicans or Democrats say it is working very or extremely well.

How well would you say democracy is working in the United States these days?

CAPTION: Results based on interviews with 1,055 U.S. adults conducted Jan. 28-Feb. 1. The margin of error is ±3.8 percentage points for the full sample.
Source: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research Graphic: Kati Perry

“At every turn, it’s gotten worse and worse,” said Curtis Musser, a 55-year-old Republican-leaning independent in Clermont, Florida, who didn’t vote for Trump. “You could see it brewing even before the election. And everything just kept spiraling downward from there.”

The poll’s findings are broadly consistent with Read the rest of this entry »

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James A. Garfield on Separation of Church and State… in 1874

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

James A. Garfield

It’s always interesting to see how our forebears thought about certain fundamental matters to our nation’s governance. We have historians to guide us, who make it their life’s work to study, and investigate the men, women, and circumstances of their lives, and the times in which they lived. We can, and should be grateful to, and for, them; for they bring to life those things which, though they may seem dead, are still often, very much alive.

Following is an excerpt in whole, as found in the Congressional Record – a verbatim record of remarks made on the floor of the House of Representatives – of a statement made by then-Ohio Representative James A. Garfield, from the 19th Congressional District, who later became President of the United States, and was also, at age 50, ingloriously, the second President assassinated.

Interestingly, he survived being shot on July 2, but eventually succumbed to infection September 19, which was introduced by doctors who frequently inserted their unsterile hands into the wound in efforts to remove the bullet. Today, unless a bullet is lodged near a vital organ, or blood vessel, and is thought to possibly migrate, they’re left in situ (in place) because, the theory being, that the heat generated by firing kills any bacteria which may be introduced, and sometimes, cauterizes the wound.


Mr. GARFIELD. I desire in a very few words, not to argue the merits of this case but to give the ground on which the Committee on Appropriations made their recommendation. Having stated that ground, I shall leave the question to the discretion of the House.

I agree with everything that the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. E. R. Hoar] has said about Read the rest of this entry »

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Kansas City Chiefs Win In Super Bowl LV Shutout

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 8, 2021

See how insane that headline is?

The fact of the matter is, that 43-year old quarterback Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl 55 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Tampa, Florida’s Raymond James Stadium.

And like the 2020 General Election, it too was seen worldwide. There was no “Deflate-Gate,” there were no biased referees, there were no ineligible players on field, there were no players on either side using performance enhancing drugs, and there were no changes to the goal lines, or hash marks.

It was a 100% fair game.

Just like the 2020 November General Election.

Maybe in the interim, before the next season starts, for the benefit of future games, and in order to restore confidence in the game, the Kansas City Chiefs can get some rules changed to help them win next time.

Remember: Denial is not a river in Egypt.


States’ Republicans Weigh New Laws Making It Harder To Vote

https://www.npr.org/2021/02/07/964598941/after-record-2020-turnout-state-republicans-weigh-making-it-harder-to-vote

After an election that saw record voter turnout, with many of those voters casting their ballots early and by mail, some Republican state lawmakers are proposing a wave of new voting laws that would effectively make it more difficult to vote in future elections.

The proposals come in the aftermath of the unprecedented onslaught of disinformation about the conduct of the 2020 election by former President Donald Trump and some of his allies in the Republican Party.

“Some folks bring these proposals forward and say, ‘Well, we just need to address confidence in our election systems,’ when it’s some of those very same people, or at least their allies and enablers, [who] have denigrated our election system by either telling lies or at least leveraging or relying on other people’s lies to justify some of these policies,” said Steve Simon, Minnesota’s Democratic Secretary of State, at a news conference organized last week by the Voter Protection Program.

A recent analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice found that 106 bills have been filed by Republican lawmakers in 28 states that would restrict voting (the group also found 406 bills in 35 states that would expand voting access). Many of the bills would limit voting by mail, add new voter ID requirements, make it more difficult to register voters and give states greater leeway to purge voter files if voters don’t consistently cast ballots in every election.

“Some of them are for show; some of them have to be taken more seriously,” said Trey Grayson, a former Republican Secretary of State in Kentucky, at the same news conference.

Some of the most sweeping proposals come in Arizona and Georgia, where Read the rest of this entry »

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The Midnight Train To Georgia Has Left The Station

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 6, 2021

The Number 1 smash hit popularized by Atlanta, Georgia-based family band of Gladys Knight and the Pips in October 1973 was the work of a native Mississippian from Pontotoc named Jim Weatherly.

His family reported that Jim died recently at his residence in Brentwood, Tennessee, a tony suburb of Nashville, of natural causes, aged 77.

Weatherly wrote two additional tunes that became hits for Gladys Knight and the Pips: “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)” and “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” – which was originally recorded by country singer Ray Price.

A star quarterback for the University of Mississippi, aka “Ole Miss,” in the 1960s, after graduation, Weatherly, who had already formed a band with some classmates, moved to Nashville where he hoped to find his fortune. Nashville, however, long known as a very cliquish town musically, rejected him. So he and his band moved to the Los Angeles area where he became a songwriter in that area’s then-hot music scene. It was a “training ground” for many musicians who later became immensely popular, super-star caliber artists, including Glen Campbell, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Beck, and many others who populated the Laurel Canyon area – a mountainous canyon region in LA’s Hollywood Hills West district, in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Although Laurel Canyon is a rocky, arid, and largely agriculturally inhospitable area, it was fertile ground for artists like Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, The Byrds, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, Buffalo Springfield, Love, Michelle and John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Chris Hillman, J. D. Souther, Judee Sill, Carole King, the Eagles, Richie Furay (of Buffalo Springfield and Poco) and many, many more, almost too numerous to mention.

But, lesser known is the backstory of Jim Weatherly’s first hit song for Gladys Knight and the Pips.

After his college football days ended, Weatherly worked in Los Angeles as a songwriter.

During his off-time in LA he often played flag football with other creative types who had athletic backgrounds – among them, Lee Majors, who himself was a former college football player and was then starring in The Big Valley as Heath Barkley, alongside the lead and central character Victoria Barkley, played by renown actress Barbara Stanwyck. The Big Valley was a unique western television serial whose central character was a woman (Stanwyck), who had taken Heath as her own, though he was the illegitimate son of her character’s late husband Thomas Barkley, following his death.

Jim Weatherly was inducted to the Songwriters Hall of Fame at their 45th Annual Induction and Awards ceremony at the Marriott Marquis Theater on June 12, 2014 in New York City.

The Big Valley was Read the rest of this entry »

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Greene Expelled

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 4, 2021

Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District has been expelled from her committee assignments – House Education and Labor Committee, and House Budget Committee – by a majority vote of Members of the House of Representatives.

House Resolution 72 – Removing a certain Member from certain standing committees of the House of Representatives – was passed by a vote of 230-199. The breakdown was as follows:

219 Democrats voting FOR,
11 Republicans voting FOR,

199 Republicans voting AGAINST,

2 Democrats Not Voting,
1 Republican Not Voting.

The resolution was introduced by Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D, FL-23) on 2/1/21, and was agreed to on 2/4/21 by Roll Call vote number 25 at 6:50 PM ET.

The text of the resolution may be read on the Congress.gov website, but it’s short enough to post here:

Whereas clause 1 of rule XXIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives 
        provides, ``A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or 
        employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall 
        reflect creditably on the House.''; and
Whereas Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene should be removed from her 
        committee assignments in light of conduct she has exhibited: Now, 
        therefore, be it
    Resolved, That the following named Member be, and is hereby, 
removed from the following standing committees of the House of 
Representatives:
    Committee on the Budget: Mrs. Greene of Georgia.
    Committee on Education and Labor: Mrs. Greene of Georgia.

It’s only the SECOND TIME in recent history that a Banana Republican has been removed from their House committee assignments.

After a 17-year Congressional history, Steve King of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District was the first, however, though he was removed by GOP leadership (Kevin McCarthy) in January 2019 rather than by a vote of the House, as was Greene.

King’s list of egregious behavior was at least as extensive as Greene’s.

• In 2016, he was found displaying a Confederate flag on his Washington office desk.
• In 2017, he endorsed a Toronto, Canada mayoral candidate who had neo-Nazi ties.
• In 2018, during a trip to Europe financed by a Holocaust memorial group, he met with a far-right Austrian party which had been founded by a Nazi, with continued leadership of neo-Nazis.
• In 2018, he was recorded by The Weekly Standard referring to Mexicans as “dirt.”

In an interview with a website associated with the party, King (R-Iowa) declared that “Western civilization is on the decline,” spoke of the replacement of white Europeans by immigrants and criticized Hungarian American financier George Soros, who has backed liberal groups around the world.

On Twitter, he follows an Australian anti-Semitic activist, who proposed hanging a portrait of Hitler “in every classroom.”

In July 2013, King spoke about proposed immigration legislation and said of illegal immigrants: “For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

And in March 2017, King wrote, “Culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”

https://apnews.com/article/d8e91a7d5782fc43bc0595b18ddbdd1a

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STOP THE ABUSE: Prime Examples Why ALL Churches & Religion Should Be TAXED

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Associated Press has reported today that Catholic parishes in dioceses throughout the nation have fallen at the feet of government for a pandemic bailout – all while sitting on massive piles of cash that GREW SIGNIFICANTLY during the pandemic – and without any government help.

(see: Sitting On Billions, Catholic Dioceses Amassed Taxpayer Aid)

That is at least TWO forms of fraudulent abuse of government:
1.) Asking for help when it’s NOT needed, and;
2.) Religion asking Government for help.

That the government has become involved in the promotion and promulgation of religion is a stench in the nostrils of our nation’s Founders, is a violation of our United States Constitution’s “Establishment clause” in the First Amendment, and a perverted corruption of Heaven – for those who believe religion is above the political fray.

For those who adhere to the Constitution, Thomas Jefferson had some STRONG words to the Danbury Baptists who sought assistance from him, shortly after he had become President in 1801. It was on January 1 the following year, that Jefferson replied to a letter sent to him by the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut.

While much is rightfully made of Jefferson’s reply, not much is ever said about what the Baptists had written to him. In a letter dated “[after 7 Oct. 1801],” the Danbury Baptist Association had composed a letter to Jefferson of much greater length than was Jefferson’s brief reply to them – 503 words versus 226 words.

Jefferson was newly President, having been inaugurated as the 3rd President, March 4, 1801, and served two consecutive terms – until March 3, 1809. A mere 7 months into his first term, the Danbury Baptist Association wrote to him, in part, that;

“… religion is consider’d as the first object of Legislation; & therefore what religious privileges we enjoy (as a minor part of the State) we enjoy as favors granted, and not as inalienable rights: and these favors we receive at the expence of such degrading acknowledgements as are inconsistant with the rights of freemen. It is not to be wondred at therefore; if those, who seek after power & gain under the pretence of goverment & Religion should reproach their fellow men—should reproach their chief Magistrate, as an enemy of religion Law & good order because he will not, dares not assume the prerogative of Jehovah and make Laws to govern the Kingdom of Christ.

Sir, we are sensible that the President of the united States, is not the national Legislator, & also sensible that the national goverment cannot destroy the Laws of each State; but our hopes are strong that the sentiments of our beloved President, which have had such genial Effect already, like the radiant beams of the Sun, will shine & prevail through all these States and all the world till Hierarchy and tyranny be destroyed from the Earth. …”

The style and use of language then, of course, is significantly different from style today, and is much more “flowery,” formal and ornamental. Today’s language is more straight-forward, and to-the-point… blunt, even. There are advantages and disadvantages to each style, of course, but the point is, for that reason, sometimes it can be difficult to “interpret” what the writer(s) are attempting to say, or what matter they’re trying to address. That can also be complicated by variants in spelling of words commonly used today, which are considered obsolete, and archaic. One such example or archaic spelling in their letter is the word “ancient” which they spell as “antient.”

But the the excerpts in the paragraphs above are the veritable “heart” of the matter in their letter. In essence, what the Danbury Baptist Association is asking Jefferson to do, is to “settle” a matter – in their favor – in a disagreement they had with a dissenting religious faction.

