More to ignore, Book 55........

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
Ukraine update: Pelosi visits Kyiv; Putin adds to his war crimes

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a small congressional delegation to Ukraine on Saturday, the details of which were not publicized until she had again left the country. Pelosi, Rep. Adam Schiff and others met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in yet another show of support towards Ukrainians currently fighting for their nation's continued existence.

The situation on the ground remains as it was; few Russian gains, but continued Russian atrocities. Details of what is happening to the Ukrainians forcibly "relocated" to Russia suggest Putin's plan is to depopulate Ukraine of its citizens, scattering them throughout Russia, in a move meant to erase Ukraine's own cultural identity and replace it with a more Russian version.

The eagerness of Putin and his government to engage in such war crimes is a primary reason the United States and NATO allies are now sending weapons and ammunition shipments to Ukraine in ever-increasing numbers. Ukraine has shown it can defend itself, and Putin and his associated oligarchs have shown themselves to be unfit leaders by every possible measure.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

Grand Jury convenes in Georgia concerning Trump breaking state laws during 2020 election
ca cokz

'Need to end this call,' Georgia official texted as Trump pressured Raffensperger to 'find' votes
Laura Clawson


Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis continues to investigate Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in Georgia, and we know there’s plenty to investigate. Selection begins Monday for a special grand jury Willis is convening in that investigation.

A recent court filing included urgent texts sent by Jordan Fuchs, then Georgia’s deputy secretary of state, to Mark Meadows, then the White House chief of staff, during the phone call on which Donald Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the votes needed to flip the state to Trump.

”Need to end this call,” Fuch texted Meadows. “I don't think this will be productive much longer.” She made the stakes clear when she added, “Let's save the relationship.” But Trump was not interested in saving the relationship. He was interested in overturning his election loss.
That phone call is at the dead center of Willis’ investigation, but there are lots of other things for her to look into when a special grand jury, which will exist to investigate rather than issue indictments, is convened this week. Willis has said she won’t call witnesses who are currently candidates for office until after the May 24 primary, but she’s not going to wait until November’s general election. This is more urgent than that.

One of the candidates in that primary is David Perdue, the former senator defeated by Sen. Jon Ossoff in the January 2021 runoff election. Perdue is Trump’s chosen vehicle to challenge Gov. Brian Kemp because of Kemp’s refusal to participate in the effort to overturn Trump’s loss. Perdue is all in on Trump’s Big Lie now, and investigations are turning up evidence that he was active in the coup attempt at the time.

Texts Meadows turned over to the select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol show Perdue reporting on his efforts to lobby Georgia officials to do Trump’s dirty work.

“Carr won't be any help with SOS,” Perdue texted Meadows on Dec. 13, 2020, referring to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “I have a call into the Governor's general counsel now to see if they might help.”

On Dec. 29, Perdue texted Meadows, “I'm trying to set up this call with state legislature leaders and Rudy [Giuliani]. I just want to make sure I'm doing what you and the president want.”

So Perdue has definitely earned a spot in the Georgia investigation, along with many others. In April, Willis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that at least 50 people had voluntarily testified, while she planned to subpoena at least 30 more, including some of Trump’s inner circle. Raffensperger has told CNN he will cooperate if subpoenaed, and members of his staff have voluntarily testified. Raffensperger, Carr, Kemp, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan have all received document preservation requests, but have been informed by Willis that they are likely not targets of the investigation.

As selection for the special grand jury is held Monday, officials are closing roads around the courthouse and dramatically increasing security, while prosecutors have been issued bulletproof vests. These measures come after a string of racist threats.

”I'll tell your viewers and any other viewers: It does not offend me to call me Black. It just doesn't. They're wasting their time,” Willis on CNN in February. “However, they continue to send those very nasty messages. I've never been called the N-word so much in my life.” How surprising that the people opposing an investigation into Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the election would go to racism in their threats. Nobody could have predicted.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
A federal judge has just made it a whole lot harder for those evading the Jan. 6 probe
Brandi Buchman


A federal judge has ruled in favor of the Jan. 6 committee and has found that the Republican National Committee (RNC) cannot hide information about marketing materials it used to further ex-President Donald Trump’s lies about fraud in the 2020 election.

The decision was handed down by Trump appointee U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly and stems from a lawsuit that the party apparatus filed in response to a subpoena for records from investigators in February.

Not only did Kelly find that the RNC must soon part with some of its records barring a successful appeal, but critically, Kelly also tore asunder the most often used legal arguments by opponents to the investigation by affirming that the Jan. 6 committee is properly constituted and that its subpoenas have full legal effect.
The RNC, according to the 53-page opinion, will have a chance to appeal by May 5, so the records will not be transmitted immediately.

