Author Topic: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2  (Read 64087 times)

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4200 on: July 28, 2021, 12:58:13 AM »
Police tell of 'medieval' violence at US House hearing on Capitol attack

A congressional committee held its first hearing investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack on Tuesday with testimony by four police officers who struggled against a mob of then-President Donald Trump's supporters engaging in "medieval" violence and warnings from lawmakers against whitewashing the riot.

At the Democratic-led House of Representatives investigatory committee's first hearing, the officer, Aquilino Gonell, described being pummeled by rioters fired up by Trump's false claims that the election was stolen from him through widespread voting fraud.

"What we were subjected to that day was like something from a medieval battlefield. We fought hand-to-hand and inch-by-inch to prevent an invasion of the Capitol by a violent mob intent on subverting our democratic process," added Gonell, one of four police officers called to testify. "The physical violence we experienced was horrific and devastating."

Gonell fought back tears as he recalled his family watching the violence unfold on television and wondering if he was alive.

The nine-member panel was formed after Senate Republicans blocked the creation of an independent commission to investigate the attack. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, named the committee's members. Its chairman is Democrat Bennie Thompson.

In his opening remarks, Thompson pledged that the panel's work will be "guided solely by the facts" and that there is no place for politics or partisanship. He also showed video of the violence, calling it "chilling."

Most House Republicans opposed the creation of the committee, calling it politically motivated. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the panel and a fierce critic of Trump, defended the panel's work and urged a thorough investigation.

"We must know what happened here at the Capitol. We must also know what happened every minute of that day in the White House - every phone call, every conversation, every meeting leading up to, during and after the attack," Cheney said.

Cheney added, "If those responsible are not held accountable, and if Congress does not act responsibly, this will remain a cancer on our constitutional republic." She added that she hopes the nation does not become so blinded by partisanship that "we throw away the miracle" of American democracy.

Gonell and Harry Dunn, officers with the U.S. Capitol police, and Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges, officers with the District of Columbia police, appeared before the panel, wearing their uniforms.

Dunn, who is Black, said in prepared testimony that rioters called him a racial slur while he was trying to defend the Capitol after he challenged their claims that no one had voted for Biden by telling them that he himself was a Biden supporter.

'Kill him'

Fanone was pulled into the crowd of rioters, beaten, attacked with a Taser device and robbed of his badge, police radio and ammunition. As one rioter tried to pull his gun from its holster, Fanone could hear him saying he planned to take it and kill him.

Fanone said he heard a rioter say "kill him with his own gun." Fanone said he was beaten unconscious and doctors told him he suffered a heart attack.

Four people died on the day of the violence, including one rioter fatally shot by police and three others who died of natural causes. A Capitol police officer who had been attacked by protesters died the following day. Two police officers who took part in the defense of the Capitol later took their own lives. More than a hundred police officers were injured.

Police were overwhelmed when hundreds of Trump supporters intent upon stopping Congress from formally certifying now-President Joe Biden's 2020 election victory stormed the Capitol, smashing windows, fighting with officers and sending lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence scrambling for safety.

The riot followed Trump's speech to supporters in which the Republican repeated his false claims about voting fraud.

"Some people are trying to deny what happened, to whitewash it, to turn the insurrectionists into martyrs. But the whole world saw the reality of what happened on January 6th," Thompson said.

"The hangman's gallows sitting out there on our National Mall. The flag of that first failed and disgraced rebellion against our union being paraded through the Capitol. The hatred. The bigotry. The violence."

"And all of it: for a vile, vile lie," Thompson, referring to Trump's false claims of election fraud. "Let's be clear. The rioters who tried to rob us of our democracy were propelled here by a lie. As chairman of this committee, I will not give that lie any fertile ground."

Ahead of the hearing, Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, tried to shift blame for the attack onto Pelosi, saying she had been responsible for security arrangements at the Capitol. McCarthy declined to say whether he thought Trump bore any responsibility.

'He egged them on!' Capitol cop levels Trump for calling violent assaults 'hugs and kisses'

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell laid the blame for the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection squarely on the twice-impeached shoulder of former president Donald Trump.

The U.S. Capitol police officer testified before the a House select committee hearing on the assault, and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) asked what he thought when he heard the former president describe the rioters as a "loving crowd" -- and Gonell unloaded.

"It's upsetting," he said. "It's a pathetic excuse for his behavior, for something that he himself helped to create, this monstrosity. I'm still recovering from those 'hugs and kisses' that day that he claimed that so many rioters, terrorists, were assaulting us that day. If that was hugs and kisses, we should all go to his house and do the same thing to him. To me, it's insulting, it's demoralizing, because everything that we did was to prevent everyone in the Capitol from getting hurt. What he was doing, instead of sending the military, instead of sending the support or telling his people, his supporters to stop this nonsense, he egged them to continue fighting."

The rioters were clearly Trump supporters, despite what the ex-president and some of his allies say.

"I was on the lower west terrace fighting alongside these officers," Gonell said. "All of them, all of them were telling us. It was not Antifa, it was not Black Lives Matter, it was not the FBI. It was his supporters that he sent over to the Capitol that day. He could have done a lot of things. One is to tell them to stop."

"He talks about sacrifices," Gonell added. "The only thing he has sacrificed is the institutions of the country and the country only for his ego, because he wants the job, but he doesn't want to do the job. That's a shame on him himself."

Capitol riot committee won't waste time asking Trump officials for testimony -- and will go right to subpoenas

The House Select Committee investigating the deadly January 6th riots at the United States Capitol building isn't going to bother asking Trump officials nicely if they want to cooperate.

Commission Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told CNN's Manu Raju that the committee will immediately start issuing subpoenas, as he said he was wary of the stalling tactics frequently used by Trump administration officials any time Congress asked them for information.

"Letters just lengthen the time," Thompson said. "We just want to get it all done."

Thompson said that the committee would be meeting with Attorney General Merrick Garland soon to discuss getting access to "all relevant data," as well as evidence compiled by impeachment investigators.

Tuesday marked the first day of testimony of the Capitol riot commission in which Capitol Police officers told stories about being physically assaulted by Trump supporters.