A bit of background knowledge is necessary for a more full understanding the matter which the Danbury Baptists’ letter addressed. The National Archives provides an excellently succinct backgrounder for the matter, as follows:

“At its October 1800 meeting, the association initiated a petition movement to redress the grievances of the dissenting minority against the Congregationalist majority in the region. Although disestablishment had not been an issue in the 1800 election in Connecticut, the movement was a call for the statewide repeal of all laws that could be understood as supporting an established religion. [Emphasis added. Ed.] In 1801, the petition movement tried to remain above partisan politics and cultivated support of some Congregationalists, Episcopalians, and other dissenters who might be sympathetic to their cause. On 8 Oct. 1801, the Danbury Baptist Association, meeting at Colebrook, Connecticut, voted that Elders Stephen Royce (of Stratfield), Daniel Wildman (of Wolcott and Bristol), Nehemiah Dodge (of Southington and Farmington), Stephen S. Nelson (of Hartford), and Deacons Jared Mills (of Simsbury) and Ephraim Robbins (of Hartford) “be a committee to prepare an address to the President of the United States, in behalf of this association.” The address and President Jefferson’s reply of 1 Jan. 1802 were reprinted in newspapers across the country, including Denniston and Cheetham’s American Citizen on 18 Jan. 1802 (Minutes of the Danbury Baptist Association, Holden at Colebrook, October 7 and 8, 1801; Together with Their Circular and Corresponding Letters [Hartford, 1801]; Shaw-Shoemaker, No. 109; McLoughlin, New England Dissent, 2:920, 985–8, 1004–5; Connecticut Courant, 25 May 1801).”

The letter by the Danbury Baptist Association dated October 7, 1801 was received by Jefferson on 30 December 1801, and is enumerated in Jefferson’s “Summary Journal of Letters.”

In essence, the Danbury Baptists were asking Jefferson to
rule in a semi-private matter
(a disagreement between Danbury Baptists,
and a differing Christian sect),
in which any hint of religion was going to be
eradicated from
the laws in Connecticut.
The Danbury Baptists opposed the measure.

Thus, it can easier be understood Jefferson’s reply to them. And while Jefferson’s letter is half the length of the one addressed to him by Danbury Baptists, it is much more succinct. In essence, Jefferson “shut them down” (at least quieted their clamor) by his reply, which in pertinent part read:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

“A wall of separation between Church and State.” There could perhaps be no more clear example for a case of “laissez-faire” than in Jefferon’s letter of reply to the Danbury Baptists.

And now, we have a multi-billion dollar, tax-free corporation coming and begging for a taxpayer-funded handout.

Could there be anything more onerous?

Could there be any greater example of an violation of the First Amendment’s “Establishment clause” – that government should not endorse any religion, nor show deference to any religion by providing special support and succor to that religion?

No.

When the Catholic church – or any religion – lobbies the government for special consideration and gets $1.4 BILLION in taxpayer-funded handouts, what is there to be said?

You read that correctly.

On July 10, 2020, in a story headlined “AP: Catholic Church Lobbied For Taxpayer Funds, Got $1.4B,” the Associated Press reported that;

“The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.

“The church’s haul may have reached — or even exceeded — $3.5 billion, making a global religious institution with more than a billion followers among the biggest winners in the U.S. government’s pandemic relief efforts, an Associated Press analysis of federal data released this week found.”

How about THEM apples, eh?

Sexual predators in the Catholic church, most often as clergy who were long known to be habitually chronic sexual predators, were found out, and rather than ‘fessing up, apologizing, and offering some kind of universal class-action settlement with all affected individuals, and forever closing out their case, the Catholic church deliberately shuffled money around to hide it from any prospective legal action, and applied for, and was granted, special protection under bankruptcy laws to stash their cash away from the victims, and their lawyers, who were preparing to, or were already suing the church for allowing their sexual abuse to continue, in some cases, for well over 40, or 50 years, or even longer.

If that is not the picture of corruption, I do not know what it.

And to think… the QAnon folks ~could~ have sunk their teeth into that meat, but instead chose not to, and rather, fabricated some far-fetched bullshit story that has so little substance, that it’s laughable. And right-wingers believed them!

THERE IS MORE GLOBAL CHILD SEXUAL ABUSES RIGHT UNDER THEIR NOSES THAN THEY COULD EVER SHAKE STICK AT – INCLUDING ACCOMPANYING CRIMES AND CORRUPTION – AND QANON TYPES DELIBERATELY CHOSE TO IGNORE IT.

And, I can guarant-damn-tee it, that they’ll DO NOTHING ABOUT IT.

The United States Congress should pull the rug out from under the Catholic church’s feet – along with ALL other luxuriating religious criminal cabals – and:
1.) PERMANENTLY REVOKE ALL religious organizations’ tax-exempt status;
2.) MANDATE that they ALL pay taxes;
3.) ELIMINATE laws providing special treatment to ALL religious entities, including tax status, by changing tax code to reflect status change.

If churches and other religious organizations want taxpayer money, they ought to pay for it through taxes. That way as well, ALL churches would be free to their heart’s content to preach from the pulpit any kind of political tripe that they see fit, and not have to worry about losing their tax-free status… because it’d already be gone.

It is
LONG OVERDUE
for this
Government-supported
Criminal Clown Theater
TO STOP!

And the ONLY way to put an end to religious corruption and governmental support of religious corruption, is to REMOVE TAX FREE STATUS FOR RELIGION.

There is NOTHING in the Constitution that states, nor suggests, that religion should be tax-free.

NOTHING!

James A. Garfield, a Republican, who later became President, had something to say about the matter. And, at the time when he made the following remarks – Monday, June 22, 1874 – was a Member of Congress in the House of Representatives from Ohio’s 19th Congressional District.

Mr. GARFIELD. I desire in a very few words, not to argue the merits of this case but to give the ground on which the Committee on Appropriations made their recommendation. Having stated that ground, I shall leave the question to the discretion of the House.

James Abram Garfield (November 19, 1831–September 19, 1881) was a Republican, and 20th President of the United States from March 4, 1881 until his assassination September 19, 1881. Before being elected POTUS, he was Member of Ohio State Senate, 1859-61; Member of U.S. House of Representatives, 1863-80, and; Elected to United States Senate, 1880. He was a member of the Disciples of Christ denomination, graduated college Phi Beta Kappa salutatorian from Williams College where he first worked as janitor, later becoming a teacher there, United States Army Veteran of the Civil War rising to the rank of Brigadier General, teacher, lawyer, and public official.

I agree with everything that the gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. E. R. Hoar] has said about the worthy charitable work of this organization known as the Little Sisters of the Poor. I agree that they distribute their charity without the slightest regard to denominational belief. The only ground on which I make a distinction (and it is a distinction I wish the House to understand) is this: Here is an organization composed exclusively of people of one religious denomination. Under its charter the members are wholly and only of one religious sect, and of one society within that religious sect. I take it that no woman in America, not a Catholic, could be one of the corporators in this home. At any rate I take it for granted that the members would not act in conjunction with any corporation not of that sect as a joint controller of the institution.

Now, I make the point – and the Committee on Appropriations made the point – that we ought never to commit ourselves to the aid of an exclusively sectarian institution. I would say the same were this institution under the control of a Protestant church, even if it were a church to which I myself belonged. The divorce between the church and the state ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no church property anywhere in any State or in the nation should be exempted from equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization, to that extent you impose a church tax upon the whole community. [emphasis added]

If the House deems this a point that ought not to be considered, I shall be very glad to see these Little Sisters of the Poor helped. If the fifty-sixth amendment, making an appropriation for the work for the Women’s Christian Association were in favor of any one sect, I should vote very quickly to strike it out.”

–– James A. Garfield, Republican, then Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio’s 19th Congressional District, Congressional Record, 43rd Congress, Monday, June 22, 1874, Volume 2, Part 6, p5384

The United States Federal Government has also FAILED The People by FAILING to initiate a RICO case against the Roman Catholic Church. RICO is Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization, and if any organization was ever corrupt, it is the Roman Catholic Church, for their DELIBERATE NEGLECT of known child sexual predators in their ranks, predominately in the clergy.

TAX ALL CHURCHES!

When the coronavirus forced churches to close their doors and give up Sunday collections, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte turned to the federal government’s signature small business relief program for more than $8 million.

The diocese’s headquarters, churches and schools landed the help even though they had roughly $100 million of their own cash and short-term investments available last spring, financial records show. When the cash catastrophe church leaders feared didn’t materialize, those assets topped $110 million by the summer.

As the pandemic began to unfold, scores of Catholic dioceses across the U.S. received aid through the Paycheck Protection Program while sitting on well over $10 billion in cash, short-term investments or other available funds, an Associated Press investigation has found. And despite the broad economic downturn, these assets have grown in many dioceses.

Yet even with that financial safety net, the 112 dioceses that shared their financial statements, along with the churches and schools they oversee, collected at least $1.5 billion in taxpayer-backed aid. A majority of these dioceses reported enough money on hand to cover at least six months of operating expenses, even without any new income.

The financial resources of several dioceses rivaled or exceeded those available to publicly traded companies like Shake Shack and Ruth’s Chris Steak House, whose early participation in the program triggered outrage. Federal officials responded by emphasizing the money was intended for those who lacked the cushion that cash and other liquidity provide. Many corporations returned the funds.

Overall, the nation’s nearly 200 dioceses, where bishops and cardinals govern, and other Catholic institutions received at least $3 billion. That makes the Roman Catholic Church perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the paycheck program, according to AP’s analysis of data the U.S. Small Business Administration released following a public-records lawsuit by news organizations. The agency for months had shared only partial information, making a more precise analysis impossible.

Already one of the largest federal aid efforts ever, the SBA reopened the Paycheck Protection Program last month with a new infusion of nearly $300 billion. In making the announcement, the agency’s administrator at the time, Jovita Carranza, hailed the program for serving “as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses.”

Church officials have said their employees were as worthy of help as workers at Main Street businesses, and that without it they would have had to slash jobs and curtail their charitable mission as demand for food pantries and social services spiked. They point out the program’s rules didn’t require them to exhaust their stores of cash and other funds before applying.

But new financial statements several dozen dioceses have posted for 2020 show that their available resources remained robust or improved during the pandemic’s hard, early months. The pattern held whether a diocese was big or small, urban or rural, East or West, North or South.

In Kentucky, funds available to the Archdiocese of Louisville, its parishes and other organizations grew from at least $153 million to $157 million during the fiscal year that ended in June, AP found. Those same offices and organizations received at least $17 million in paycheck money. “The Archdiocese’s operations have not been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak,” according to its financial statement. [emphasis added]

In Illinois, the Archdiocese of Chicago had more than $1 billion in cash and investments in its headquarters and cemetery division as of May, while the faithful continued to donate “more than expected,” according to a review by the independent ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. Chicago’s parishes, schools and ministries accumulated at least $77 million in paycheck protection funds.

Up the interstate from Charlotte in North Carolina, the Raleigh Diocese collected at least $11 million in aid. Yet during the fiscal year that ended in June, overall offerings were down just 5% and the assets available to the diocese, its parishes and schools increased by about $21 million to more than $170 million, AP found. In another measure of fiscal health, the diocese didn’t make an emergency draw on its $10 million line of credit.

Catholic leaders in dioceses including Charlotte, Chicago, Louisville and Raleigh said their parishes and schools, like many other businesses and nonprofits, suffered financially when they closed to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Some dioceses reported that their hardest-hit churches saw income drop by 40% or more before donations began to rebound months later, and schools took hits when fundraisers were canceled and families had trouble paying tuition. As revenues fell, dioceses said, wage cuts and a few dozen layoffs were necessary in some offices.

Catholic researchers at Georgetown University who surveyed the nation’s bishops last summer found such measures weren’t frequent. In comparison, a survey by the investment bank Goldman Sachs found 42% of small business owners had cut staff or salaries, and that 33% had spent their personal savings to stay open.

Church leaders have questioned why AP focused on their faith following a story last July, when New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote that reporters “invented a story when none existed and sought to bash the Church.”

By using a special exemption that the church lobbied to include in the paycheck program, Catholic entities amassed at least $3 billion — roughly the same as the combined total of recipients from the other faiths that rounded out the top five, AP found. Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Jewish faith-based recipients also totaled at least $3 billion. Catholics account for about a fifth of the U.S. religious population while members of Protestant and Jewish denominations are nearly half, according to the Pew Research Center.

Catholic institutions also received many times more than other major nonprofits with charitable missions and national reach, such as the United Way, Goodwill Industries and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Overall, Catholic recipients got roughly twice as much as 40 of the largest, most well-known charities in America combined, AP found.

The complete picture is certainly even more lopsided. So many Catholic entities received help that reporters could not identify them all, even after spending hundreds of hours hand-checking tens of thousands of records in federal data.

The Vatican referred questions about the paycheck program to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which said it does not speak on behalf of dioceses.

Presented with AP’s findings, bishops conference spokeswoman Chieko Noguchi responded with a broad statement that the Paycheck Protection Program was “designed to protect the jobs of Americans from all walks of life, regardless of whether they work for for-profit or nonprofit employers, faith-based or secular.”

INTERNAL SKEPTICISM

The AP’s assessment of church finances is among the most comprehensive to date. It draws largely from audited financial statements posted online by the central offices of 112 of the country’s nearly 200 dioceses.