Investigators were specifically after materials the RNC sent out through massive software vendor Salesforce from Election Day 2020 through Jan. 6, 2021. They argued that reviewing this would give the panel a chance to determine the breadth and depth of the RNC’s push to its supporters about Trump’s “Big Lie.”

In March, a spokesman for the committee, Tim Mulvey, defended the panel’s lawsuit succinctly.

“These emails encouraged supporters to put pressure on Congress to keep President Trump in power,” Mulvey said.

The RNC sued to stop the subpoena issued to Salesforce, claiming gross overreach. They argued that compliance would give the Jan. 6 probe an “all-access pass” to confidential party strategies, fundraising appeals, and other sensitive member information.

But Kelly on Sunday disagreed.

In fact, he wrote, the Jan. 6 committee is not asking them to go about “producing any disaggregated information about any RNC’s donors, volunteers, or email recipients, including any person’s personally identifiable information.

“Moreover even the RNC’s own confidential information that is undeniably at issue is relatively narrow in scope,” he continued.

The suggestion that the initial subpoena from investigators exploring the Jan. 6 attack is little more than a bald attempt to expose competing inner party workings was shot down, too.

Kelly did acknowledge, however, that those sentiments may very well be reasonable “given the obvious political dynamics involved” of the day and the “unusual” circumstances and demands now present in this “exceedingly rare spectacle of a congressional committee subpoenaing the records of one of our country's two major political parties."

Nonetheless, there are still several conflicts within the RNC’s attempt to stop the transfer of records and discredit the panel.

In short, Kelly explained that the Jan. 6 committee is properly authorized and rightfully constituted to do its work because its members were lawfully appointed and are valid representatives on a special committee that operates within the confines of the legislative branch.

There was also an explicit win tucked into the ruling for Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who has borne seemingly endless political attacks since disavowing Trump’s incitement of an insurrection at the Capitol.

In the myriad reasons the RNC claimed the subpoena was unenforceable, it cited a line from the select committee’s authorizing resolution, or in simpler terms, what amounts to its founding charter.

The authorizing resolution notes that Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, when issuing a subpoena, must consult with the body’s “ranking minority member.” The RNC argued that Cheney, despite being the most senior Republican on the probe, was not officially given the title of “ranking minority member,” therefore making the subpoenas bunk.

But again, Kelly found otherwise.

“True, for whatever reason the select committee did not give her—or anyone else—the formal title ‘ranking member.’ But to the extent there is any uncertainty about whether she fits the bill, on this record the Court must defer to the select committee’s decision to treat Representative Cheney as the ranking minority member for consultation purposes,” he wrote.

RNC v Pelosi Opinion May 1 by Daily Kos on Scribd

Sunday’s ruling is important for the committee because it further dilutes most contentions put forward by a wide array of Jan. 6 investigation critics and targets alike, from Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy who has blasted the committee since its inception, to former Trump administration officials like Peter Navarro who have dubbed the body a partisan witch hunt comprising “domestic terrorists.”

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
Ukraine update: Ukraine may have taken key city near Kharkiv


M777 artillery gun, coming soon to a Ukrainian battlefield.

Staryy Saltov, sometimes translated as Stariy Saltiv, lies east of Ukraine, and has been in Russian hands for much of the war.


The city lies on the eastern bank of a long bridge over the Pechenihy Reservoir, created by a dam over the Donets river. You might remember this old video from early March on the horrendous losses Russia suffered while taking that region. Today, it was announced liberated by … the Twitter account of a purported local. Translation:

Old Saltov is ours! Ours control the territory right up to the Rubezhansky bridge. The orcs completely blew up the bridge during the retreat. Behind the dam, in the direction of Volchansk, they burned a bunch of orc equipment, but the territory is still behind them. An armored personnel carrier of the Horde drove through my apiary during the retreat, there are losses in evidence

I don’t know why, but the detail about the apiary makes it more believable! Staryy Saltov is around 15 kilometers from yesterday’s front lines, which would suggest a collapse in Russia’s lines (and likely a strategic retreat). But of course, no one is hanging their hats on this one tweet. Ukrainian general staff announced yesterday:

Russian occupiers suffered losses near the settlement of Stary Saltiv - General Staff of the Armed Forces

“Suffered losses” isn’t the same as “liberated.” Nor is another report from Ukrainian General Staff that the town was “fired upon.” Meanwhile, this Russian video, recorded at least several days ago, shows the bridge already destroyed. It would’ve been impossible for anything to retreat through that bridge, so that tweet above isn’t correct that the bridge was blown during the retreat. It’s got clear previous combat damage (artillery/rocket craters), and a significant segment seems long-blown. That local tweeter is, at best, a little confused. Fog of war and all. Meanwhile, a pro-Russia Telegram channel posted the following (run through translator):


APU=Armed forces of Ukraine.