Ex-NYPD cop who gouged Capitol officer's eyes during Jan. 6 riot says he was just doing a defensive 'hockey' move

A former NYPD cop charged in the Jan. 6 insurrection says he was merely performing a defensive "hockey type of move" when he allegedly tried to gouge a Capitol police officer's eyes.

The claim by Thomas Webster is one of numerous revelations about his case contained in a new report from the New York Times, which chronicles his descent from a highly respected NYPD officer — once assigned to an intelligence detail protecting Mayor Michael Bloomberg — to the insurrectionist who became known as "#EyeGouger."

"Webster said he was not trying to gouge the officer's eyes, but called grabbing his mask a kind of defensive maneuver: 'a hockey type of move type thing where you don't want to fight somebody,'" the Times reports.

Webster's former NYPD colleagues told the Times they were shocked to learn that he committed one of the more violent attacks during the insurrection, after he apparently got swept up online in former president Donald Trump's false claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

"He was not known for voicing political extremes, had no social media presence or ties to extremist groups, and once worked to protect the halls of New York City governance," the Times reports. "Now he had attacked an officer doing essentially the same duty in Washington, charging at a man who, one may imagine, looked to be both enemy and mirrored reflection."

Webster, a former Marine, had retired from NYPD and started a landscaping company, Semper Fi, in Florida, New York. He has a wife and three children, and his neighbors described him as "a cheerful family man with little visible interest in politics." He taught local children how to ride ATVs, and would mow the lawns of sick neighbors without even telling them.

Webster told FBI agents he had never protested before and on the day of the insurrection, he "just went down there just to show support for something." However, prosecutors have pointed out that Webster came to Washington "armed and ready for battle" with body armor, a map of the area, M.R.E.s, and a handgun, the Times reports.

Webster also claimed he was acting in self-defense — saying he had been sucker-punched — when he slammed through a police barricade and attacked a Capitol officer using his Marine flagpole, yelling "Commie" and shouting profanities.

"You wanna attack Americans?" he shouted, challenging the Capitol officers to "take your sh*t (body armor) off."

"In seconds, he and the officer are on the ground, Mr. Webster on top, reaching down for the officer's gas mask," the Times reports. "The officer later told investigators that he was being choked by his own chin strap and could not breathe for 10 seconds."

Webster then quickly disappeared into the crowd, but later looked into another man's camera outside the Capitol and said, "Send more patriots. We need some help."

Following a weeks-long manhunt that played out online, thanks to video and images released by the FBI, Webster turned himself in on Feb. 22. He was initially denied bond and spent four months in jail before being released, following a hearing during which his attorney said the weapon he used — a flagpole — weighs less than a pound, and claimed his client was angry because he had seen the Capitol officer push a woman to the ground earlier.

Webster is now on house arrest pending trial, barred from having firearms or using the Internet. He declined comment when a reporter from the Times knocked on his door.

Watch the full video from Webster's attack on the Capitol officer below:

Capitol rioter ‘on the tip of the spear’ has ties to Trump-loving GOP lawmaker Doug Mastriano: report

Samuel Lazar has been arrested by the FBI for allegedly firing chemicals at Capitol police officers as part of a "war" he claimed to be waging on January 6.

But Lazar -- nicknamed "Face Paint Blowhard" by the online sedition hunter community -- might be getting as much attention for his public pro-Trump political activities since the riot, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports today. Lazar had been distinctive for his camouflage face paint and tactical vest and goggles, it reported.

"Despite that positive ID — later confirmed by local and national news outlets — Lazar remained free for months and continued to appear at events hosted by political figures involved in advancing former President Donald Trump's stolen election lies," the Inquirer reported.

At the Capitol riot, Lazar was among the violent insurrectionists who physically attacked officers, the FBI criminal complaint states.

"Lazar walked along the police line, grabbed the bike rack and pulled it with his left hand in an attempt to remove it, while discharging the chemical irritant from a canister in his right hand,

"Lazar was told to 'get back' and police deployed a chemical irritant causing Lazar to retreat down the steps. Lazar then redeployed his chemical irritant toward (two officers) a second time, causing (one of them) to lose the ability to see."

"In this video, Lazar stated, "They maced us, those tyrannical pieces of spombleprofglidnoctobuns, and we maced them right the fuck back and now they're taking the building."

Lazar then referenced that the rioters had successfully breached the Capitol building.

"In the video, Lazar continued, 'They attacked the people. We have a right to defend ourselves. Fuck the tyrants. There's a time for peace and there's a time for war.' Lazar answered a question from someone nearby by stating, "I was right at the front, on the tip of the spear, brother. That's where you gotta be."

Earlier in the day, Lazar had declared the following in a since-deleted video on his Facebook page:

"Donald Trump is going to shock the world!" he said. 'We're ready for war, if needed.' He posted again after the day's chaos, saying there is "a time for peace and there's a time for war.

"Our constitution allows us to abolish our [government] and install a new one in [its] place," he wrote, according to the Inquirer.

Still, it might be Lazar's presence at pro-Trump political events that garners the most attention back home going forward.

"Despite his activities at the Capitol that day Lazar surfaced again months later in photos from a fund-raiser with Mastriano, who is widely seen as a leading GOP contender for Pennsylvania governor in 2022," the Inquirer reported.

"In photos from the event, Lazar is seen posing alongside Mastriano and other GOP election skeptics including Senate hopeful Kathy Barnette of Montgomery County, state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz, of Wayne Township and Teddy Daniels, who is running to represent portions of Northeast Pennsylvania in Congress.

"Mastriano, responding to the photos, has since denied knowing Lazar and publicly condemned his actions at the Capitol in a statement. 'Why would you assume that every politician who takes a picture with someone at an event automatically knows who they are or agrees with what they believe?' he wrote.

"But the same group of online sleuths that first identified Lazar and uncovered his photos with Mastriano later discovered that the two had been photographed together at two earlier events — an event in late November and a December trip to Washington in which they posed outside the U.S. Supreme Court building while attending a "Stop the Steal" rally."

"Mastriano's campaign spent thousands of dollars chartering buses to Washington for Trump supporters on Jan. 6. And despite the Franklin County Republican's public condemnation of the riot and claim that he left as soon as violence broke out, videos have since surfaced that appear to depict him passing through breached barricades near people brawling with police."