The church isn’t required to share its financials. As a result, the analysis doesn’t include cash, short-term assets and lines of credit held by some of the largest dioceses, including those serving New York City and other major metropolitan areas.

The analysis focused on available assets because federal officials cited those metrics when clarifying eligibility for the paycheck program. Therefore, the $10 billion AP identified doesn’t count important financial pillars of the U.S. church. Among those are its thousands of real estate properties and most of the funds that parishes and schools hold. Also excluded is the money — estimated at $9.5 billion in a 2019 study by the Delaware-based wealth management firm Wilmington Trust — held by charitable foundations created to help dioceses oversee donations.

In addition, dioceses can rely on a well-funded support system that includes help from wealthier dioceses, the bishops conference and other Catholic organizations. Canon law, the legal code the Vatican uses to govern the global church, notes that richer dioceses may assist poorer ones, and the AP found instances where they did.

In their financial statements, the 112 dioceses acknowledged having at least $4.5 billion in liquid or otherwise available assets. To reach its $10 billion total, AP also included funding that dioceses had opted to designate for special projects instead of general expenses; excess cash that parishes and their affiliates deposit with their diocese’s savings and loan; and lines of credit dioceses typically have with outside banks.

Some church officials said AP was misreading their financial books and therefore overstating available assets. They insisted that money their bishop or his advisers had set aside for special projects couldn’t be repurposed during an emergency, although financial statements posted by multiple dioceses stated the opposite.

For its analysis, AP consulted experts in church finance and church law. One was the Rev. James Connell, an accountant for 15 years before joining the priesthood and becoming an administrator in the Milwaukee Archdiocese. Connell, also a canon lawyer who is now retired from his position with the archdiocese, said AP’s findings convinced him that Catholic entities did not need government aid — especially when thousands of small businesses were permanently closing.

“Was it want or need?” Connell asked. “Need must be present, not simply the want. Justice and love of neighbor must include the common good.”

Connell was not alone among the faithful concerned by the church’s pursuit of taxpayer money. Parishioners in several cities have questioned church leaders who received government money for Catholic schools they then closed.

Elsewhere, a pastor in a Western state told AP that he refused to apply even after diocesan officials repeatedly pressed him. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of his diocese’s policy against talking to reporters and concerns about possible retaliation.

The pastor had been saving, much like leaders of other parishes. When the pandemic hit, he used that money, trimmed expenses and told his diocese’s central finance office that he had no plans to seek the aid. Administrators followed up several times, the pastor said, with one high-ranking official questioning why he was “leaving free money on the table.”

The pastor said he felt a “sound moral conviction” that the money was meant more for shops and restaurants that, without it, might close forever.

As the weeks passed last spring, the pastor said his church managed just fine. Parishioners were so happy with new online Masses and his other outreach initiatives, he said, they boosted their contributions beyond 2019 levels.

“We didn’t need it,” the pastor said, “and intentionally wanted to leave the money for those small business owners who did.”

WEATHERING A DOWNTURN

Months after the pandemic first walloped the economy, the 112 dioceses that release financial statements began sharing updates. Among the 47 dioceses that have thus far, the pandemic’s impact was far from crippling.

The 47 dioceses that have posted financials for the fiscal year that ended in June had a median 6% increase in the amount of cash, short-term investments and other funds that they and their affiliates could use for unanticipated or general expenses, AP found. In all, 38 dioceses grew those resources, while nine reported declines.

Finances in Raleigh and 10 other dioceses that took government assistance were stable enough that they did not have to dip into millions they had available through outside lines of credit.

“This crisis has tested us,” Russell Elmayan, Raleigh’s chief financial officer, told the diocese’s magazine website in July, “but we are hopeful that the business acumen of our staff and lay counselors, together with the strategic financial reserves built over time, will help our parishes and schools continue to weather this unprecedented event.” Raleigh officials did not answer direct questions from AP.

The 47 dioceses acknowledged a smaller amount of readily available assets than AP counted, though by their own accounting that grew as well.

The improving financial outlook is due primarily to parishioners who found ways to continue donating and U.S. stock markets that were rebounding to new highs. But when the markets were first plunging, officials in several dioceses said, they had to stretch available assets because few experts were forecasting a rapid recovery.

In Louisville, Charlotte and other dioceses, church leaders said they offered loans or grants to needy parishes and schools, or offset the monthly charges they assess their parishes. In Raleigh, for example, the headquarters used $3 million it had set aside for liability insurance and also tapped its internal deposit and loan fund.

Church officials added that the pandemic’s full toll will probably be seen in a year or two, because some key sources of revenue are calculated based on income that parishes and schools generate.

“We believe that we will not know all of the long-term negative impacts on parish, school and archdiocesan finances for some time,” Louisville Archdiocese spokeswoman Cecelia Price wrote in response to questions.

At the nine dioceses that recorded declines in liquid or other short-term assets, the drops typically were less than 10%, and not always clearly tied to the pandemic.

The financial wherewithal of some larger dioceses is underscored by the fact that, like publicly traded companies, they can raise capital by selling bonds to investors.

One was Chicago, where analysts with the Moody’s ratings agency calculated that the $1 billion in cash and investments held by the archdiocese headquarters and cemeteries division could cover about 631 days of operating expenses.

Church officials in Chicago asserted that those dollars were needed to cover substantial expenses while parishioner donations slumped. Without paycheck support, “parishes and schools would have been forced to cut many jobs, as the archdiocese, given its liabilities, could not have closed such a funding gap,” spokeswoman Paula Waters wrote.

Moody’s noted in its May report that while giving was down, federal aid had compensated for that and helped leave the archdiocese “well positioned to weather this revenue loss over the next several months.” Among the reasons for the optimism: “a unique credit strength” that under church law allows the archbishop to tax parish revenue virtually at will.

In a separate Moody’s report on New Orleans, which filed for bankruptcy in May while facing multiple clergy abuse lawsuits, the ratings agency wrote in July that the archdiocese did so while having “significant financial reserves, with spendable cash and investments of over $160 million.”

Moody’s said the archdiocese’s “very good” liquid assets would let it operate 336 days without additional income. Those assets prompted clergy abuse victims to ask a federal judge to dismiss the bankruptcy filing, arguing the archdiocese’s primary reason for seeking the legal protection was to minimize payouts to them.

The archdiocese, along with its parishes and schools, collected more than $26 million in paycheck money. New Orleans Archdiocesan officials didn’t respond to written questions.

PURSUING AID

Without special treatment, the Catholic Church would not have received nearly so much under the Paycheck Protection Program.

After Congress let nonprofits and religious organizations participate in the first place, Catholic officials lobbied the Trump Administration for a second break. Religious organizations were freed from the so-called affiliation rule that typically disqualifies applicants with more than 500 workers.

Without that break, many dioceses would have missed out because — between their head offices, parishes, schools and other affiliates — their employee count would exceed the limit.

Among those lobbying, federal records show, was the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Parishes, schools and ministries there collected at least $80 million in paycheck aid, at a time when the headquarters reported $658 million in available funds heading into the fiscal year when the coronavirus arrived.

Catholic officials in the U.S. needed the special exception for at least two reasons.

Church law says dioceses, parishes and schools are affiliated, something the Los Angeles Archdiocese acknowledged “proved to be an obstacle” to receiving funds because its parishes operate “under the authority of the diocesan bishop.” Dioceses, parishes, schools and other Catholic entities also routinely assert to the Internal Revenue Service that they are affiliated so they can maintain their federal income tax exemption.

Estimates of the total subsidies enjoyed by religious groups did not take into account the amounts received from subsidies such as the sales tax subsidies, local sales and income tax subsidies, volunteer labor subsidy, and donor-tax exemptions.
Researchers at the Institute claimed that the tax subsidies which were unaccounted for could also amount to billions in tax savings.
Further, the Institute claimed that the subsidies should be cut for religious groups, or at least restricted to being applied solely to the charitable works of the marginalization.
Religious organizations also enjoyed approximately $6.1 billion in state income tax subsidies, along with $1.2 billion of parsonage, and $2.2 billion in the faith-based initiatives subsidy.
Churches in the USA receive approximately $71 billion in tax credits and tax breaks each year, according to the results of new research released on October 16th by the Secular Policy Institute.

While some Catholic officials insisted their affiliates are separate and financially independent, AP found many instances of borrowing and spending among them when dioceses were faced with prior cash crunches. In Philadelphia, for example, the archdiocese received at least $18 million from three affiliates, including a seminary, to fund a compensation program for clergy sex abuse survivors, according to 2019 financial statements.

Cardinals and bishops have broad authority over parishes and the pastors who run them. Church law requires parishes to submit annual financial reports and bishops may require parishes to deposit surplus money with internal banks administered by the diocese.

“The parishioners cannot hire or fire the pastor; that is for the bishop to do,” said Connell, the priest, former accountant and canon lawyer. “Each parish functions as a wholly owned subsidiary or division of a larger corporation, the diocese.”

Bishops acknowledged a concerted effort to tap paycheck funds in a survey by Catholic researchers at Georgetown University. When asked what they had done to address the pandemic’s financial fallout, 95% said their central offices helped parishes apply for paycheck and other aid — the leading response. That topped encouraging parishioners to donate electronically.

After Congress approved the paycheck program, three high-ranking officials in New Hampshire’s Manchester Diocese sent an urgent memo to parishes, schools and affiliated organizations urging them to refrain from layoffs or furloughs until completing their applications. “We are all in this together,” the memo read, adding that diocesan officials were working expeditiously to provide “step by step instructions.”

Paycheck Protection Program funds came through low-interest bank loans, worth up to $10 million each, that the federal government would forgive so long as recipients used the money to cover about two months of wages and operating expenses.

After an initial $659 billion last spring, Congress added another $284 billion in December. With the renewal came new requirements intended to ensure that funds go to businesses that lost money due to the pandemic. Lawmakers also downsized the headcount for applicants to 300 or fewer employees.

A QUESTION OF NEED

In other federal small business loan programs, government help is treated as a last resort.

Applicants must show they couldn’t get credit elsewhere. And those with enough available funds must pay more of their own way to reduce taxpayer subsidies.

Congress didn’t include these tests in the Paycheck Protection Program. To speed approvals, lenders weren’t required to do their usual screening and instead relied on applicants’ self-certifications of need.

The looser standards helped create a run on the first $349 billion in paycheck funding. Small business owners complained that they were shut out, yet dozens of companies healthy enough to be traded on stock exchanges scored quick approval.

As blowback built in April, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned at a news briefing that there would be “severe consequences” for applicants who improperly tapped the program.

“We want to make sure this money is available to small businesses that need it, people who have invested their entire life savings,” Mnuchin said. Program guidelines evolved to stress that participants with access to significant cash probably could not get the assistance “in good faith.”

Mnuchin’s Treasury Department said it would audit loans exceeding $2 million, although federal officials have not said whether they would hold religious organizations and other nonprofits to the same standard of need as businesses.

The headquarters and major departments for more than 40 dioceses received more than $2 million. Every diocese that responded to questions said it would seek to have the government cover the loans, rather than repay the funds.

One diocese receiving a loan over $2 million was Boston. According to the archdiocese’s website, its central ministries office received about $3 million, while its parishes and schools collected about $32 million more.

The archdiocese — along with its parishes, schools and cemeteries — had roughly $200 million in available funds in June 2019, according to its audited financial report. When that fiscal year ended several months into the pandemic, available funds had increased to roughly $233 million.

Nevertheless, spokesman Terrence Donilon cited “ongoing economic pressure” in saying the archdiocese will seek forgiveness for last year’s loans and will apply for additional, new funds during the current round.

Beyond its growing available funds, the archdiocese and its affiliates benefit from other sources of funding. The archdiocese’s “Inspiring Hope” campaign, announced in January, has raised at least $150 million.

And one of its supporting charities — the Catholic Schools Foundation, where Cardinal Sean O’Malley is board chairman — counted more than $33 million in cash and other funds that could be “used for general operations” as of the beginning of the 2020 fiscal year, according to its financial statement.

Despite these resources, the archdiocese closed a half-dozen schools in May and June, often citing revenue losses due to the pandemic. Paycheck protection data show four of those schools collectively were approved for more than $700,000.

The shuttered schools included St. Francis of Assisi in Braintree, a middle-class enclave 10 miles south of Boston, which received $210,000. Parents said they felt blindsided by the closure, announced in June as classes ended.

“It’s like a punch to the gut because that was such a home for so many people for so long,” said Kate Nedelman Herbst, the mother of two children who attended the elementary school.

Along with more than 2,000 other school supporters, Herbst signed a written protest to O’Malley that noted the archdiocese’s robust finances. After O’Malley didn’t reply, parents appealed to the Vatican, this time underscoring the collection of Paycheck Protection Program money.