LPR=Luhansk People’s Republic (one of the two separatist regions in Donbas).

Lnrovtsky=not sure, but presumably soldiers from the LPR.

Again, all of this is unconfirmed. I’m just giving you guys a taste of what it’s like sifting through the fog of war, looking through both pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian sources, trying to find video of the area, and attempting to parse official proclamations from official channels. What we do know for sure is that Ukraine was targeting the town as part of its broad-based offensive in the region. We’ll know within the next 24 hours if it has been officially liberated. And if it has been? Woah.


The city of Vovchansk to the northeast is one of just two major railways from Russia toward Kupiansk, the logistical hub of the entire Izyum effort in the northern Donbas region. Even more importantly, it is the major rail and highway line from Belgorod, the Russian logistical hub for the entire war effort.

Staryy Saltov is around 30 kilometers away, or 19 miles from Vovchansk. The range of M777 artillery, currently en route to the front? For regular dumb rounds, it is 30 kilometers.

It also gives Ukraine some options as they continue to roll up Russian forces around Kharkiv: They can push toward Vovchansk itself, or with their northern flank secured, head toward Kupiansk. Either one would deal a severe logistical blow to the war effort in the eastern Donbas front, which has already ground to a halt because of severe attrition of Russia’s forces and logistical woes.

Russia has to respond, right? Ukraine is pushing closer to the international border. Vovchansk is only around 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Belgorod—at the end-range of dumb artillery, but well within range of smart rounds, which can hit up to 40 kilometers (24 miles). That’s why I still don’t believe claims that Russia will invade Moldova, joining two previous implausible claims: an amphibious assault on Odesa, and a Belorussian invasion of western Ukraine.

Right now, Russia is stuck in Donbas, with zero territorial gains in the last three days. Down in the south, near Kherson, they are inexplicably trying to push toward Mykolaiv and Kryvyi Rih. They are losing ground around Kharkiv, putting their own city of Belgorod at risk of Ukrainian artillery. Mariupol still stands. And despite all that, they're going to invade another country, far from their supply lines, and with no broader strategic value to the Ukraine war effort?

Russia is stupid enough to want to do it, especially if Vladimir Putin is calling the shots with incomplete information (no one is telling him the truth on the ground). But do they have the means and troops to actually pull it off? I’m not buying it.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014


TTM note: I am beginning to wonder if there might be some insurance fraud going on with at least some of these fires we see every day. I mean, if they cannot get any parts because of sanctions, they cannot there can be no production.......
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Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

....CNN has previously reported similar accounts, including those documented by journalist Michael Bender in his own book titled "Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost."....

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
Mark Esper confirms Trump wanted to 'just shoot' Black Lives Matter protesters


Mark Esper, center, marched with Trump immediately after attacking Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrating near the White House. Now he wants points for not agreeing to Trump requests to just murder them?

In news we already knew but now know more, er, knowingly, a new book by ex-Trump secretary of defense Mark Esper confirms that yes, Donald Trump really did want to "just shoot" Black Lives Matter protesters rallying near the White House during the 2020 protests. Specifically, Trump said he wanted the U.S. military to "beat the ****" out of the protesters, and told Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Gen. Mark Milley and other top administration officials to "just shoot them" on several occasions. When Milley and then-attorney general Bill Barr resisted due to the blazing illegality of such an order and, let's assume, not wanting to spend the rest of their lives in prison on this bozo's behalf, Trump modified his proposal to "just shoot them in the legs or something?"

We knew these incidents had taken place because a previous book profiting off the slow death of democracy described them last year; Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender's 2021 book revealed them in similar detail, including Trump's demands to use military force, "beat the ****" out of protesters, and "shoot them in the leg" or "maybe the foot."