Lazar, 37, of Ephrata, PA was charged with assaulting and obstructing law enforcement officers, along with violent unlawful entry at the Capitol.

You can read the FBI complaint here:

Unhinged conservatives lash out at Capitol police 'crisis actors' who testified before Jan. 6 commission

Four law enforcement officers who witnessed the violence firsthand at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 are again coming under attack — this time from right-wing media figures hoping to downplay the Donald Trump-inspired insurrection.

On Tuesday, the House Democratic-backed select committee held its first hearing on the January 6 Capitol riot.But rather than defending law enforcement – a natural posture for right-wing media when discussing state-sponsored violence – conservative pundits pounced on the officers, belittling their grievances and outright denying their accounts.

Newsmax host Greg Kelly has largely been at the helm of the online brigade, suggesting that the officers may have been "used" as "pawns" to push a left-wing agenda.

Referring to Capitol Officer Michael Fanone, who personally described his own assault by a horde of rioters, Kelly asked his Twitter followers: "Is it possible FANONE was mistaken for ANTIFA? He often, for media appearances, has worn all Black but no insignia, police patches, rank etc."

"Did they pick THESE cops because they're so Emotional?" Kelly followed up, latering asking: "Do these guys know who shot ASHLI BABBITT? Ask them!"

Kelly is likely referring to any number of baseless conspiracy theories about who killed Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who was shot and killed for attempting to breach the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives during the insurrection.

Raheem J. Kassam, the former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London, also took aim at what he saw as the officers being overly emotional, despite them being nearly killed. "Is there really a Capitol Hill Police Officer crying about hurty words live on national television right now?" Kassam tweeted: "Fucking whole world is laughing at this spombleprofglidnoctobuns."

Kurt Schlichter, a senior columnist for, called out Officer Harry Dunn, who during his testimony called it "disheartening and disappointing" to "live in a country with people … that attack you because of the color of your skin just to hurt you. Those words are weapons."

"You lying sack," Schlichter responded.

Other conservatives, meanwhile, fell back on downright conspiracy.

Julie Kelly, a former political consultant and conservative writer, called Fanone a "crisis actor."

"Crisis actor Fanone just beat on the table and said it's 'disgraceful!' that any elected official denies his narrative of what happened on January 6," Kelly tweeted. "Calls it an 'insurrection.' Blasting GOP lawmakers. Now says this isn't about politics, lol. He has many tattoos."

The first law enforcement officers to provide testimony included Pfc. Harry Dunn and Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the Capitol Police, as well as Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.

Over 550 people have been arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, though thousands of Trump supporters had stormed the Capitol.

‘Disgraceful’: Officer Michael Fanone fights back tears as he calls out Republicans for ‘betraying their oath of office’

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone gave emotional testimony during the first hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol.

Fanone, who is a plainclothes officer, described suiting up in his uniform for the first time in a decade as he and his partner responded to the riots.

"I thought I had seen it all, many times over. Yet what I witnessed and experienced on January 6th, 2021, was unlike anything I had ever seen, anything I'd ever experienced or could have imagined in my country," he said.

"I was grabbed, beaten, tased, all while being called a traitor to my country. I was at risk of being stripped of and killed with my own firearm, as I heard chants of 'kill him with his own gun.' I could still hear those words in my head today," Fanone explained. "At some point during the fighting, I was dragged from the line of officers and into the crowd. I heard someone scream 'I got one!' as I was swarmed by a violent mob. They ripped off my badge, they grabbed and stripped me of my radio. They seized ammunition that was secured to my body. They began to beat me with their fists and with what felt like hard metal objects."

He called out Republicans downplaying the severity of the insurrection.

"What makes the struggle harder and more painful is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend, are downplaying or outright denying what happened," he said. "I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them and the people in this room, but too many are now telling me that hell doesn't exist or that hell actually wasn't that bad."

"The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!" he said with raised voice as he slammed the table. "My law enforcement career prepared me to cope with some of the aspects of this experience. Being an officer, you know your life is at risk whenever you walk out the door, even if you don't expect otherwise law-abiding citizens to take up arms against you. But nothing — truly nothing — has prepared me to address those elected members of our government who continue to deny the events of that day, and in doing so, betray their oath of office. Those very members whose lives, offices, staff members I was fighting so desperately to defend."


Capitol cop shames ‘Blue Lives Matter’ crowd: ‘I’m still waiting for them’ to ‘condemn the violent attack’

A U.S. Capitol police officer shamed Republicans who publicly back law enforcement to serve a racist agenda but tolerate violent attacks by Donald Trump's supporters.

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell was the first witness to testify in the House commission hearing to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection, and he called out GOP lawmakers and others who object to protests against police brutality but defended the rioters who brutally attacked officers as they attempted to overturn Trump's election loss.

"There are some who express outrage when someone kneels by calling for social justice," Gonell said. "Where are those same people expressing the outrage could condemn the violent attack on law enforcement at the Capitol and our American democracy? I'm still waiting for them."

"As Americans and the world watched in horror what was happening at the Capitol we did not receive timely reinforcement and support we needed," the officer added, "in contrast during the Black Lives Matter protest last year. U.S. Capitol police had all the support we needed and more. Why the different response? Were it not for the brave members of the [Metropolitan Police Department] and later on from other law enforcement agencies, I'm afraid to think what could have happened on Jan. 6."

'Beyond horrifying': Viewers stunned by new House video showing Capitol riot carnage

Viewers tuning into the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6th Capitol riot were universally appalled by a new video shared by the committee that showed the insurrectionists storming the building and attacking Capitol police attempting to protect lawmakers.

Immediately following the airing of the clip -- which can be seen below -- commenters on Twitter expressed dismay, with many saying it drove them to tears again.

Princeton historian Kevin Kruse tweeted: "This video of the Capitol attack. Jesus," with another commenter adding, "It's beyond horrifying. We all saw the videos, the speeches."

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4201 on: July 28, 2021, 02:27:31 AM »
‘What kind of monsters’ are you: MSNBC panel says MAGA riot-denying GOP is still hurtling toward rock bottom

NBC News commentator John Heilemann attacked Republicans who came out against Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for participating in the Jan. 6 select Committee that will research the failures on that day and the days that led up to it.

Speaking to MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Heilemann said that he has never seen a hearing that has had such an emotional impact.