“It is very hard to reconcile the large sums of money raised by the archdiocese in recent years with this wholesale destruction of the church’s educational infrastructure,” parents wrote.

In December, the Vatican turned down their request to overrule O’Malley. Spokesman Donilon said the decision to close the school “is not being reconsidered.”

Today, the three children of Michael Waterman and his wife, Jeanine, are learning at home. And they still can’t understand why the archdiocese didn’t shift money to help save a school beloved by the faithful.

“What angers us,” Michael Waterman said, “is that we feel like, given the amount of money that the Catholic Church has, they absolutely could have remained open.”

___

Contact AP’s global investigative team at Investigative@ap.org.

Contact the reporters at https://twitter.com/reesedunklin and https://twitter.com/mikerezendes.

___

Contributing to this report were Justin Myers, Randy Herschaft, Rodrique Ngowi, Holbrook Mohr, Jason Dearen and James LaPorta.

https://apnews.com/article/catholic-church-get-aid-investigation-39a404f55c82fea84902cd16f04e37b2

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What’s the difference between Marjorie Taylor Greene (aka MT-headed Greene) and a seal?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Q: What’s the difference between a trained seal, and Georgia Banana Republican MT-headed Greene?

Hmmm… a trained seal plays a tune on horns, performs tricks, and barks on command.

So does MT-headed Greene.

A: There is NO difference between a trained seal, and Georgia Banana Republican MT-headed Greene.

Greene Apologizes To GOP Colleagues — And Gets Standing Ovation
https://thehill.com/homenews/house/537263-greene-apologizes-to-gop-colleagues-and-gets-standing-ovation

Alternate headline:
Lapdog Barks, Owners Applaud

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-14, Georgia) pretend-apologized for some her past controversial remarks and embrace of the QAnon conspiracy theory during a heated closed-door House GOP conference meeting — and received a standing ovation at one point from a number of her colleagues.

Greene told her colleagues that she “made a mistake” by being curious about “Q” and said that she told her children that she learned a lesson about what to put on social media, according to two unnamed sources in the room.

She also denied that she knew what “Jewish space lasers” were and defended her comments that past school shootings were staged by stating that she had personal experience with a school shooting. (Oh? Really? Which one? What was your “personal experience”?)

She received a standing ovation from some members of the caucus at the conclusion of her remarks. (Trained seals receive standing ovations for their performances, too.)

The House will vote Thursday on removing Greene from the House Budget and Education panels, where she was placed by Republicans. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) has so far declined to take disciplinary actions against Greene. (McCarthy and Greene are two peas in a pod, insofar as they BOTH recently went trotting off to see the cult leader Wizard of Mar-a-Lago, seeking guidance and instruction.)

The first-year lawmaker is Read the rest of this entry »

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My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Said he formerly was a cocaine addict.

How sure are we that he hasn’t picked up the habit again?

The guy is nutzo.

Kooky.

Whacked in the head.

Deranged.

Dissociated from reality.

Bizzarro.

Dropped off the turnip truck last night.

Loco.

And otherwise crazy.

I mean, seriously… how insane must one be to – in the face of overwhelming contradictory and irrefutable evidence – continue to maintain that the Earth is flat, or that Trump lost the November 2020 General Election because of massive fraud?

Seriously. How crazy?

And the moon is made of green cheese, too… isn’t it? Read the rest of this entry »

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Justifiable Homicide, Anyone?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 2, 2021

I’m awaiting the day when a corrupt cop attempts to kill a brown, or black-skinned person, and is in turn, killed by the victim.

And then, the defense would be justifiable homicide as an act of self-defense.


“Don’t Kill Me!”: Others Tell History of Similar Abuse by the Bad Cop Who Killed George Floyd by Kneeling on his Neck

by Jamiles Lartey and Abbie VanSickle

Updated Tuesday, February 2, 2021, 10:16 AM

https://news.yahoo.com/dont-kill-others-tell-abuse-133333041.html

Nearly three years before Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd as he cried out that he couldn’t breathe last May, Zoya Code found herself in a similar position: Handcuffed facedown on the ground, with Chauvin’s knee on her.

The officer had answered a call of a domestic dispute at her home, and Code said he forced her down when she tried to pull away.

“He just stayed on my neck,” Code said, ignoring her desperate pleas to get off. Frustrated and upset, she challenged him to press harder. “Then he did. Just to shut me up,” she said.

Last week, a judge in Minnesota ruled that prosecutors could present the details of her 2017 arrest in their case against the former officer, who was charged with second-degree unintentional murder in Floyd’s death.

The Face of Evil
An undated photo provided by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota of former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, who was fired from the force, and charged with second-degree unintentional murder and second-degree manslaughter after kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until he was dead. (image from Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office via The New York Times)

Code’s case was one of six arrests as far back as 2015 that the Minnesota attorney general’s office sought to introduce, arguing that they showed how Chauvin was using excessive force when he restrained people — by their necks or by kneeling on top of them — just as he did in arresting Floyd. Police records show that Chauvin was never formally reprimanded for any of these incidents, even though at least two of those arrested said they had filed formal complaints.

Of the six people arrested, two were Black, one was Latino and one was Native American. The race of two others was not included in the arrest reports that reporters examined.

Discussing the encounters publicly for the first time in interviews with The Marshall Project, three people who were arrested by Chauvin and a witness in a fourth incident described him as an unusually rough officer who was quick to use force and callous about their pain.

The interviews provide new insight into the history of a police officer whose handling of Floyd’s arrest, captured on video, was seen around the world and sparked months of protests in dozens of cities.

Chauvin, who was fired, has said through his attorney that his handling of Floyd’s arrest was a reasonable use of authorized force. But he was the subject of at least 22 complaints or internal investigations during his more than 19 years at the department, only one of which resulted in discipline. These new interviews show not only that he may have used excessive force in the past, but that he had used startlingly similar techniques.

All four people who told of their encounters with Chauvin had a history of run-ins with law enforcement, mostly for traffic and nonviolent offenses.

Code’s arrest occurred June 25, 2017. In a court filing, Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric J. Nelson, said the officer acted properly in the case, responding to “a violent crime in a volatile situation.” He said that “there was nothing unreasonable or unauthorized about Mr. Chauvin’s actions.”

Code’s mother had accused her of trying to choke her with an extension cord, according to the arrest report. Code said in an interview that her mother was swinging the cord around, and that she merely grabbed hold of it.

She said she had left the house to cool off after the fight and when she returned, Chauvin and his partner had arrived. In the prosecutors’ description, based on Chauvin’s report and body-camera video, Chauvin told Code she was under arrest and grabbed her arm. When she pulled away, he pulled her to the ground face first and knelt on her. The two officers then picked her up and carried her outside the house, facedown.

There, prosecutors said, Chauvin knelt on the back of the handcuffed woman “even though she was offering no physical resistance at all.”

Code, in an interview, said she began pleading: “Don’t kill me.”

At that point, according to the prosecutors’ account, Chauvin told his partner to restrain Code’s ankles as well, even though she “was not being physically aggressive.”

As he tied her, she said, she told the other officer, “You’re learning from an animal. That man — that’s evilness right there.”

Misdemeanor domestic assault and disorderly conduct charges filed against Code were ultimately dropped.

“You’re Choking Me!”

The earliest incident in which prosecutors said Chauvin used excessive force took place February 15, 2015, when he arrested Julian Hernandez — a carpenter who was on a road trip to Minneapolis to see a band at the El Nuevo Rodeo nightclub. Chauvin worked as an off-duty security officer there for almost 17 years.

The arrest report filed by Chauvin said Hernandez tried to Read the rest of this entry »

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A Compendium of Events Leading Up to Trump’s Insurrection January 6, 2021

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 2, 2021

As a treasonously wicked, son of perdition and Manipulator in Chief, Trump’s planned corruption played out in public, in print and broadcast news reports (he’s a media whore), on Twitter (he’s a narcissist), on other social media, like FaceBook, and Parler, the favorite of White Supremacists, neo-Nazis, and other right-wing extremists.

His followers are rightly called the “Cult of Trump.”

Recall what he’d said to Chris Wallace of Fox News in an interview July 19, 2020 at the White House:

WALLACE: In general, not talking about November, are you a good loser?

TRUMP: I’m not a good loser. I don’t like to lose. I don’t lose too often. I don’t like to lose.

WALLACE: But are you gracious?

TRUMP: You don’t know until you see. It depends. I think mail-in voting is going to rig the election. I really do.

WALLACE: Are you suggesting that you might not accept the results of the election?

TRUMP: No. I have to see. Look, Hillary Clinton asked me the same thing.

WALLACE: No, I asked you the same thing at the debate.


77 Days: Trump’s Campaign to Subvert the Election

Within a few hours after the United States voted, the President declared the election a fraud — a lie that unleashed a movement that would shatter democratic norms and upend the peaceful transfer of power.

By Jim Rutenberg, Jo Becker, Eric Lipton, Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Martin, Matthew Rosenberg and Michael S. Schmidt
January 31, 2021

By Thursday the 12th of November, President Donald J. Trump’s election lawyers were concluding that the reality he faced was the inverse of the narrative he was promoting in his comments and on Twitter. There was no substantial evidence of election fraud, and there were nowhere near enough “irregularities” to reverse the outcome in the courts.

Mr. Trump did not, could not, win the election, not by “a lot” or even a little. His presidency would soon be over.

Allegations of Democratic malfeasance had disintegrated in embarrassing fashion. A supposed suitcase of illegal ballots in Detroit proved to be a box of camera equipment. “Dead voters” were turning up alive in television and newspaper interviews.

The week was coming to a particularly demoralizing close: In Arizona, the Trump lawyers were preparing to withdraw their main lawsuit as the state tally showed Joseph R. Biden Jr. leading by more than 10,000 votes, against the 191 ballots they had identified for challenge.

As he met with colleagues to discuss strategy, the president’s deputy campaign manager, Justin Clark, was urgently summoned to the Oval Office. Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, was on speaker phone, pressing the president to file a federal suit in Georgia and sharing a conspiracy theory gaining traction in conservative media — that Dominion Systems voting machines had transformed thousands of Trump votes into Biden votes.

Mr. Clark warned that the suit Mr. Giuliani had in mind would be dismissed on procedural grounds. And a state audit was barreling toward a conclusion that the Dominion machines had operated without interference or foul play.

Mr. Giuliani called Mr. Clark a liar, according to people with direct knowledge of the exchange. Mr. Clark called Mr. Giuliani something much worse. And with that, the election-law experts were sidelined in favor of the former New York City mayor, the man who once again was telling the president what he wanted to hear.

Thursday the 12th was the day Mr. Trump’s flimsy, long-shot legal effort to reverse his loss turned into something else entirely — an extralegal campaign to subvert the election, rooted in a lie so convincing to some of his most devoted followers that it made the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol almost inevitable.

Weeks later, Mr. Trump is the former President Trump. In coming days, a presidential transition like no other will be dissected when he stands trial in the Senate on an impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection.” Yet his lie of an election stolen by corrupt and evil forces lives on in a divided America.

A New York Times examination of the 77 democracy-bending days between election and inauguration shows how, with conspiratorial belief rife in a country ravaged by pandemic, a lie that Mr. Trump had been grooming for years finally overwhelmed the Republican Party and, as brake after brake fell away, was propelled forward by new and more radical lawyers, political organizers, financiers and the surround-sound right-wing media.

In the aftermath of that broken afternoon at the Capitol, a picture has emerged of entropic forces coming together on Trump’s behalf in an ad hoc, yet calamitous, crash of rage and denial.

But interviews with central players, and documents including previously unreported emails, videos and social media posts scattered across the web, tell a more encompassing story of a more coordinated campaign.

Across those 77 days, the forces of disorder were summoned and directed by the departing president, who wielded the power derived from his near-infallible status among the party faithful in one final norm-defying act of a reality-denying presidency.

Throughout, he was enabled by influential Republicans motivated by ambition, fear or a misplaced belief that he would not go too far.

In the Senate, he got early room to maneuver from the majority leader, Mitch McConnell. As he sought the president’s help in Georgia Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Was Planning Insurrection All Along And Used People To Do His Dirty Work

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, February 2, 2021

nytimes.com

What We Learned from Trump’s Effort to Overturn the 2020 Election Results

by Matthew Rosenberg, Jim Rutenberg
February 1, 2021


The Jan. 6 rally of Trump supporters before the assault on the Capitol.

The January 6, 2021 rally/riot of MAGA Trump supporters before their assault on the Capitol.
Nina Berman/NOOR, via Redux Pictures

An examination by the New York Times of the 77 days between election and inauguration shows how a lie the former president had been grooming for years overwhelmed the Republican Party and stoked the assault on the Capitol.