That earlier book also gave us the heartwarming scene in which a fed-up Gen. Milley, tired of White House white nationalist Stephen Miller egging Trump on with claims that parts of the United States were now a "war zone" due to the protests, "spun around in his seat" and told Miller to "shut the **** up, Stephen." There is no military medal awarded to generals who personally tell Stephen Miller to "shut the **** up," but there ought to be. We're all perhaps a bit disappointed Milley didn't shoot Miller in the leg or "maybe the foot," but there you go. That's military discipline for you.
What Mark Esper's new book brings to the scene is confirmation by another participant that yes, all of this really did take place and they took place just as previous accounts said. Donald Trump wanted to use the military, and he specifically wanted to use the military to kill protesters or, after meeting resistance from the rest of his staff, shoot them "in the legs" so that they could no longer march against his self-imagined greatness. That Black Lives Matter protesters might have had a legitimate point to make never crossed his mind; that he, as president, was not allowed to simply murder protesters outright was something he struggled to understand even as the top officials who would have to order such murders tried to explain it to him.

Truly, the worst president ever. Possibly the worst human being ever, though that's a value judgment—and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is making his own bid for both positions, so Trump may last as America's Worst President for no longer than George W. Bush did before him.

The purpose of Esper's book is self-redemption. Esper was Trump's secretary of defense during a time, post-impeachment, when Trump was widely purging the U.S. government of anyone thought to be disloyal, felt newly emboldened after Senate Republicans immunized him from the consequences of a Watergate-plus sized campaign of political corruption, and was increasingly deemed by many to be dangerously unstable—as he would go on to prove at numerous points during the 2020 campaign and post-election, culminating in an attempted coup. Esper was one of Trump's enforcers, as Trump attempted to do to the military what he was doing everywhere else, only to be replaced after Trump's November election loss with the more-toadying Christopher Miller.

Whatever career Mark Esper once had before Trump appeared on scene is now well and truly gone; he will remembered now alongside William Barr and other Republicans who protected Trump through years of corrupt, self-serving, often-delusional, nation-harming behaviors only to write up books afterwards mumbling that they were Actually against all of the outright evil things all along, or were against at least some vanishingly small number of them, and ought to still be served in public restaurants and invited to Washington parties.

If a sitting president of the United States repeatedly—no,
incessantly—asks his staff to do criminal things, anything from the political extortion of an at-war government to further a propaganda effort to requesting that Americans protesting against him simply be murdered, refusing to do the murder part is not bold. Trump's vast and wide-ranging ignorance made him an incompetent leader during every national crisis he was faced with. He could not grasp security briefings, forcing staff to include frequent mentions of him to at least keep him reading; he was so obsessed with self-promotion that he altered government hurricane maps and promoted the altered forecasts rather than admitting to a piffling Twitter mistake; his prescriptions for dealing with pandemic continuously did active harm to the nation, even as his lack of focus made more organized and sensible responses impossible.

All of this was a pattern and was being warned of, incessantly, both long before and during every winter day leading up to a Trump-led attempted coup. His own staff knew of his history of demanding illegal or corrupt actions—and, after his election loss, much of his stalwart-Republican staff helped him take those actions. Some, like chief of staff Mark Meadows, may have played a more pivotal role in attempting to nullify the election than the buffoonish Trump could himself even manage.

You do not get to say, "I worked for the man who soon afterward attempted to end United States democracy," and append "but was of course against the coup part," unless you can provide even a teaspoon of evidence of being "against" the government purges, political purges, manufacturing of hoaxes, flagrant daily lying, contempt for the American public, white nationalism, autocratic demands, and ingrained fascist beliefs that had been laying the groundwork for that outcome through Trump's whole long, crooked descent. There's now an entire cottage industry of hard-right Republican officials who helped Trump do extraordinarily bad and damaging things, but who are propping themselves up now on the pretense that, well, at least they did not support murdering protesters outright, or at least they did not support attempts to capture or murder Trump-opposed House and Senate leaders, or at least they did not help the rest of Trump's staff in schemes to declare that the vice president could scrub out the votes of whatever Americans he wanted to, in order to arrive at whatever election outcome the current leaders of government wished to announce.

You especially cannot respond to an attempt to overthrow democracy itself by demanding that Americans move on while your party allies write new election laws to get around the flaws of the first coup attempt and make a second one easier to muster. You don't get to say, "I am still a Republican," without adding, "even though the party both plotted an election-nullifying coup and is continuing to protect its plotters."

Take your books and shove them. Do something worthy of redemption before demanding it. William Barr, Mark Esper, the blizzard of propagandist-to-news-"analyst" career slides—Americans have every right to treat all of these people with contempt for their parts in normalizing horrific acts, bragging that they prevented even more horrific acts, and demanding the nation move on without any doled-out consequence or comeuppance. We've got library book bans now. We've got a party that has convinced the majority of American voters that our elections are illegitimate—based on a barrage of internet hoaxes and nothing more. White nationalism is now a party plank, such that even mentions of racism in American history are now fodder for public retaliation.