"I was struck on the other side of that with this incredibly powerful sense of just what kind of moral depravity you must be in the grips of to engage in the kind of whitewashing and memory holing and attempted gaslighting that we've seen on the part of so many Republicans," said Heilemann. "I just can't imagine what kind of a monster you would have to be to watch those men, listen to that testimony, know the truth, hear them talk about it, and then stand up and say that the things they said were not true."

He noted that some Republicans believe it was just "a day at the beach," others think it was nothing more than a "picnic," and then there were some calling it a "tourist" visit for folks on vacation.

"In Donald Trump's recent tellings, it was a moment of glory, it was a moment of people trying to do the right thing, these mob members, these insurrectionists, these terrorists," Heilemann continued. "Rarely, just the starkness of the kind of moral monstrosity that's required to take that position in the face of that kind of testimony, it does truly boggle my mind."

Wallace said that she keeps waiting for the bottom of Donald Trump's presidency. Instead, people like Minority Leaders Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) have attempted to erase the "bottom."

"I wonder, watching it today, what you thought the chances are of eroding some of the calcified lies that have been bought by the ex-president's supporters with this truth bomb," she asked.

Former FBI counterintelligence deputy Frank Figliuzzi said that he doesn't think that Republicans have quit hit "rock bottom yet," but he's hopeful.

"I have to tell you that while I pray that we're nearing the bottom I don't think we're there yet," he confessed. "You only need look at the social media reaction, reactions to some people in congress who are now deciding to blame everything on Nancy Pelosi, this whole thing that happened on January 6th, in their words, seems to be Nancy Pelosi's fault. There's a right wing cable TV host is attacking those police officers today, saying they're not fit for duty. Are we at the bottom yet? Apparently not."

See the discussion below:

Trump-loving OAN did a total 'whitewash' of first day of Capitol riot committee: CNN media analyst

While ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and Fox News all carried the first day of the Jan. 6 hearing for the special select committee, other right-wing networks had their own agenda.

Writing for, media analyst Brian Stelter noted that "One America News viewers witnessed the whitewashing first-hand."

He noted that as the hearings were beginning, OAN ran a segment on crime in Chicago. It was as if Tuesday's hearing "barely happened at all."

In typical OAN style, Stelter said "the channel's poorly-produced programs avoided the substance of the hearing; slipped in several factual mistakes; and promoted the GOP's counter-programming instead."

While Newsmax attempted to promote conspiracy theories about the Capitol riots, they did show the hearing. So did Fox, despite police officers making it clear that it was a pro-Trump mob that was beating them.

"But the mere act of carrying the police testimony at all is noteworthy because right-wing media has so thoroughly downplayed the crimes of that day," wrote Stelter. He noted that even Fox host Bret Baier called the hearing "an eye-opener" for "anybody watching who ... thought it was not violent."

OAN, by contrast, perpetuated the conspiracy that Jan. 6 was nothing more than a tourist visit at the Capitol. They criticized Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) for being willing to participate in the committee to ensure it was bipartisan. They continued to spout the conspiracy that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had a death wish and wanted Trump's supporters to come into the Capitol and kill Democratic members. The logic doesn't hold up, but that's the only argument the GOP has left and OAN is running with it.

By the time lunch came, OAN was reading another old statement released the previous day from Trump about Pelosi, claiming she's spending too much money on the hearing.

They then attempted to cover news that talked about Tesla stocks but broke into the Department of Justice press conference with Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Matt Gaetz (R-FL). The presser was ultimately shouted down by protesters that the officials failed to plan for.

Read Stelter's full column at

Jim Jordan 'may well be a material witness' for the Jan 6. House committee

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was clearly pandering to the Republican Party's lowest common denominator when he picked Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio as one of the five Republicans he wanted to serve on Speaker Nancy Pelosi's select committee on the January insurrection — a pick that Pelosi flatly rejected, inspiring McCarthy to angrily respond that if Pelosi wouldn't accept all of his picks, she couldn't have any of them. But Pelosi made a wise decision, given how aggressively Jordan promoted the Big Lie and former President Donald Trump's bogus elect fraud claims. And author Sidney Blumenthal, in an op-ed published by The Guardian on July 27, lists some things that Jordan might be asked if he testifies before Pelosi's committee.

Blumenthal is a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

One right-wing Republican who Pelosi herself picked for the committee is Rep. Liz Cheney, who wholeheartedly agrees with Pelosi's decision to keep Jordan off her January 6 committee. Cheney has said that Jordan should be kept off the committee because he "may well be a material witness to events that led to that day, that led to January 6."

On October 20, Jordan tweeted, "Democrats are trying to steal the election, before the election." In light of that tweet, Blumenthal writes, the committee could ask: "What does Jordan know about the creation of the 'stop the steal' myth? Were his statements about a fraudulent election and attacking the Pennsylvania Supreme Court for its role in 'stealing the election' made in coordination with anyone at the White House or known to them in advance? If he got marching orders, where did he get them from?"

A few days after the 2020 presidential election, Jordan promoted the Big Lie at a "Stop the Steal" rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania that was organized by Scott Presler, a former field director for the Virginia Republican Party. And Pelosi's committee, according to Blumenthal, could ask: "Who funded the Harrisburg rally? What is Jordan's relationship to Scott Presler? What are the communications between Jordan, his staff and Presler?"

On January 11, the day the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump for incitement to insurrection, Trump gave Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And Pelosi's committee, Blumenthal writes, should ask: "What conversations did Jordan have at the ceremony with Trump or others about overturning the election and how to defend Trump?"

On December 4, Jordan tweeted, "Over 50 million Americans think this election was stolen." And in light of how much Jordan promoted the Big Lie that month, Blumenthal writes, Pelosi's committee should ask: "Did Jordan coordinate his statements with Trump, the White House staff, other Republican House members, or Trump's legal team led by Rudy Giuliani?"

On December 21, according to Politico, Jordan privately met with Trump and other Republicans in the hope of finding ways "to overturn the election results." And according to Blumenthal, Pelosi's committee should ask: "What was said at that meeting? What were those plans? Was the rally discussed? Was the idea discussed of sending Trump supporters to intimidate and interrupt members of Congress in the certification process? Was Jordan's role on the House floor on 6 January against certification raised at that meeting? What did Jordan say?"