For 77 days between the election and the inauguration, President Donald J. Trump attempted to subvert American democracy with a lie about election fraud that he had been grooming for years.

A New York Times examination of the events that unfolded after the election shows how the president — enabled by Republican leaders, advised by conspiracy-minded lawyers and bankrolled by a new class of Trump-era donors — waged an extralegal campaign that convinced tens of millions of Americans the election had been stolen and made the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol almost inevitable.

Interviews with central players, along with documents, videos and previously unreported emails, tell the story of a campaign that was more coordinated than previously understood, even as it strayed farther from reality with each passing day.

Here are some key takeaways:

As some lawyers on Trump’s team pulled back, others were ready to press ahead with suits skating the lines of legal ethics and reason

Within 10 days of the election, even as Mr. Trump and his supporters promoted allegation after allegation of voter fraud, his team of election lawyers knew that the reality was the inverse of what Mr. Trump was presenting: They were not finding substantial evidence of malfeasance or enough irregularities to overturn the election.

That reality was hammered home on November 12, when final Arizona results showed Joseph R. Biden Jr. with an irreversible lead of more than 10,000 votes that rendered the legal team’s main lawsuit in that state — which had identified 191 ballots to contest — moot.

At an Oval Office meeting that day, the election lawyers squared off against the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, over Mr. Giuliani’s embrace of questionable legal tactics and conspiracy theories like one that Dominion voting machines had transformed Trump votes into Biden votes.

Ultimately, Mr. Trump decided to give Mr. Giuliani leadership of the entire legal strategy, making November 12 the day when Mr. Trump’s effort to reverse his loss in the courts became an all-out, extralegal campaign to disenfranchise millions of voters based on the false notion of pervasive fraud.

Voting-machine conspiracy theories became intertwined with a supercomputer story pushed in conservative media

The Dominion conspiracy theory taking root among the president and many of his supporters had been weeks in the making. In late October, an obscure conservative website, The American Report, was pushing stories about a supercomputer called The Hammer that it said was running software called Scorecard to steal votes from Mr. Trump.

The theory found amplification the day before the election on the podcast of Mr. Trump’s former political strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, who Read the rest of this entry »

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Mitch McConnell: Georgia Representative MT-headed Greene “cancer for the Republican Party.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 1, 2021

“Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country. Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying it school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky issued a short statement Monday night that didn’t directly mention Georgia’s Banana Republican MT-headed Greene by name, but left no mistake that he wrote about her exclusively.

Hey, you ignorant Kentucky hillbilly!

Read your history.

Ku Klux Klansmen rally in support of Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater, 1964 GOP Presidential nominee.
Image: Universal History Archive/Getty Images

In 1964 at the Republican National Convention, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller reminded the delegates that he warned over a year earlier that the party was in danger of being infiltrated by radical elements, such as the Ku Klux Klan, Communists, John Birch Society members, racist Dixiecrats, White Supremacists who used Nazi-like tactics, and other such ilk. By the time of the convention, it already had been.

So the GOP is now “all grown up.”

Here’s in part what then-New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller said to the delegates: Read the rest of this entry »

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GameStop? GameOn? Face It: The United States Has Two Sets Of Rules

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 1, 2021

Unless you’ve been in a cave in Tora Bora for the past week, or so, by now, you’ve probably heard of the Reddit/GameStop/Robinhood ordeal.

Here are the “players”:
• Vlad Tenev, CEO of the trading app Robinhood
• National Securities Clearing Corporation (NSCC)
• Day traders using the Robinhood app who also were participants in a Reddit group Wall Street Bets (properly as “r/wallstreetbets” – a forum called a “subreddit” on the popular website Reddit, which is a social platform and discussion group that also rates web content.)
• GameStop, a electronics/video game retailer

Robinhood (the company) became the target of widespread outrage last week after it stopped users from purchasing shares of GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, and other so-called meme stocks that had significantly increased in price over the past week, which was fueled by WallStreetBets Reddit users.

The long and short of it (a most befitting pun, wouldn’t you say?) is that a no-fees stock brokrage company named Robinhood, which uses an app for a mobile device to effectuate trades, had ceased processing orders on a company named GameStop, which raised the hackles of some observers, including Elon Musk, and other news reporting groups.

The reason why Robinhood ceased activity on trades for GameStop, and other companies was because a loose-knit group of day trader investors in the subReddit forum WallStreetBets – which totals over 4 million strong, and describe themselves as “degenerates” – decided to take on the abuses of Wall Street power players, most typically as hedge funds.


A NOTE ABOUT HEDGE FUNDS:

Investopedia writes this about hedge funds:

Hedge funds are alternative investments using pooled funds that employ different strategies to earn active returns, or alpha, for their investors. Hedge funds may be aggressively managed or make use of derivatives and leverage in both domestic and international markets with the goal of generating high returns (either in an absolute sense or over a specified market benchmark).

It is important to note that hedge funds are generally only accessible to accredited investors as they require less SEC regulations than other funds. One aspect that has set the hedge fund industry apart is the fact that hedge funds face less regulation than mutual funds and other investment vehicles.

Each hedge fund is constructed to take advantage of certain identifiable market opportunities. Hedge funds use different investment strategies and thus are often classified according to investment style. There is substantial diversity in risk attributes and investments among styles.

Legally, hedge funds are most often set up as private investment limited partnerships that are open to a limited number of accredited investors and require a large initial minimum investment. Investments in hedge funds are illiquid as they often require investors to keep their money in the fund for at least one year, a time known as the lock-up period. Withdrawals may also only happen at certain intervals such as quarterly or bi-annually.

A former writer and sociologist Alfred Winslow Jones’s company, A.W. Jones & Co. launched the first hedge fund in 1949. It was while writing an article about current investment trends for Fortune in 1948 that Jones was inspired to try his hand at managing money. He raised $100,000 (including $40,000 out of his own pocket) and set forth to try to minimize the risk in holding long-term stock positions by short selling other stocks. This investing innovation is now referred to as the classic long/short equities model. Jones also employed leverage to enhance returns.

In 1952, Jones altered the structure of his investment vehicle, converting it from a general partnership to a limited partnership and adding a 20% incentive fee as compensation for the managing partner. As the first money manager to combine short selling, the use of leverage shared risk through a partnership with other investors and a compensation system based on investment performance, Jones earned his place in investing history as the father of the hedge fund.

Hedge funds went on to dramatically outperform most mutual funds in the 1960s and gained further popularity when a 1966 article in Fortune highlighted an obscure investment that outperformed every mutual fund on the market by double-digit figures over the previous year and by high double-digits over the previous five years.

High-profile money managers deserted the traditional mutual fund industry in droves in the early 1990s, seeking fame and fortune as hedge fund managers. Unfortunately, history repeated itself in the late 1990s and into the early 2000s as a number of high-profile hedge funds, including Robertson’s, failed in spectacular fashion.

Since that era, the hedge fund industry has grown substantially. Today the hedge fund industry is massive—total assets under management in the industry are valued at more than $3.2 trillion according to the 2018 Preqin Global Hedge Fund Report. Based on statistics from research firm Barclays hedge, the total number of assets under management for hedge funds jumped by 2335% between 1997 and 2018.


The hedge funds had all “shorted” GameStop, which is well-known tactic to make money by the failure of a stock – “failure,” defined as a reduced price. In this case, Wall Street hedge fund managers had all “shorted” GameStop, and others, waiting for the price to drop before they sold the shares they were holding.

In a “short” sale (as it pertains to Wall Street trading), an entity “borrows” a stock from its owner, and holds it for a period of time, in anticipation that its price will drop enough so that they can then sell it (return its purchase price to the owner), and pocket the difference. It’s not illegal, and has been done for quite some time.

As you might imagine, by so doing (shorting), a stock can significantly, and adversely be affected.

But… a short sale can “go bad,” and that’s what the 4 million+ members of the subReddit group WallStreetBets did – ruin the day (or even longer) of many vulture capitalists hedge fund managers by driving up the price per share of GameStop.

GameStop, which has the ticker symbol GME, and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has faced a decline in sales, 7 brokerages have issued twelve-month price objectives for GameStop’s shares which range from $3.50 to $33.00 per share. And on average, they expect GameStop’s per share stock price to be $11.93 in the next twelve months. That suggests that the stock has a possible downside of 96.3%.

For the last 5 years, GameStop stock price has been relatively stable, and only minimally changed, and has ranged from the lower $30 range to slightly over $4 per share. Their last dividend payment was March 14, 2019, which was $0.38 per share, which represented an increase from 2012 when it was $0.12 per share. Aside from the most recent price fluctuations, over its lifespan, GameStop’s price per share has ranged from $3.91 to $63.68 from February 2002 though August 2020.

At its highest, GameStop was valued at $483 per share on January 25, 2021. That’s where the Wall Street Bets Redditors (participants in Reddit) come into play. Their trading of the stock – specifically as purchases – drove up the stock to terrific heights, which in turn, caused problems with the hedge funds that held a short position on the stock – SIGNIFICANT problems.

In effect, the Redditors caused what’s called a “short squeeze” which is a market condition that occurs when investors who are betting against the stock (thinking it will fall in price) are forced to close out their position by buying the stock, which in turn, adds fuel to the fire.

So far this year, the Redditors have cost short-sellers over $19 billion in losses on GameStop alone. Much of Wall Street’s trades are now done by computer algorithm, which almost completely eliminates human involvement. So day traders, and others who may use apps to trade, are an anomaly in an otherwise almost-wholly automated market.

Melvin Capital, a roughly $12 billion hedge fund has suffered a more than 30% decline largely due to its short position in GameStop.

Maplelane Capital, another New York-based hedge fund, similarly faced a decline of about 30%, accoring to The Wall Street Journal’s report.

Andrew Left, a famed short-seller with Citron, also felt the heat from Reddit investors after he predicted last week that the stock would fall by 50%. He ultimately closed out his short in GameStop for a loss, as did Melvin Capital.

The epic short-squeeze in shares of GameStop last week focused attention upon the common practice of Payment For Order Flow by brokerage firms after Robinhood restricted trading in a handful of volatile stocks.

Payment For Order Flow (PFOF) is a practice in which brokerage firms are compensated to route their customers’ trading orders to certain market makers to execute the trades rather than directly to an exchange, which creates a potential conflict of interest between the brokerage and the customer.

The PFOF practice has enabled $0 commission trading, which was jump started by Robinhood’s launch in 2015, and was considered groundbreaking at the time when most investors had to pay upwards of $10 for every buy or sell order.

According to a SEC filing by Robinhood, they make a bulk of their money from the PFOF practice, and generated upwards of $100 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2020 from a number of market makers, including Citadel Securities.

Now, another free-trading brokerage firm is bucking the PFOF practice and shifting its business model to tipping.

In a blog post on Monday, Public.com said it would end the practice of selling its customers’ order flow to market makers, and would instead route them directly to exchanges like the Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange.

The company issued a press release which stated in part that they would remove that inherent conflict of interest from their business model, “To align our incentives with those of our members, we will stop participating in the practice of PFOF and instead introduce a tipping feature on trades. Trades will remain commission-free and tipping is entirely optional.”

APEX, which is Public.com’s clearinghouse firm, was notified on January 30 of their intent to be taken off the “PFOF rails,” according to a blog post by the company, noting that all trade orders at the brokerage firm will be directly routed to exchanges for execution. The company said that transition away from PFOF and towards tipping could take a few weeks, but that “Transparency is a core pillar of building trust, and we think it’s important that we live up to our name. Direct routing to the exchanges is more expensive, and therefore we’re turning what used to be a revenue stream (PFOF) into a cost center and we’re optimistic that the difference will be offset by the optional tipping feature.”

Now, nearly every brokerage firm offers $0 commission trading.

But the PFOF practice is facing backlash from many, including venture capital investor Bill Gurley, who tweeted on Sunday, “If the SEC/government wants to ‘fix the plumbing’ the number one thing they should do is ban Payment for Order Flow.”

Gurley said that the practice “smells bad” and is already outlawed in the United Kingdom, and in Canada.


businessinsider.com

We’ve Seen This Before: The Current GameStop Drama Has Grassroots In The 2008 Housing Crash

by Liam O’Hara


• Main Street played by the rules, but Wall Street changed them mid-game.

• Retail traders on Reddit’s r/wallstreetbets had a simple buy-and-hold strategy for an overleveraged short position on GameStop held by Melvin Capital — until Wall Street shut it down.

• The game has been rigged all along and now it’s out in the open for all to see.