Stuff your books. Abandon your party or do your part to redeem it—or shut the **** up, Stephen. Nobody has time to give you the attention you seek.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
Monday, May 2, 2022 · 4:27:24 PM EDT · kos
Sumdumguy in the comments catches something I totally missed:

Kos. “Rubezhansky bridge” refers to bridge at Ruizhne not at Staryi Saltov. This a bridge much closer to the border. If they control everything up to that bridge then they control Verkhniy Saltiv and likely at leat some part of Rubizhne. That would put them roughly 10 miles from Vovchansk. If this tweet is right then Ukraine controls everything it needs to that side of the river. Much of the Kharkiv vicinity is about to be cleaned up and liberated then. Expect visible changes on the map soon in that case (in favor of Ukraine).

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
Alexey Vlasenko
May 02, 2022 at 04:25:37 PM

Regarding Hertling’s comments on the T-72 tank, a lot of this is specific to the older variants, not to the B3s that have mostly been seen in Ukraine. Obviously some factors, like the cramped turret, are still applicable, but Hertling is really talking about a “bare” T-72, which is not something that has been used since the 1970s.

Compared to the original version, the T-72B3M has new composite armor, a new gun, new sights and fire control system (interestingly, much of that made in France, so good luck getting more of that with sanctions), can fire on the move, can fire to 3200 meters, comparable to Abrams, and can also fire ATGMs through the gun barrel that can go out to 5000-6000 meters under ideal conditions. The cost is about $1.25 million, but the low cost is primarily because the tank uses a diesel engine, rather than a gas turbine; a turbine-powered T-80U, which is otherwise comparable, costs $3.8 million, not that much less than an Abrams. In other words, the T-72B3 is not at all the same tank as the T-72.

There are also fire suppression systems, dividers and blowout panels in the ammo compartment, which make a catastrophic ammo explosion much less likely than in the older models. It can still happen, but usually only after a prolonged uncontrolled fire (giving the crew time to evacuate). Also keep in mind that the photos from Ukraine are specifically selected to illustrate the most catastrophic cases, and also often involve old equipment (Russian T-72As have been seen in Ukraine along with more modern variants).

Regarding the back doors on the BMP containing fuel tanks, these tanks are typically used to extend the range on the march, and are empty during combat (in fact, more likely than not, they are always empty, and the crew often uses them to brew booze). Also, the diesel fuel in these tanks is not especially flammable. If the door gets a hole in it, the fuel will almost always just drip out, it’s very unlikely to ignite.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014

First self-defense trial balloon goes up in flames as jury finds Jan. 6 defendant and ex-cop guilty
Brandi Buchman

Jurors didn’t think much of former New York City police officer Thomas Webster’s self-defense theory: They found him guilty on Monday of assaulting police at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

This marks another victorious verdict for the Justice Department as jurors wholesale and unanimously rejected Webster’s premise that he was merely defending himself when he descended on the Capitol and proceeded to thrash at an on-duty cop with a metal flagpole before shoving that officer to the ground and choking him with the chin strap of the gas mask he was wearing.

Webster faces up to 20 years in prison for assaulting Metropolitan Police officer Noah Rathbun.

US v. Webster Verdict Form by Daily Kos on Scribd

During the trial, Webster’s defense attorney James Monroe worked to paint Webster as a patriotic American worn down by the mistreatment of fellow protesters at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

When he took the stand, Webster recounted his frustration, saying his hackles were raised when he saw “weeping children” and injured elderly people toward the back of the crowd. That prompted him to push his way through to a thin line of police defending the complex.

But prosecutors unwound that defense, playing back video footage from the day that explicitly showed a red-faced Webster screaming at police officers who were surrounded by thousands of former President Donald Trump’s supporters, many of them armed.

“You ****ing piece of shit,” Webster screamed at Rathbun on Jan. 6. “You ****ing commie mother****ers man. Gonna attack Americans? **** that. ****ing commie ****. Come on, take your shit off. Take your shit off. You communist mother****ers. **** you.”

Webster shoved a metal bike rack separating himself from Rathbun. Webster admitted he was frustrated but when the officer ordered him to stop, he wouldn’t and Rathbun is seen very briefly lifting his open hand and making contact as he tries to push Webster away.

That moment was fleeting, according to the video footage, but Webster described it as being hit by a “freight train.” Rathbun, he said, caused him to “see stars.”

He described it as one of the “hardest hits of his life” and vowed that he wasn’t exaggerating.