The committee, Blumenthal writes, should also ask: "Did Jordan broadcast falsehoods in order to encourage Trump supporters to come to Washington on 6 January?"

In a January 12 hearing, Jordan claimed, "I never once said that this thing was stolen." And the committee, according to Blumenthal, should ask: "Why, then, did he tweet that the election was being stolen before it had occurred, appear at a 'Stop the Steal' rally and claim that 'crazy things' had changed the vote in swing states in addition to many other statements?"

WATCH: Jim Jordan squirms when asked if he talked to Trump about riots — and pivots to blaming Pelosi

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) had a tough time when Fox News host Bret Baier asked him about what happened when he spoke to President Donald Trump on Jan. 6 during the attack.

At first, Jordan confessed that he spoke to Trump that day, but rambled around trying to find some other way that he could pivot to attack Democrats.

Baier asked Jordan what he and Trump discussed when they spoke during the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, but Jordan refused to say. Instead, he pivoted to attack Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Capitol Police officers.

"The Speaker's office is the one that knows the [Capitol] security posture, and why it was the way it was," Jordan said.

The GOP has been trying to blame Pelosi for not doing enough to prepare the Capitol for what was an unprecedented violent mob attack by the former Republican president's supporters.

Jordan has yet to be subpoenaed by the select committee, and if he is, it's unclear if he would willingly testify.

See the video of Jordan below:

Here are the excuses Trump will most likely use to weasel out of testifying at Capitol riot commission

The House Select Committee on the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol kicked off Tuesday with four police officers delivering emotional testimony about their experiences that day.

But one major question hanging over the committee is whether former President Donald Trump will testify, and the general assumption is that there is no way he would willingly show up to answer questions for Congress.

Longtime followers of Trump will notice he has certain go-to excuses for avoiding accountability that he is most likely to employ if asked to testify.

With that in mind, here are the top 3 excuses Trump will probably give for why he won't testify on the committee.

1. He'll claim it isn't a legitimate committee

Republicans are already saying that the special select committee isn't a legitimate committee because House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) refused to allow members to be on it after Pelosi wouldn't allow Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Jim Banks (R-IN) to serve. It is a bipartisan committee, much to the chagrin of McCarthy, as GOP. Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) are participating in the committee and have pledged to ensure its bipartisan nature.

The only option that Republicans now have is to demonize Cheney and Kinzinger as not "true" Republicans or as "traitors." Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) came very close to using that word, but instead claimed the two GOP members were "blinded by ambition." Cheney has already lost her post as the top third Republican in the House and Kinzinger is risking his House seat.

During Trump's second impeachment trial, his lawyers argued that it wasn't a legitimate trial because it was "unconstitutional" because Trump had already left office by the time the trial began.

2. He will claim that subpoenaing Trump is just a public relations stunt

One thing Trump's lawyers said during the second impeachment trial and investigations was that Trump would never testify because subpoenaing him would be nothing more than a publicity stunt. The comments came after Trump complained that he wasn't allowed to defend himself.

"Presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton both provided testimony while in office — and the Supreme Court held just last year that you were not immune from legal process while serving as president — so there is no doubt that you can testify in these proceedings," wrote Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD). "Indeed, whereas a sitting president might raise concerns about distraction from their official duties, that concern is obviously inapplicable here. We, therefore, anticipate your availability to testify."

The impeachment lawyers for Trump argued that he has a First Amendment right to say whatever he wants in a rally. Trump could also claim the Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself, though that would have to be done in person on the record.

3. Trump will claim executive privilege prevents him from testifying

While Trump's lawyers claimed that impeachment was unconstitutional because he was no longer president, they'll use the protection of the executive branch to hide him from being subpoenaed this time.

Because Trump was president, he'll claim that his calls with other Republican that occurred during the Capitol riots were protected by executive privilege. In fact, he'll claim that all of the things that happened that day were protected by executive privilege.

He tried to use this excuse on May 8, 2019, when he was asked to give a deposition to special counsel Robert Mueller for the Russia investigation. It became Trump's "first use of the secrecy powers as president," reported the New York Times.

It's unclear how far that argument will go given Trump appears to have already waved that privilege by speaking to several reporters for several books about him and his administration. It could also be argued that Trump's rally that day was a political one, not an official one from the president.

There are likely other things his lawyers could come up with as a reason for him to avoid testifying.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4202 on: July 28, 2021, 05:42:51 AM »
This repulsive right wing hack is absolutely disgusting. Another anti American right winger who hates democracy and viciously smears our brave police officers. These officers put their lives on the line and she is mocking them. Just another right wing scumbag.

Fox News' Laura Ingraham mocks police by giving out awards to best dramatic performances

Fox News host Laura Ingraham began her segment on the Jan. 6 committee by mocking the police officers who testified before Congress.

The host who "purports to back the blue" tore them down and beat them with her unique style of cruel mockery. Ingraham, who has never served in uniform, fought in a war, been beaten and tased, or even reported from a war zone, gave the top award to Officer Michael Fanone, who she accused of giving a "performance" when addressing Congress.

It isn't surprising that Ingraham hasn't seen previous interviews with Fanone that have appeared on CNN. His descriptions are consistent and his anxiety has been on full display from the beginning. Over time, things appear to have gotten better, with Fanone making it through videos and descriptions without breaking down. That wasn't always the case.

Still, Ingraham thought the right decision was to mock the men.

See the video below:

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4203 on: July 28, 2021, 02:53:39 PM »
Here’s a Long List of Top Republicans the 1/6 Committee Should Question

On Tuesday morning, the House select committee investigating the insurrectionist January 6 assault on the US Capitol launched its hearings. The panel—which the House Republican caucus boycotted—opened with law enforcement officers who were attacked by the pro-Trump crowd of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Christian nationalists, QAnoners, and other extremists. The point: to counter Donald Trump and his cult’s whitewashing disinformation that the 1/6 gathering, as Trump had put it, was a “loving” assembly. This part of the committee’s mission is not that hard. It need only replay the thousands of videos from that horrific day—or the disturbing collection produced by the New York Times— to disprove the GOP BS that the rioters acted like tourists and did little wrong. And Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the committee, at the beginning of the hearing cued up a compilation of harrowing footage from the attack. The police witnesses watched with haunted gazes.