It’s been only a few days since news about the feud between Main Street and Wall Street entered the public’s awareness and the internet is already filled with more articles and stories about it than one could realistically hope to keep up with.

As a retail investor who bought a long position in GameStop (I am not a financial advisor, I just like the stock) only hours before its historic ascent, I only have my limited perspective and experience to offer. But, as a millennial who came of age during the subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 — and decided to study finance and accounting specifically because of it — I believe I have a somewhat unique, but relatable viewpoint.

For many retail traders, GameStop was a chance to get in on the ground floor of an arguably undervalued stock with the added benefit of watching the high and mighty of Wall Street squirm after being caught in an embarrassing position.

We’ve been through this type of thing before.

It is impossible to escape the fact that many of these small-time traders have vivid memories of the financial equivalent of an atomic bomb that Wall Street and government regulators dropped on the world in 2008. In the fallout of the housing crisis, hundreds of millions of people’s lives were upended.

Save for a few, like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, many Wall Street banks came out ahead because of obscure and convoluted financial derivatives that left regular people holding the bag.

Unemployment skyrocketed, families’ houses were foreclosed on, pensions were decimated, and the middle class was suddenly forced to scrape by just to feed their families. To add insult to injury, the federal government awarded these same banks $700 billion dollars of taxpayer money because they were “too big to fail.”

I was only 18 years old then and didn’t understand much about what was happening, but seeing my family suffer motivated me to learn more, and I’ve learned much since then. In many ways I’ve been waiting 13 years to write about it.

I was raised in a working class family in the suburbs of middle America.

My parents both worked hard to provide the best upbringing and educationavailable to us. Both are college educated and have worked in a variety of jobs, with my mother eventually settling into a role working for the county, and my father working in mortgage lending until the subprime mortgage crisis when he was forced to look for work elsewhere which he found at a large manufacturing company.

As the dust of the crisis settled and the recession loomed on the horizon, my dad was eventually let go during one of the multiple rounds of layoffs by his employer. We were fortunate enough to keep our house, but had little more to spend since most of the jobs available at that point were minimum wage. Between meager wages, intermittent unemployment benefits, and trips to the food banks, we managed to make it through one of the deepest recessions in decades.

In October 2008, two months after I began my freshman year at university (only made possible by generous scholarships), the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, was Read the rest of this entry »

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Oklahoma Religious School Expels Second-Grader

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, February 1, 2021

No honey… God does not love you.

Neither do His people.

Public tax dollars should NOT go to religious or private K-12 schools.

Period.


Second-Grader Expelled Over ‘Crush’ On Girl At Owasso Private School, Thankful For Community Support

By: Tanya Modersitzki, FOX23 News
Updated: January 27, 2021 – 7:07 AM

OWASSO, Okla. — Delanie Shelton said her 8-year-old daughter, Chloe was kicked out of Rejoice Christian School in Owasso because Chloe told another girl she had a crush on her.

“[Chloe] said the vice principal sat her down and says the Bible says you can only marry a man and have children with a man,” Shelton said. “My daughter was crying saying ‘Does God still love me?’”

Chloe Shelton, a 2nd grader at Rejoice Schools in Owasso, Oklahoma (a private, so-called “Christian” school system), was expelled for saying that she had a girl crush on another little girl.

Rejoice Christian Schools told Shelton they don’t condone boyfriend/girlfriend relationships on campus, but in the student handbook it doesn’t say it’s grounds for expulsion.

“The vice principal asked me how do I feel like girls liking girls and I said if we’re being honest, I think it’s okay for girls to like girls and she looked shocked and appalled,” Shelton said.

Shelton said she is raising her family to not judge and love whomever you want.

Rejoice initially cited the school’s student handbook and policy, before releasing the following statement:

“Due to privacy and other factors, it is the school’s policy to refrain from public comments regarding any particular student or family.”
– Rejoice Christian School Superintendent Joel Pepin

“They ripped my kids out of the only school they’ve ever really known away from their teachers and friends they’ve had over the past four years over something my daughter probably doesn’t know or fully understand,” Shelton said.

FOX23′s Tanya Modersitzki talked to Chloe after she’d received an outpouring of support from the community following the telling of her story.

“I feel so loved and supported, thank you so much to everyone who helped me feel better for being who I am,” Chloe said.

She says Read the rest of this entry »

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Terrorism Expert: “Domestic extremists have a sympathetic base.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 31, 2021

Two of Mr. Jenkins’ latest articles are:

Why We Need a January 6 Commission to Investigate the Attack on the Capitol
January 20, 2021
https://www.rand.org/blog/2021/01/why-we-need-a-january-6-commission-to-investigate-the.html

-and-

The Battle of Capitol Hill
January 11, 2021
https://www.rand.org/blog/2021/01/the-battle-of-capitol-hill.html

His most recent social media commentary is:

“The mob assault on the U.S. Capitol was predictable. Fortunately, democracy held. But security failed spectacularly.

“In short, the failure of planning is incomprehensible. We’re lucky this wasn’t a massacre. The intruders could’ve taken elected officials hostage; it was only in October that the FBI thwarted a plot by right-wing extremists to kidnap the governor of Michigan.

“January 6th is now a day to be remembered on the calendar of violent resistance to the federal government. Emerging from the deadly debacle are diehards whose fantasies of a stolen election are still being fueled.

“These extremists could now be emboldened by their successful confrontation last week. A continuing deep sense of injury coupled with an unrealistic assessment of their own power is always a bad combination.

“Defiance is not easily put back in the box. The siege may cause some previously inflammatory politicians to sober up. But to the rioters, any weak denunciations by such politicians may only feed their sense of betrayal and harden their resolve.

“Extremist activity during the inauguration or the SOTU address is possible in the near term. But I worry more about terrorist plots by right-wing extremists over the horizon.”


Domestic Violent Extremists Will Be Harder To Combat Than Homegrown Jihadists

Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Adviser to the RAND President, Michael D. Rich.

By Brian Michael Jenkins
01/31/21 05:00 PM EST

Brian Michael Jenkins is a Senior Adviser to the President of the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. He is a former Captain in the Green Berets, initiated RAND’s Terrorism Research program in 1972 and has been researching terrorism for RAND since. He is a Fulbright Fellow, University of San Carlos in Guatemala, has served in several administrations in various capacities related to security and terrorism, authored numerous books, articles, and reports published worldwide, and is a Vietnam Veteran.


The Biden administration has said it will take steps to combat domestic violent extremism. While the move comes close on the heels of the January 6 attack on the Capitol Building, the nation has witnessed recent acts of violence stemming from both far left and far right extremists.

The announced actions – conducting a comprehensive threat assessment, coordinating intelligence sharing, disrupting networks, trying to prevent radicalization – might have a familiar ring. They’re similar to the post-9/11 response to thwart terrorist attacks launched from abroad, and later, homegrown jihadists, which have been largely successful. While these are solid steps, for a variety of reasons shutting down domestic extremists will prove far more difficult than combating homegrown jihadists.

Larger constituencies.
Jihadist ideology, with few exceptions, gained very little traction in America’s Muslim communities. In contrast, the beliefs driving today’s domestic extremists are deeply rooted in American history and society. Precisely for that reason, some law enforcement officials argue against coming down too hard on those involved in the 1/6 assault, perhaps fearing that doing so might provoke the kind of bloody confrontations witnessed in the early 1990s.

The jihadists never had a supportive constituency in the U.S. They responded as individuals to exhortations from groups abroad. Indeed, many of the tips that led to arrests reportedly came from within the Muslim community. There were no continuing terrorist campaigns. Plots and attacks were one-offs. But domestic extremists have a sympathetic base.

Domestic extremists are better organized.
Hindered by FBI infiltration, far right extremists long ago adopted a strategy of “leaderless resistance,” avoiding a hierarchical structure and instead relying on local autonomous cells to carry out attacks on behalf of the cause. What is new about today’s domestic extremists is Read the rest of this entry »

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Prediction: Trump will NOT be convicted in 2nd Impeachment, but will be indicted for Conspiracy.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 31, 2021

The answer to the question below is an unambiguously, and resounding: YES!”

There is an overwhelmingly abundance of evidence that shows he did, most all of which was plastered across social media by the man himself – particularly on Twitter.


Did Trump know what was about to happen January 6?

By Donald Ayer and Dennis Aftergut

Donald Ayer served as Deputy Attorney General under George H.W. Bush and as a U.S. Attorney and Principal Deputy Solicitor General in the Reagan administration. 

Dennis Aftergut is a former federal prosecutor and Supreme Court advocate, currently a Lawyers Defending American Democracy steering committee member.

01/30/21 01:00 PM EST


We now have important facts about the January 6 insurrectionists Donald Trump incited to invade the Capitol. Some told an FBI informant that they intended to kill Mike Pence and Nancy Pelosi. They reportedly came within 60 seconds of finding Pence.

President Trump speaks to his rioters before they breached the Capitol.

Photo: Carol Guzy/Zuma Press

That close call should compel robust criminal investigations — not only to hold accountable all those who entered the Capitol but also to tell us exactly what Trump knew when he gave his speech that morning inciting the rioters.

The facts already known do not cast Trump in a good light.

Consider the context: Trump’s increasing desperation on January 6 as the walls closed in on his prospects for holding power.

• More than 60 courts had rejected Trump’s unfounded legal attempts to overturn the election.

• On January 2, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had refused, in an hourlong phone call, to knuckle under to Trump’s pleas to alter the Georgia vote count.

• On January 3, Trump was stopped from replacing then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with Jeffrey Clark, an assistant attorney general working with Trump to overturn Georgia’s election. A threat from the rest of the Justice Department leadership team to resign en masse forced Trump to back down.

• On January 5, the U.S. Attorney in Georgia resigned rather than collaborate in Trump’s attempts to overturn a state election result affirmed in three recounts.

These facts — along with Trump’s January 6 speech in which he told supporters, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” “You’ll never take back our country with weakness” and “When you catch somebody in a fraud, you’re allowed to go by very different rules” — ought to be evidence enough, we think, to convict him in his imminent impeachment trial.

What is already known to prosecutors is likely also sufficient to indict Trump for his willful efforts to deny Americans’ civil rights by subverting our democracy.

But more is needed.

History — as well as competent prosecution — demands that we establish Trump’s knowledge and intent on January 6 so that he is held accountable and Read the rest of this entry »

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Georgia’s M.T.-headed Greene Representative

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 30, 2021

Fear the Q.

That’s the message Georgia’s nutjob Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene is sending to Republicans, her constituents, and America.

The GOP is sunk.

They didn’t keep out the KKK, Communists, John Birch Society members, racist Dixiecats, and other such ilk in 1964, and look at ’em now! All grown up!

Mr. Lincoln would NOT be proud.

Of course, the utter nonsense of her demonstrably false claims of “voter fraud” in Georgia – which she claims led to Trump’s loss – somehow, magically, mysteriously, did NOT result in her loss.

She still hasn’t figured that one out.

Stupid cunt.


As Democrats Call For Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Removal, Republicans Stay Silent

January 30, 2021, 6:20 PM ET

The list is long of the baseless conspiracy theories that Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has embraced. She’s:
1.) Denied that a plane hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001;

2.) Supported the idea that the Parkland school shooting was a “false flag” operation meant to usher in tighter gun laws;

3.) Seemed to agree that Hillary Clinton was recorded “filleting” a child’s face.

4.) Greene has also “liked” social media posts that called for executing “deep state” FBI agents, or that;

5.) Advocated removing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with “a bullet to the head.”

6.) Greene supports QAnon and;

7.) Has said Muslims do not belong in government.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, CD-14, wears a “Trump Won” face mask as she arrives on the floor of the House to take her oath of office as a newly elected member of the House of Representatives on January 3. Erin Scott/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

As reports on Greene’s history and flirtations with violence have come to light, Democrats have rushed to condemn her, suggesting she be censured, stripped of committee assignments, or more: Representative Jimmy Gomez of California has promised to introduce a resolution that would expel Greene from the House of Representatives entirely. Other Democrats have said they would join that resolution.

Pelosi called Greene’s comments “absolutely appalling” and criticized House Republican leadership for placing Greene on the House Education Committee.

California Representative Barbara Lee said Greene “is a threat to the safety of members, staff, and our democracy. It’s time for her to go.”

Republican lawmakers have been more reticent. Utah Senator Mitt Romney indicated in a tweet that Greene was speaking “nonsense.” But most have stayed silent; a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he plans to “have a conversation” with Greene about her “deeply disturbing” comments. The lack of forceful denunciation doesn’t sit well with many Democrats.

“A member of your caucus has harassed a Parkland survivor and Representative @CoriBush, and made violent and dangerous statements,” Representative Katherine Clark, D-Massachusetts, tweeted Saturday. “How about serious consequences instead of a ‘conversation’, Kevin McCarthy?” (Representative Bush of Missouri is moving offices after a confrontation with Greene over Greene not wearing a face mask.)