Another claim from Webster, that he only grabbed Rathbun’s gas mask during the fracas because he was trying to show him his hands and calm the already beleaguered Rathbun down, was also summarily dismissed Monday.

“I almost felt like I was the cop and he was the protester,” Webster said at trial, according to NBC News.

Attempts to call Rathbun’s character into question dominated the defense’s strategy.

One juror said Webster had no grounds for defense and that she didn’t find the former police officer credible.

Another juror told CNN the guilty verdict was reached very quickly because it was “very obvious” what Webster did on Jan. 6.

In other footage presented by prosecutors before the trial’s conclusion, the former U.S. Marine is seen and heard calling for fresh help to occupy the Capitol.

“Send more patriots,” he said.

Webster told jurors he was joking.

“I just said something silly just to get on camera. I didn’t mean it literally,” he said.

Webster did not answer any questions after the verdict was rendered.

His attorney, however, said they would give the verdict some thought and “decide where to go” next with the case. Monroe also told reporters gathered outside of the courtroom Monday he felt Webster would have done better in a venue outside of the nation’s capital.

Prosecutors asked that Webster be thrown in jail before his sentencing on Sept. 2 but presiding U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta declined to keep him behind bars. Instead, he will continue to wear an ankle monitor and remain under home confinement.

Mehta did not deem Webster a flight risk but said his decision was a “close call.”

Webster was found guilty on each of the counts he faced including assault of a police officer with a weapon, entering restricted grounds with a weapon, disorderly conduct with a weapon, physical violence with a weapon, engaging in an act of violence at the U.S. Capitol, and civil disorder.

Guilty! Thomas Webster Convicted! DOJ Now 4 for 4 In Capitol Insurrection Cases Tried By Juries...

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
Trio of Republican lawmakers called up before Jan. 6 committee
Brandi Buchman

Seeking information about their alleged roles in events that led up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the select committee probing the insurrection has now called on Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Ronny Jackson of Texas, to cooperate.

The committee wants Biggs to face multiple questions, including those involving right-wing conspiracy theorist Ali Alexander and Alexander’s claim that Biggs was just one of a handful of sitting lawmakers who actively worked to stop the peaceful transfer of power.

Rep. Mo Brooks, who took the stage before Trump incited the mob and called on people to “fight like hell,” is again under the microscope for his remarks. This time, it was a public admission he made while running for the Senate. Brooks declared in March that Trump demanded he overturn the 2020 election.

And in arguably the most troubling letter the committee issued Monday, in its request to Rep. Ronny Jackson, investigators asked the Texas Republican to pry back the curtain on his potential ties to the extremist Oath Keepers group and its members currently facing trial for seditious conspiracy.
The requests come as the committee verges on resuming its public hearings on June 9, but they are not formal subpoenas. Investigators have historically aired on the side of caution when it comes to forcing compliance with their congressional colleagues. They have cited concerns over lengthy legal battles they anticipate they would face as the clock on the probe runs down.

But they have not ruled this option out altogether. Before Monday, previous requests were sent to Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. Both have refused to cooperate.

According to investigators, Biggs is taking front row and center now for several reasons, chief among them his alleged relationship with right-wing conspiracy theorist Ali Alexander.

Last December, over a series of live streams, Alexander boasted that the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement he founded was receiving help from Biggs, then the chair of the House Freedom Caucus.

Alexander also named Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama as instrumental facilitators.

“We’re the four guys who came up with a Jan. 6 event,” Alexander said in one since-deleted video.

In another video, as noted by The New York Times, Alexander said:

“We four schemed up putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside,” he said.

Biggs has denied ever meeting with Alexander or talking to him. Biggs did not immediately return a request for comment to Daily Kos on Monday.

Alexander, however, has cooperated with the Jan. 6 committee—along with more than 800 other people—and turned over several records.

In April, he agreed to appear before a federal grand jury after receiving a subpoena for testimony relevant to the Justice Department’s investigation of Jan. 6.

The right-wing bombast has been mum about details of his cooperation, and when talking to the press, his attorney has underlined Alexander’s disavowal of the violence that unfolded.

Investigators also want to question Biggs about his conduct on Dec. 21 at the White House where he and other House Freedom Caucus members attended an in-person and prominently advertised meeting with Trump.

Trump’s then-chief-of-staff Mark Meadows boosted the signal after the meeting, noting he and other attendees were “preparing to fight back against mounting evidence of voter fraud.”

That meeting, according to the testimony already obtained by the committee, centered on the role then-Vice President Mike Pence could play if he would abandon his constitutional role during certification.