The much tougher task for the committee will be investigating what Trump and his minions did in the months, weeks, days, and even hours leading up to the assault and what actions Trump and his aides took (or didn’t take) during the seditious riot. These are key elements of the inquiry, and this is the part of the story that Trump and his henchmen do not want to be probed and publicized. Moreover, most of the witnesses to these behind-the-scenes truths are Trump devotees. It was no surprise that the GOP has tried to thwart a 1/6 investigation. A thorough probe would place many prominent Republicans, including members of Trump’s inner circle and his family, in an inconvenient position by demanding from them testimony that would likely not cast Trump in a positive light. 

It’s unclear at this point whether the committee will pursue such testimony and how top Trump loyalists will respond if called to appear before the committee. A battle royale could be in the making, testing congressional power. Here’s a partial list of GOPers who ought to be hauled in by the 1/6 select committee. No doubt, its investigators will find others who should be questioned. But as this roster shows, the committee is starting out with a clear and extensive roadmap.

Former Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.). He was Trump’s White House chief of staff at the time and can explain what was happening at 1600 Pennsylvania during the violent raid on Congress. That includes Trump’s own actions during the assault he incited. Was Trump really excited, as CNN reported, to watch the violent throng try to stop the certification of the 2020 election

Reps. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.). Ali Alexander, an organizer of the pro-Trump “Stop the Steal” movement, says that he worked with this trio of Trump devotees to create an event on January 6 that would put “maximum pressure” on Congress when it was voting to certify Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. All three members should be grilled under oath. (Biggs and Brooks have denied this.)

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). The House Republican leader reportedly had an angry, expletive-laced phone conversation with Trump during the attempted insurrection, and Trump indicated he would not call off the rioters. What truly occurred during this call?

Kimberly Guilfoyle. On the night of January 5, according to Alexander, he spoke with Guilfoyle, a former Trump campaign official and the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr., and he suggested that she had encouraged him. What exactly did she say to him? Was she conveying a message from anyone else?

Caroline Wren, who was a deputy to Guilfoyle at Trump Victory, a joint presidential fundraising committee during the 2020 campaign, was reportedly involved in the planning of the rally near the White House that preceded the violent storming of the Capitol. So was Katrina Pierson, who was a national spokesperson for Trump’s 2016 campaign and a senior adviser to the Trump 2020 reelection bid. Pierson was a liaison between the White House and the conservative groups that organized that pre-attack gathering. How closely was the White House involved in that production and the subsequent march that led to the rampage? What did it and the organizers of these events know about the violent plans and inclinations of many of the attendees?

Roger Stone. Prior to the January 6 attack, Trump’s longtime adviser was repeatedly seen with people subsequently charged in the assault and accused of conspiring to mount the raid. In fact, several of them were providing security for him. Stone also worked to raise money for “private security” and equipment for events in Washington, on January 5 and 6, that preceded the raid on the Capitol. (Warning to the committee: Stone was convicted of lying to Congress. His three-year-plus sentence was commuted by his pal Trump.)

Rudy Giuliani. The onetime personal lawyer and dirt-digger for Trump—whose Manhattan home and Park Avenue office were raided by the FBI—gave one of the most fiery speeches at the pre-riot rally. “Let’s have trial by combat,” he urged the crowd shortly before large parts of the audience headed toward Capitol Hill.

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. During the riot, McCarthy appealed to Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and top aide, for help in stopping the assault, and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) phoned Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, to ask for assistance. What do this royal couple of Trumpland know about what occurred in the White House while the Trump mob was ransacking Congress? Ivanka was in the Oval Office at the time. Graham, too, should be questioned about his call to her.

Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). As the riot on Capitol Hill raged, Tuberville received a call from Trump. (Trump apparently phoned Sen. Mike Lee, the Utah Republican, by mistake while trying to reach Tuberville.) Presumably, Trump was reaching out to Tuberville about the ongoing GOP effort to challenge the certification of Biden’s victory. Tuberville has said he doesn’t remember all the details of the conversation. Really? He should give testimony.

Kellyanne Conway. The former Trump White House senior adviser called an aide who was standing at the president’s side while the attack was underway. What did she learn?

Kayleigh McEnany. Then the White House press secretary, McEnany was reportedly with Trump during the attack and implored him to speak out against the violence. How did Trump respond?

William Barr. Trump’s guard-dog attorney general refused to join Trump in barking false claims of election fraud. He told Trump in early December that the Justice Department had not uncovered any evidence to back up the president’s wild allegations of a stolen election, and this led to an end of their once-beautiful relationship. The House committee—and the public—should hear directly from Barr regarding what Trump was saying to him during the post-election stretch and what he wanted Barr to do.

Pat Cipollone. Trump’s White House counsel while Trump was attempting to overturn the election results, Cipollone ought to be questioned about all the schemes Trump was discussing or considering to defy the democratic process. Might Cipollone try to hide behind a legal privilege? Perhaps. But it’s worth a shot. Meanwhile, the committee should also haul in Jeffrey Rosen, the acting attorney general after Barr fled, and Jeffrey Clark, who was a senior Justice Department official in the final days of Trump’s presidency, and ask them about Trump’s efforts to get Clark to find a way to invalidate the election results in Georgia and keep Trump in office.

Mike Pence. The former vice president was the target of some of the rioters, who called for him to be hanged. While in hiding, Pence received calls from congressional leaders who were angry the National Guard had not been deployed. According to the Washington Post, he “spoke with legislative and military leaders, working to mobilize the soldiers and offering reassurance.” He never talked to Trump during the attack. But Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, was in contact with the White House. The ex-veep should have a lot to say—and so should Short.

Donald Trump. Because it was his riot.

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4204 on: July 28, 2021, 11:00:06 PM »
Donald Trump is a loser. Several of his handpicked stooges he endorsed have lost their races and this is just another one. This loser lost the election in a blowout and his sycophants think he will run in 2024 when he is even less popular in the GOP.  :D

Trump's big Texas loss sent 'shockwaves through the former president's inner circle': report

Always angry, always mentally ill

The loss of Donald Trump-endorsed Texas Republican Susan Wright in her House special election race sent "shockwaves through the former president's inner circle," according to POLITICO's Alex Isenstadt.