But dealing with rogue members isn’t among McCarthy’s chief concerns these days. McCarthy’s priorities this year have been “traveling to Mar-a-Lago to make up with the former president,” keeping his job secure, and regaining majority control in 2022, NPR correspondent Ron Elving told Weekend Edition. McCarthy met with Trump on Thursday, reportedly to secure his support.

And those Republicans who are staying silent? If they opened their mouths, Democrats might not like what they hear. “There are also Republicans who want to circle the wagons and defend Representative Greene, much as they have defended the former president and his denial of the 2020 election results,” Elving said.

Even with a Democratic majority in the House, expelling Greene wouldn’t be easy. That would require a two-thirds majority vote, meaning around 70 Republicans would have to join the Democrats — something that would make them vulnerable to primary challenges. “And even then you’d have to ask, what would it ultimately accomplish?” Elving asked. “Would she not be more powerful as a martyr than she is now, far more important than she needs to be, with an even bigger megaphone?

Some Republicans outside of Congress have condemned Greene. After the liberal group Media Matters reported this week on another conspiracy theory Greene had endorsed — that
8.) The November 2018 wildfires in California may have been caused by lasers from space linked to the Rothschild company — the Republican Jewish Coalition said it was “offended and appalled.” Other Jewish leaders have also vigorously condemned Greene’s embrace of “antisemitic canards.”

House Republicans have long known that Greene could be a problem for their party. “Everybody was well aware of her previous persona and who she is,” John Cowan, who challenged Greene during last summer’s primary runoff, told Axios. “Maybe they just assumed that the awe of winning an election would calm her down a little bit, and so she would actually be interested in governing and be interested in policy, and she’s just clearly not.

In the absence of vociferous Republican condemnation in Congress, Greene is doubling down. In a statement Friday, titled “A Message to the Mob,” Greene thumbed her nose at detractors, claiming that the more the “radical, left-wing Democrat mob” and the “Fake News media” try to “take me out,” the more money she raises from supporters.

“Every attack. Every lie. Every smear strengthens my base of support at home and across the country because people know the truth and are fed up with the lies,” Greene wrote, blaming “cancel culture” and urging the GOP to stand in solidarity. “If Republicans cower to the mob,” she said, they would be “opening the door to let the vicious cancel culture mob take out every one of you.

On Saturday, Greene said she had a “GREAT” phone call with her “all time favorite POTUS,” Donald Trump. “The blood thirsty media and the socialists hate America Democrats are attacking me now just like they always attack President Trump,” Greene said, adding: “I will never back down.”

https://www.npr.org/2021/01/30/962438098/as-democrats-call-for-marjorie-taylor-greenes-removal-republicans-stay-silent

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Trump’s Insurrectionist Riot/Rally Funded By Publix Grocery Heiress & Alex Jones

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 30, 2021

https://www.wsj.com/articles/jan-6-rally-funded-by-top-trump-donor-helped-by-alex-jones-organizers-say-11612012063

wsj.com

WSJ News Exclusive

January 6 Rally Funded by Top Trump Donor, Helped by Alex Jones, Organizers Say

by Shalini Ramachandran, Alexandra Berzon and Rebecca Ballhaus
Updated Jan. 30, 2021 1:28 pm ET


The rally in Washington’s Ellipse that preceded the January 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol was arranged and funded by a small group including a top Trump campaign fundraiser and donor facilitated by far-right show host Alex Jones.

Mr. Jones personally pledged more than $50,000 in seed money for a planned Jan. 6 event in exchange for a guaranteed “top speaking slot of his choice,” according to a funding document outlining a deal between his company and an early organizer for the event.

Mr. Jones also helped arrange for Julie Jenkins Fancelli, a prominent donor to the Trump campaign and heiress to the Publix Super Markets Inc. chain, to commit about $300,000 through a top fundraising official for former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign, according to organizers. Her money paid for the lion’s share of the roughly $500,000 rally at the Ellipse where Mr. Trump spoke.

Another far-right activist and leader of the “Stop the Steal” movement, Ali Alexander, helped coordinate planning with Caroline Wren, a fundraising official who was paid by the Trump campaign for much of 2020 and who was tapped by Ms. Fancelli to organize and fund an event on her behalf, organizers said. On social media, Mr. Alexander had targeted Jan. 6 as a key date for supporters to gather in Washington to contest the 2020-election certification results. The week of the rally, he tweeted a flyer for the event saying: “DC becomes FORT TRUMP starting tomorrow on my orders!”

Alex Jones addressed protesters on the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6.

Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

The Ellipse rally, at which President Trump urged supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol, was lawful and nonviolent. But it served as a jumping-off point for many supporters to head to the Capitol. Mr. Trump has been impeached by the Democrat-led House of Representatives, accused of inciting a mob to storm the Capitol with remarks urging supporters to “fight like hell.”

Few details about the funding and organization of the Ellipse event have previously been revealed. Mr. Jones claimed in a video that he paid for a portion of the event but didn’t offer details.

Messrs. Jones and Alexander had been active in the weeks before the event, calling on supporters to oppose the election results and go to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Mr. Alexander, for instance, tweeted on Dec. 30 about the scheduled Jan. 6 count for lawmakers to certify the Electoral College vote at the Capitol, writing: “If they do this, everyone can guess what me and 500,000 others will do to that building.”

Julie Jenkins Fancelli, shown in 2019, donated more than $980,000 in the 2020 election cycle to a joint account for the Trump campaign and Republican Party, records show.

Photo: Barry Friedman/LKLNDNOW

A hodgepodge of different pro-Trump groups were planning various events on Jan. 6. Several of them, led by the pro-Trump Women for America First, helped coordinate the Ellipse event; another group splintered off to lead a rally the night before, at which Mr. Jones ended up speaking, and the group organized by Mr. Alexander planned a protest outside the Capitol building.

Mr. Jones, who has publicized discredited conspiracy theories, has hosted leaders of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, two extremist groups prominent at the riot, on his popular radio and internet video shows.

Mr. Jones declined to respond to requests for comment. In a statement, Mr. Alexander said Stop the Steal’s motto is Read the rest of this entry »

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The Chinese Own Smithfield, And Germans Own Krispy Kreme. Which American Corporation Will Sell Out Next??

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 29, 2021

So… today, this morning, I spent about $10 with Krispy Kreme.

If you’re a Southerner reading this, you know what that means.

If you’re not a Southerner, or are otherwise uninformed, Krispy Kreme is the North Carolina-heeadquartered company that has for years made the most delightfully light, fluffy, airy doughnuts.

They’re NOT at all like Dunkin’ Doughnuts, which are heavy, doughy, bread-cake like doughnuts. There is NO comparison whatsoever.

It’s like the difference between a Model-T, and a F1. Even though they’re both cars, they’re worlds apart.

But what I wanted to focus upon is a portion of the brief, pleasant exchange I had with the clerk in the store.

I had decided to stop in as I was returning home from taking Queenie to the veterinarian’s office for ACL surgery today. As I was nearing the area, the thought “doughnuts” occurred to me, and I knew the KK was nearby. As I drew closer, another thought occurred to me: The locally-owned-and-hometown-operated doughnut shop a little further down the road.

Not wanting to drive any further, even though it wasn’t far, per se, I opted for the nearest shop, which was the KK.

Even though I’m not a “shopaholic,” nor adherent, nor promoter of “retail therapy,” I’m fortunate to live in an area that’s conveniently located to many different shops and retailers. Some folks have to drive quite a distance to do so almost anything, whereas I do not. So, I count my blessings, in a manner of speaking.

I had donned a facemask before I walked in, looked around briefly – I was the only customer present – and Read the rest of this entry »

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A Simple Pandemic Economy Fix: Give 10.25M People $40,000

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 28, 2021

Give money to everybody who needs money.

It’s just that simple.

How much, how many?

10,252,500 people

$30,000 cash

$10,000 in their FICA/SECA accounts

That’s a total of $40,000 per person.

The Quick-N-Easy math looks like this:

We’ll use 10,252,500 unemployed people (discussion, rationale, and calculations for that figure are later in this entry)

10,252,500 unemployed people
x $30,000 = $307,575,000,000 ($307.5 billion)

10,252,500 unemployed people
x $10,000 = $102,525,000,000 ($102.5 billion)

$307,575,000,000
+ $102,525,000,000 = $410,100,000,000 ($410.1 billion)

10,252,500 unemployed people
x $40,000 = $410,100,000,000 ($410 billion)

That’s MUCH LESS than the $1.9 TRILLION proposed.

Plus, the $10,000 FICA/SECA money would be for their employers, a $10,000 tax deduction!

Why do something like that?

First, it puts a significant amount of money (delivered in a lump sum) into the hands of hurting people. And they need that help DESPERATELY. It keeps them from being evicted/foreclosed upon, it keeps the lights turned on, and water and gas turned on, etc.

Second, it significantly helps employers, many which are also hurting, and need help. In the case of small businesses, many owners are employees of their companies, so they would also get $30,000 checks. PLUS, they would also get $10,000 checks (per se), which would be credited to the company’s books as a deduction in operating expenses, thereby increasing their profit (perhaps they’ll use it to pay down long-term debt). How they use the value of the deduction is entirely up to them, but it (the money) MUST BE PAID TO THE EMPLOYEE’S FICA ACCOUNT. In fact, the mechanics of the transaction are Read the rest of this entry »

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Georgia Republicans Introduce Bill Making Voting More Difficult

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 28, 2021

If you cant win honestly, the next step is using dishonesty.

And that’s EXACTLY what Georgia Banana Republicans are doing – changing the rules in the middle of the game when it becomes apparent that they’re starting to lose favor with The People.

Lying, corrupt, sons of bitches, and bastards… every god-damned one of ’em.


A Georgia Republican is introducing a bill requiring voters to send copies of their photo ID to election officials two times before being permitted to cast an absentee ballot.

The legislation would also Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Tornado Ravages Birmingham Suburb of Fultondale

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Monday night, 25 January 2021, a tornado swept across north central Alabama in the small Jefferson county town of Fultondale, a bedroom community adjacent to and north of Birmingham, the state’s most populous city.

Long considered part of the state’s “Tornado Alley,” residents were struck around 10:30 PM when a category EF-2 storm with winds in excess of 135 mph (217 kph), twisted a quarter-mile wide swath of destruction after touching down near Interstate 65 and mowed a 10-mile path from Fultondale to Center Point in the same area destroyed by another, larger tornado some years earlier.

Patti Herring sobs as she sorts through the remains of her home in Fultondale, Ala., on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, after it was destroyed by a tornado. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

Fultondale residents haven’t forgotten about April 27, 2011 when they were struck by the tail end of an EF-4 tornado that wreaked a devastating path from the college town of Tuscaloosa south and west of Birmingham, though northern Jefferson County killing 65, and injuring 1500. The National Weather Service said that storm was over 80 miles (130 kilometers) long.

Last night’s search and rescue efforts were hampered by darkness, and indiscriminate wreckage which was strewn about like so much flotsam and jetsam. First Responders and rescuers from throughout the county sifting through the rubble were weary by daybreak, but kept up their efforts, hoping to find people, instead of bodies. Their hopes were Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Cares What Jesus Would Do? What Would Trump Do?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, January 24, 2021

Dear Judas,
(A Letter to the Evangelical Church)

NOVEMBER 20, 2020
by JOHN PAVLOVITZ

Dear Evangelicals,

I thought of you today.

I was reading the Bible. (You may remember the Bible from a sitting president’s recent upside-down, tear-gassed, church steps photo op.)

I came across Matthew’s story of Judas’ final moments here on the planet: overwhelmed with guilt, in a searing, sweaty panic — realizing that he had betrayed his beloved Jesus and sent him to an unthinkably violent death, all for thirty cold pieces of silver that now felt worthless in his hands.

He’d kissed him and he’d killed him, just to gain a quick windfall that he suddenly realized was fool’s gold.

He died knowing he’d forfeited his soul and couldn’t get a refund.

President Donald Trump poses with a Bible outside St. John’s Church across Lafayette Park from the White House Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Part of the church was set on fire during protests on Sunday night. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

I wonder if you will ever have such a last-minute awakening: a similarly sickening moment of clarity-come-too-late, when you look around and see all that you’ve destroyed and how many people you’ve grievously wounded — and if you too will realize that you’re now permanently in the red because you have abandoned your namesake for another name that adorns very different kinds of buildings.

Take a moment and survey the coins in your hand, now, friends.

Roll them around your fingers.

Feel the weight of them.