“As you may be aware, a federal judge… recently concluded that President Trump’s effort to pressure the vice president to refuse to count electoral votes likely violated two provisions of federal criminal law,” the committee wrote Monday, referencing a ruling from a federal judge in California.

In that ruling, the committee successfully obtained access to emails from conservative attorney John Eastman, the author of the six-point memo strategizing how to stop the certification.

Biggs could also answer questions about his push to see “alternate electors” installed for the count. In a text message to Meadows on Nov. 6—just three days after the election and before results were finalized—the Arizona Republican was already pushing a proposal to get Trump’s electors set up in battleground states.

Biggs acknowledged the scheme was “highly controversial.”

“It can't be much more controversial than the lunacy that we’re sitting out there now. And It would be pretty difficult because he would take governors and legislators with collective will and backbone to do that. Is anybody on the team researching and considering lobbying for that?" Biggs wrote.

Meadows replied: “I love it.”

In the end, election fraud was not found in Arizona or elsewhere.

There’s also a push by the committee to learn more about a reported effort by House Republicans angling for presidential pardons after Jan. 6.

The committee disclosed Monday that White House personnel have already testified about the issue.

Just ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, it was widely reported that Trump seriously entertained issuing pardons for those tied up in crimes related to Jan. 6. In February, Politico reported that two people familiar with the discussions, including an adviser to Trump, said Trump was worried about possible criminal charges.

“Is it everybody that had a Trump sign, or everybody who walked into the Capitol” who could be pardoned? Trump reportedly asked.

The 45th president believed if he pardoned people, they would “never have to testify or be deposed.”

Trump ended up abandoning the idea when he was informed it could cause him new legal headaches and fresh campaign finance scrutiny. His impeachment-worn attorney Pat Cipollone also allegedly threatened to resign if Trump went through with the plan.

Rep. Ronny Jackson on Monday slammed the request, dubbing the committee “illegitimate” and consumed by a “malicious and not substantive” agenda. He also described the investigation as a “ruthless crusade against President Trump and his allies.”

Jackson was particularly irked, he claimed, because the committee did not seek him out privately first, according to CBS.

A committee spokesperson did not immediately return a request to Daily Kos.

Jackson’s cooperation is being sought because of his potential relationship with Oath Keepers accused of orchestrating a complex, weaponized conspiracy to stop the nation’s peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6.

Prosecutors revealed last month that in the trove of text messages seized off Oath Keeper devices, the extremist group members discussed providing a personal security detail to Jackson during the attack.

“Dr. Ronnie Jackson on the move,” one message from an unidentified person said. “Needs protection. If anyone inside cover him. He has critical data to protect.”

Other users in the chat worried about Jackson, once the White House physician to Trump.

“Hopefully they can help Dr. Jackson,” a text at 3:03 p.m. read.

Rhodes responded two minutes later.

“Help with what?” he wrote.

Within the same minute, Rhodes replied again.

“Give him my cell,” he said.

As for Mo Brooks, the Alabama Republican is being called up to discuss his comments in March when he appeared to lapse in total fealty to Trump.

Trump dropped his endorsement of Brooks’s senate run following weeks of lethargic polling.

The former president first backed Brooks a full year in advance of the primary. But in that time, Brooks—looking to shore up more moderate Republicans in a tough race—began to backpedal, much to Trump’s ire.

Brooks voted against certification on Jan. 6 and even campaigned with life-size Trump posters at his side, according to the Associated Press.

But during a pro-Trump rally in Alabama in August 2021, Brooks urged the crowd to forget about the failures of the previous year’s election.

“There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud and election theft in 2020. Folks, put that behind you, put that behind you,” Brooks said.

He was booed and as noted by reporters on-site, he “nearly lost the crowd” before waffling again.

”All right, well, look back at it, but go forward and take advantage of it. We have got to win in 2022. We’ve got to win in 2024,” Brooks said.

All lawmakers have been asked to set up a time to meet with investigators beginning next week.

Though it was nearly a foregone conclusion that Reps. Jackson, Brooks, and Biggs would not comply, ultimately, the panel has made clear that forcing testimony from some individuals would not make or break the entire probe given the voluminous evidence already collected.

Ten Thousan Marbles

Well-Known Member
Feb 6, 2014
Important infographic traces how Tucker Carlson promotes racism and paranoia
Laura Clawson

Tucker Carlson is dangerous, and The New York Times has collected the receipts and put them in easily accessible form for everyone to see. A two-part deep dive on Carlson’s career and how he built his strength at Fox News in recent years has a lot to offer, but the really critical thing to check out is a major interactive feature on how Carlson convinces his viewers that they are besieged and endangered and that he is here to stick up for them against the “ruling class” (of Democrats), the immigrants, the shadowy forces destroying masculinity, the anti-white racists.