Now, Republicans are worried that another Trump-backed candidate in a special election next week in Ohio, who is locked in a close primary, could suffer the same fate.

"Advisers worry that a second embarrassing loss would raise questions about the power of Trump's endorsement — his most prized political commodity, which candidates from Ohio to Wyoming are scrambling to earn before next year's midterms," Isenstadt writes. "More broadly, losses could undermine his standing in the Republican Party, where his popularity and influence has protected Trump's relevance even as a former president barred from his social media megaphones."

According to Axios, some of Trump's advisers have blamed the situation on the Club for Growth, a conservative group that reportedly urged the former president to throw his support behind Wright.

"[Trump] totally was taken to the cleaners by the Club for Growth," said Rick Perry.

According to former top Republican National Committee official Doug Heye, a "loss is a loss."

"...and for someone who touts himself as the ultimate winner, putting your thumb on the scale and then losing tarnishes that brand within the party," he told POLITICO.

The upcoming Ohio contest raise the stakes for Trump's endorsement power because it's a Republican-only primary, making it a "purer test of his ability to shape GOP nomination contests."

Read the full article over at POLITICO:

MSNBC's Claire McCaskill thinks Republicans would be wise to abandon Donald Trump before he brings down the entire party

The Trump-endorsed Susan Wright lost her Texas congressional special election to fellow Republican Jake Ellzey, and "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough said that telling defeat comes against the backdrop of the first Jan. 6 select committee hearing that GOP lawmakers have sought to undermine.

"These so called conservatives are actually embracing the chaos, embracing the fascist violence, apologizing for it, trying to paper over it, trying to cover up the fascist violence, the fascist violence that had one goal, one goal, to overturn the legitimate democratic election result of November 2020," Scarborough said. "It's right here in front of us, and we can actually see as we saw in the last clip."

The evidence of Trump's complicity in the insurrection was strong enough to get him impeached a second time, and McCaskill said Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow GOP senators are complicit, as well.

"Let's not let the Republicans in the Senate off the hook here, too," McCaskill said. "Remember, fewer than 10 of them voted for a bipartisan commission to make sure that we did certify the facts for American history, that we did make sure that no one had any questions based on party what actually happened, and Mitch McConnell killed the bipartisan commission. He got out there, he whipped his members, he told them not to vote for it. He told them they couldn't win the midterms if there was a credible body that uncovered the facts. He wanted to make sure that they could somehow try to shoehorn this into some kind of partisan effort, and that is how bad it is."

However, she said, Wright's loss should serve as a warning to them.

"I will tell you this, there is a cold ripple of fear running down the spine of Republicans on Capitol Hill this morning because Donald Trump's candidate lost last night," McCaskill said. "They have all been genuflecting for this ridiculous man that held the Oval Office, trying to say that they have to be for him because otherwise their party can't survive. [Sen.] Lindsey [Graham], Trump's guy lost, so let's just make sure that we realize that as this door begins to swing, we're going to see how many of them scramble to get out of the way."

Trump's support begins melting like a snowball in hell

Donald Trump's influence is melting like a snowball left on the kitchen table.

In a special election to replace a Texas congressman who died, voters rejected Donald Trump's chosen candidate, the widow Susan Wright.

Instead, Texas voters in the Sixth Congressional District located southeast of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area picked Jake Ellzey, a conservative state representative. Ellzey got 53.3% of the vote; Wright 46.7%, out of fewer than 40,000 ballots cast.

Unlike the widow, who ran what can barely be called a campaign and proved weak at raising money, Ellzey proved to be an effective campaigner and political fundraiser.

Ellzey never criticized Trump. Had he done that and then won, I'd tell you that snowball was melting on a hot stove.

But Ellzey did have to contend with opposition by the perfidious junior senator from the Lone Star state, Ted Cruz, and the Club for Growth, which claims to be conservative but which exists to ensure that little people are more heavily taxed than the already rich. That Cruz, a servile Trumper, backed the wrong candidate suggests that his never strong standing with Texas voters is also dwindling.

This week's election results show yet again what a terrible choice Republican leaders made after Trump's failed coup in January. The insurrection, a clown show attempted coup, gave them the option to denounce Trump, to walk away from the crazy old man from Mar-a-Lago who tried to overthrow our government.

The Republican leaders are akin to the fools who received stock options during the dot con era at the turn of the century but failed to exercise them because they foolishly believed their options would become even more valuable but instead turned to dross.

Politics, it's often noted, is the art of the possible. The current Republican leadership has pretty much made it impossible to separate itself from Trump, a decaying albatross they chose to hang around their collective necks.

True believers continue to think of Trump as a demigod, lost in denial of his delusions, lies, and incompetence in accomplishing what he promised voters in his first campaign.

At a multi-racial ice cream social on Sunday, a friend told me that one of his sisters, who has an advanced degree, says Trump is literally a god.

It was far from the first time I heard such nonsense – blasphemous to any religious believer – but it was the first time anyone told me that a person with a first-rate education embraces such craziness. That shows how much this is about emotions, not rational thinking.

Sadly, few people know that while Trump claims to be a staunch Christian who reads the Bible more than anyone, his words show that he holds Christians in utter contempt. He went on for page after page in his Think Big book, denouncing those who accept Jesus's teaching in the Sermon on the Mount as "fools," "idiots," and "schmucks."

Unless you believe most Americans are damn fools, support for Trump will continue to dwindle.

That's a good thing for democracy in America. Our Constitution embraces Enlightenment principles of freedom rooted in rationality and reason, not cultish devotion to a wannabe dictator, especially one as incompetent as Trump and his gang.

As Trump continues his descent into madness and frets about his pending indictments, we should hope that the Republican leaders hold fast in their foolish embrace of Trump. Sticking by their awful decision after the Jan. 6 insurrection establishes they are knowingly evil in submitting to Trump and his anti-American desire to become our dictator. That submissiveness should reduce their numbers in Congress.

Let us hope that actual Republicans with some principles arise to defeat the faux Republicans who put Trump ahead of their oath to defend our Constitution. Otherwise, we will continue to suffer from those who, like Cruz and the Senate and House minority leaders, show allegiance to the criminal mind of Donald J. Trump.