Your thirty pieces of silver were these last four years, some Supreme Court Justices, a couple hundred lower court judges, the temporary high of a few political wins, the bully pulpit of a President’s Twitter feed for forty-eight months, and perhaps soon, loss of a woman’s right to autonomy over her own body.

That was your soul’s selling price.

Was it all worth betraying Jesus for, I wonder?

Was it worth brutalizing the already vulnerable and oppressed, whose lives he said he inhabited?

Was it worth aligning with this petulant, profane Caesar in all his pervasive and prolific violence?

Was it worth driving a generation from the Church that Jesus built to be a refuge for wanderers, a balm for the hurting, a destination for weary pilgrims, and a home for prodigals?

From where I’m standing, it wasn’t.

From where I’m standing, you’re bankrupt.

From where I’m standing, you’re stuck.

President Donald Trump (in blue tie, 3rd from right) poses outside St. John’s Church across Lafayette Park from the White House Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. Part of the church was set on fire during protests on Sunday night. Standing with Trump are, LEFT to RIGHT, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Attorney General William Barr, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Trump, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

I’m out here with the multitudes who will never darken the door of one your gatherings ever again because they’ve seen your greed.

I’m here with those whose last remaining tethers to religion have been fully severed seeing you abandon the tender world-loving heart of Jesus, in favor of a thin facade of nationalistic bravado.

I’m here alongside hundreds of thousands sitting vigil for Read the rest of this entry »

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Arizona Voters Approve Adult Recreational Use of Cannabis

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 23, 2021

In November, Arizonans voted overwhelmingly to legalize recreational sales of cannabis to adults.

By a margin of 653,982 votes, or 50.2113%, Arizona voters in that state’s General Election approved Arizona Proposition 207, known as the “Smart and Safe Arizona Act.”

The state’s fiscal analysis stated that “Annual state and local sales tax collections on these purchases may reach $88 million in the next several years. The initiative also requires a one-time transfer from the Medical Marijuana Fund of $45 million for the Department of Health Services, a university tuition program, and an impaired driving program.”

Among other provisions, as stated in its purpose, the “Act permits limited possession, transfer, cultivation, and use of marijuana (as defined) by adults 21 years old or older; protects employer and property owner rights; bans smoking in public places; imposes a 16% excise tax on marijuana to fund public safety, community colleges, infrastructure, and public health and community programs; authorizes state and local regulations for the sale and production of marijuana by a limited number of licensees; requires impairment to the slightest degree for marijuana DUls; transfers monies from the Medical Marijuana Fund; permits expungement of some marijuana violations; and prescribes penalties for violations.”

Distribution of taxes collected upon its sale would be as follows:
• 33.0% to community colleges
• 31.4% to local law enforcement and fire departments
• 25.4% to the state and local transportation programs
• 10.0% to public health and criminal justice programs
• 0.2% to the Attorney General for enforcement

The state estimates that “based on a projected tax base of $1 billion, total state and local tax collections would be $254 million, including $166 million to the Smart and Safe Arizona Fund.”

“In its Medium-Series Population Projections, the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) estimates that Arizona’s population will have reached 7.59 million by 2023. Given the $137 estimate for per capita sales, the OEO population estimate implies Arizona would have $1.04 billion of recreational marijuana sales in 2023.”

$254,391,600

Their revenue and sales estimates are based upon western states experiences, and they wrote that, “Arizona marijuana sales may increase further after the third year. States with more than 3 years of sales data have experienced continued growth in years 4 and 5. In Colorado, Oregon, and Washington recreational marijuana sales grew by a weighted average of 20.5% in year 4. In Colorado, the only state with 5 full years of data, sales grew by another 11.2% in year 5. We do not attempt, however, to project past the third year due to the speculative nature of long-run forecasting.”

The Arizona analysis also examines the cost associated with expungement, meaning the legal elimination of any criminal record associated with whatever record is being expunged. They cited a Pew Charitable Trusts analysis in November 2017, which stated in part that, “California only had 1,506 applications for expungement its first year of legalization and Oregon saw only 1,206 petitions combined between 2015-2017. Furthermore, the 192,000 estimate includes all convictions for marijuana possession, whereas the initiative provides the expungement option only to those who were convicted of marijuana possession of 2.5 ounces or less.”

They also note as well, that “the initiative does provide a revenue source for DPS administrative costs. The initiative authorizes DPS to collect a “reasonable fee determined by the Director” for costs to “correct the petitioner’s criminal history record” unless the individual is indigent.”

Control, or rather, elimination of the illicit black market is also a strong motivator for government in the legalization, taxation, and regulation of cannabis, especially and particularly for Adult Recreational Use. To that end, Arizona’s fiscal analysts wrote that, “If the limited number of retail locations authorized under the initiative is insufficient to meet demand, then current marijuana users may be more likely to continue to purchase illegally or from medical dispensaries, potentially decreasing the size of the legal market.”

Elimination of the illicit black market was also a very strong motivating factor in Oklahoma’s recent liberalization of cannabis laws, particularly and especially for medical use. See Oklahoma Has Become A Free Market Utopia For Weed,” published 11/2/2020 for more details. Of course as well, an “unintended consequence” for ALL states which have liberalized their cannabis laws, is an INCREASE in private enterprise, and entrepreneurship – the veritable “holy grail” of most Republicans… and Democrats, if folks would be honest about the matter.

Arizona’s fiscal analysts also acknowledge a very important, yet almost-overlooked matter: It is of local regulation. They write that, “the proposition grants Read the rest of this entry »

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John C. Calhoun and the Racist Roots of the Senate Filibuster

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 22, 2021

Following are excerpted portions of the in-depth interview, which may be read in its entirety, or heard, via the link at the end this entry.


Book ‘Kill Switch’ Examines The Racist History Of The Senate Filibuster

TERRY GROSS, HOST: Congress is trying to return to normal after the insurrection. But what is normal? There are more threats of violence surrounding the inauguration. The norm-breaking that became the norm during the Trump presidency is about to change with the Biden administration. Another change will be the new Democratic majority in the Senate. After newly elected Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock are sworn in, the Senate will be evenly divided, 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats. But Vice President Kamala Harris will have the tie-breaking vote.

But how much power does that actually give Democrats in the Senate? A majority is not enough to pass legislation anymore and hasn’t been for a long time because of the modern use of the filibuster. It takes three-fifths of the Senate to override a filibuster, which means the minority only needs 41 votes to prevent any bill from even coming to a vote. My guest Adam Jentleson says the modern use of the filibuster has crippled American democracy, enabling the minority to systematically block bills favored by the majority. He’s the author of the new book, “Kill Switch,” about the rise of the modern Senate. He knows the ins and outs of Senate rules because he worked as Harry Reid’s deputy chief of staff when Reid was the Democratic leader. Jentleson joined Reid’s staff in 2010 and stayed until 2017.

“Kill Switch” is a history of how the filibuster started as a tool of Southern senators upholding slavery, and then later was used as a tool to block civil rights legislation. The book concludes with Senator Mitch McConnell’s advances in the use of filibuster as an obstructionist tool. Jentleson is now public affairs director at Democracy Forward, which was founded in 2017 to fight corruption in the executive branch.

ADAM JENTLESON: Slowly, over the course of time, but primarily to serve the interests of slave states and try to preserve slavery against the march of progress and a growing majority of both states and Americans who wanted to abolish slavery. The filibuster did not exist in name or practice until about the middle of the 19th century. So this was well after all of the Founding Fathers had passed away. James Madison was one of the longest lived and an ardent opponent of the filibuster to the extent that it sort of was coming into existence in the 1830s. And he passed away in the early 1830s.

John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), United States Representative of South Carolina-CD6, 10th Secretary of War, 16th Secretary of State, Senator of South Carolina, and 7th Vice President (1825-1832), ardent slavery proponent, and slave owner.

So the progenitor of the filibuster, its main innovator, was John C. Calhoun, the great nullifier, the leader, father of the Confederacy. And Calhoun innovated the filibuster for the specific purpose of empowering the planter class. He was a senator from South Carolina. His main patrons were the powerful planters. And he was seeking to create a regional constituency to empower himself against the march of progress and against – what was becoming clear was a superior economic model in the North. So Calhoun started to innovate forms of obstruction that came to be known as the filibuster.

GROSS: So you describe John Calhoun as, like, basically, the father of the filibuster. Let’s be clear who he was. I mean, he not only wanted to protect slave owners, he argued that slavery created racial harmony and improved the lives of slaves. You quote him in the book. He said, never before has the Black race of Central Africa, from the dawn of history to the present day, attained a condition so civilized and improved, not only physically, but morally and intellectually. Amazing that he could justify that slavery was improving the lives of enslaved people.

JENTLESON: That’s right. And it’s important to note at this time, you know – not to give people of that era too much credit for being enlightened. But, you know, there was a shift in public opinion going on regarding slavery in the United States. The abolitionist movement was beginning to gain traction. And, you know, while folks weren’t exactly at the enlightened state of believing in full equality, they recognized that slavery had – was, at best, a necessary evil, emphasis on the evil.

And so Calhoun took it upon himself to argue that there was nothing evil about it. In that same speech that you quoted, he went on to explain that slavery was not a necessary evil, but, quote, “a positive good.” He was such an ardent defender and such a vehement racist that he couldn’t even accept the sort of antebellum acknowledgement that there were parts of the institution that were evil. So it was very clear what his motivations were. He wanted to preserve slavery. And the filibuster was what he deployed to achieve that goal.

GROSS: So we’ve established that needing a supermajority to pass legislation was not what the founders wanted. They wanted simple majorities. You’ve talked about how the filibuster was initiated in the mid-19th century and the ways it was used to enable slave owners and to keep the institution of slavery. But you write that the only time the filibuster was used during Jim Crow with any consistency was to block any form of civil rights legislation and that this happened through the 1960s.

So give us an example of that – like, of the systematic use of the filibuster to block civil rights legislation.

JENTLESON: So what Southern senators faced starting in the 1920s was majority support for civil rights bills. These were rudimentary civil rights bills. These were anti-lynching bills and anti-poll tax bills, but they were civil rights bills nonetheless. These bills started passing the House with big majorities. They had presidents of both parties in the White House ready to sign them, and they actually had enormous public support. Gallup polled the public on anti-lynching bills in 1937 and found 70% of Americans supporting federal anti-lynching laws. And they polled anti-poll tax laws in the 1940s and found 60% support. So Southern senators started to block these bills in the name of minority rights Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaria Trumpanzee Has Classless Send Off

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 21, 2021

So…

Malaria goes away wearing flats and a goddamn house dress described as a “Gucci silk-blend crepe gown featured pops of orange, blue and cream in a geometric pattern for a beach-inspired aesthetic,” with her hair up in bobby pins, and bug-eyed sunglasses.

“Beach-inspired aesthetic”?

Please… give me a break!

Seems the wealthy like her, have Read the rest of this entry »

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POTUS Joe Biden Hit The Ground Running, Busy Doing The People’s Work On Inauguration Day

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, January 21, 2021

On his Inauguration Day, following taking the Oath of Office, President Biden kept his campaign promise, signed at least 15 Executive Orders and other executive directives, all designed to protect American citizens from abuses of various types, to bring America back into accord with its international neighbors, and to begin strengthening the weaknesses created by the previous failed administration.

The first three Executive Orders were signed on camera from a room adjoining the Oval Office for such purposes.

1.) MEMORANDUM FOR THE SECRETARY OF STATE THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY
SUBJECT: Reinstating Deferred Enforced Departure for Liberians
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/reinstating-deferred-enforced-departure-for-liberians/

2.) Pausing Federal Student Loan Payments
January 20, 2021
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/01/20/pausing-federal-student-loan-payments/

3.) Proclamation on the Termination Of Emergency With Respect To The Southern Border Of The United States And Redirection Of Funds Diverted To Border Wall Construction
January 20, 2021
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/proclamation-termination-of-emergency-with-respect-to-southern-border-of-united-states-and-redirection-of-funds-diverted-to-border-wall-construction/

4.) Executive Order on Ethic Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel
January 20, 2021
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-ethic-commitments-by-executive-branch-personnel/

5.) Modernizing Regulatory Review
January 20, 2021
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/modernizing-regulatory-review/

6.) Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation
January 20, 2021
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-preventing-and-combating-discrimination-on-basis-of-gender-identity-or-sexual-orientation/

9.) Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis
January 20, 2021
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-protecting-public-health-and-environment-and-restoring-science-to-tackle-climate-crisis/

10.) Executive Order on Ensuring a Lawful and Accurate Enumeration and Apportionment Pursuant to the Decennial Census
January 20, 2021
https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-ensuring-a-lawful-and-accurate-enumeration-and-apportionment-pursuant-to-decennial-census/ Read the rest of this entry »

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