In multiple graphs, the Times interactive team represents each one of the 1,150 episodes they analyzed from late 2016 through 2021 as a square, showing in how many episodes Carlson invoked each specific dangerous idea: the “ruling class,” replacement theory, falling birthrates and threats to masculinity as he defines it, and discrimination against white people or what he depicted as exaggerated allegations of racism against Black people.

In more than 800 episodes, Carlson invoked the “ruling class,” a “they” trying to keep “you,” the Fox News viewer, down, saying things like:
  • “Why are people who have taxpayer-funded bodyguards demanding that the rest of us disarm immediately?”
  • “Our ruling class is obsessed with denying biology, because when you’re God, there is no objective reality.”
  • “The point of the exercise is to humiliate the rest of us by forcing us to obey transparently absurd orders.”
In more than 400 episodes, Carlson promoted replacement theory, the idea that Democrats or other shadowy groups are trying to replace the “us” of white U.S.-born people—what Carlson has referred to as “legacy Americans”—through immigration.
  • “In order to win and maintain power, Democrats plan to change the population of the country.”
  • “I don’t want to live in a country that looks nothing the country I grew up in.”
  • “As with illegal immigration, the long-term agenda of refugee resettlement is to bring in future Democratic voters.”
In more than 200 episodes, Carlson warned against changing gender roles, threats to masculinity as he defines it, or falling birthrates.
  • “Well, American men are in deep trouble.”
  • “If you destroy men, or complete the destruction of men, they’re pretty close to being destroyed, I would say how does that help women, exactly?”
  • “What they’re trying to suppress is masculinity itself.”
In at least 600 episodes, Carlson insisted white people were being discriminated against or downplayed racism against Black people.
  • “So, anti-white racism is exploding across the country.”
  • “They hate white men more than they hate global warming.”
  • “Businesses are receiving favorable treatment based solely on the skin color of their owners.”
He also stitches all these themes together in warnings that the United States is on the verge of collapse, doing that nearly 600 times.
  • “America isn’t falling to foreign invaders—it is rotting from within because the people in charge don’t think it’s worth preserving.”
  • “What we’re watching is a full-scale invasion from within on the West itself.”
  • “Western civilization is our birthright. It makes all good things possible.”
  • “If we care about our families and our civilization, about the future of our descendants, we have got to fight them like everything depended on it, because everything does depend on it.”
Carlson’s invocations of the ruling class and racism and his warnings about the imminent collapse of the nation have become more common through the run of his show, to a degree clearly visible in the graphs. This lines up with a process Nicholas Confessore traces out in the articles about Carlson’s career, in which, early in the Trump years, Carlson decided to stand for Trumpism but not Donald Trump himself. Over time, as he’s claimed that mantle, at times essentially depicting Trump as a squish who can’t be trusted to protect Trumpism, Carlson’s rhetoric has gotten more and more dangerous.

And as Carlson has gone all in on that message, Fox News, now largely controlled by Lachlan Murdoch, has gone all in on Carlson. Carlson’s value to the network comes not just in his high ratings—which he uses minute-by-minute viewership data to optimize—but in the dedication of his followers, who will spend extra money to see him on the streaming service Fox Nation. “Executives talk openly about Fox Nation as a boycott-proof version of Fox News — a walled garden where Fox can collect revenue directly from its viewers as carriage fees from cable providers decline,” Confessore reports.

Over time, he has virtually stopped having guests on his show who might disagree with him, creating a closed environment in which dissent doesn’t even exist as a thing to be shouted down, as it was in 2017 and 2018—and again, he is doing this with attention to his detailed ratings, concluding that his audience would rather see Carlson screaming about Democrats and immigrants and Black people who are never given any chance to respond than to see him screaming over a liberal Black woman’s efforts to speak. Carlson is further closing the world he offers his guests a view into by dramatically expanding the length of his monologues.

Tucker Carlson is telling his 92% white audience to be afraid of the non-white other, encouraging them in paranoia that there is a conspiracy against them—and, at least by implication, that if they lose this battle, they will be treated as poorly by the victors as they have treated people of color and immigrants and women and LGBT people. (Truly something to fear.) It’s a white nationalist message—white nationalism being something Carlson mocks as a term even as he embraces its substance—and Carlson has shown its appeal to a large audience.

Check out the full interactive, if you have a strong stomach.