Trump 'trying very hard to pretend he actually won' after his big loss in Texas

State Rep. Jake Ellzey pulled off a major upset in the special election runoff in Texas' 6th district on Tuesday when he defeated Susan Wright, a fellow Republican who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. But in a phone call with Axios on Wednesday, Trump tried to reframe the defeat in Texas as a victory for himself.

"I think this is the only race we've lost together," Trump said, referring to himself and the Club for Growth, which reportedly pushed him to endorse Wright.

But, according to Axios, the former president caught himself "mid-sentence" and quickly tried to change his language.

"This is not a loss, again, I don't want to claim it is a loss, this was a win," Trump said. "The big thing is, we had two very good people running that were both Republicans. That was the win."

The former president endorsed Wright in April. "Susan Wright will be a terrific Congresswoman (TX-06) for the Great State of Texas," he said in a statement. "She is the wife of the late Congressman Ron Wright, who has always been supportive of our America First Policies."

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman commented on the story on Twitter, saying that "Trump [is] trying very hard... to pretend he actually won."

Paul Krugman: GOP 'family values' rhetoric is as 'intellectually bankrupt' now as it was in 1992

"Hillbilly Elegy" author J.D. Vance, who is seeking the GOP nomination in Ohio's 2022 U.S. Senate race, was cynically playing the family values card when he railed against the "childless left" during a speech on Friday night, July 23 — and he even mentioned some Democrats by name. Liberal economist Paul Krugman has responded to Vance's speech in his July 26 column for the New York Times, stressing that Republican "family values" rhetoric is as empty and vacuous in 2021 as it was when the GOP made "family values" the theme of the 1992 Republican National Convention.

Vance was speaking at an event hosted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, and the Democrats he singled out as examples of the "childless" trend in the U.S. included Vice President Kamala Harris, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York City. And Vance praised Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán — a far-right authoritarian — for encouraging more procreation in his country. Booker and AOC, reporter Martin Pengelly noted in The Guardian, don't have any children. Harris has two stepchildren with her husband, Doug Emhoff.

Vance's speech, Krugman writes, brought back memories of the GOP's "family values" rhetoric of 1992.

"For a few weeks in 1992," Krugman writes, "U.S. politics were all about 'family values.' President George H.W. Bush was in electoral trouble because of a weak economy and rising inequality. So, his vice president, Dan Quayle, tried to change the subject by attacking Murphy Brown, a character in a TV sitcom (and) an unmarried woman who chose to have a child."

Krugman continues, "I was reminded of that incident when I read about recent remarks by J.D. Vance, the author of 'Hillbilly Elegy,' who is now a Republican Senate candidate in Ohio. Vance noted that some prominent Democrats don't have children, and he lashed out at the 'childless left.' He also praised the policies of Viktor Orbán, the leader of Hungary, whose government is subsidizing couples who have children, and asked, 'Why can't we do that here?'"

The Washington Post's Dave Weigel, covering Vance's speech, noted that he failed to mention President Joe Biden's child tax credit — which, Krugman points out, "will make an enormous difference to many poorer families with children."

"It was also interesting that (Vance) praised Hungary rather than other European nations with strong pronatalist policies," Krugman observes. "France, in particular, offers large financial incentives to families with children and has one of the highest fertility rates in the advanced world. So why did Vance single out for praise a repressive, autocratic government with a strong white nationalist bent? That was a rhetorical question."

Krugman goes on to say that "family values" rhetoric coming from Vance and other Republicans is meaningless without economic policies that actually help parents.

"The whole focus on 'family values' — as opposed to concrete policies that help families — turns out to have been an epic intellectual misfire," Krugman stresses. "Dan Quayle, of course, was no intellectual. But his sitcom offensive took place amid a sustained argument by conservative thinkers like Gertrude Himmelfarb that the decline of traditional values, especially traditional family structure, presaged widespread social collapse. The demise of Victorian virtues, it was widely argued, would lead to a future of spiraling crime and chaos. Society, however, declined to collapse."

Krugman cites some specific economic policies that are helpful to families, and they aren't Republican policies.

The economist writes, "When politicians rant about values, or attack other people's personal choices, it's usually a sign that they're unable or unwilling to propose policies that would actually improve American lives…. Doing more to help families with children — with financial aid, better health care and access to day care — is at or near the top of the list. The point, by the way, isn't to encourage people to have more kids — that's up to them — but to improve the lives of the children themselves, so that they grow up to become healthier, more productive adults."

Krugman adds, "On the other hand, yelling at members of the elite over their personal life decisions isn't on the list at all. And when that's all a politician does, it's a sign of intellectual and perhaps moral bankruptcy."

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4205 on: July 29, 2021, 12:00:25 AM »
Trump is mentally deteriorating -- and his 'sadistic' rhetoric has hit a dangerous new level: psychiatrist

On Jan. 6, Donald Trump attempted a coup to nullify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Thousands of his followers attacked the U.S. Capitol with the goal of preventing the certification of the Electoral College votes, a ceremonial procedure that would formally make Joe Biden the next president of the United States.

Five people died as a result of the Capitol attack. Capitol Police and other law enforcement fought bravely before being overrun by Trump's cult members, political goons and right-wing street thugs and paramilitaries. If not for the valiant efforts of those officers that day, the halls Congress could have been turned into a bloodbath. Vice President Mike Pence, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others deemed by Trump and his followers to be traitors could easily have been murdered.

Trump's attack force made no attempt to hide their faces. They carried white supremacist flags and other regalia. They assembled a gallows in the park across the street from the Capitol. They carried a Christian nationalist cross and participated in group prayers before attacking the Capitol. The MAGA flag was viewed as a substitute for the American flag, if not as something superior. These terrorists believed themselves to be "patriots" who were defending the "real America" and of course the man they viewed as its true leader.

As we saw that day, fascist movements claim a special love for the police and military but will eagerly purge them for acts of "disloyalty" to the cause.

Only 543 or so members of Trump's attack force have been arrested by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies so far. Most will not be charged with serious crimes, and very few will face felony charges that could result in substantial prison time. The coup plotters and enablers — most notably Donald Trump and Republican members of Congress — will likely never be arrested or otherwise held properly accountable.

On Tuesday, the House select committee held its first hearings on the events of Jan. 6. Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, Officer Michael Fanone, Officer Daniel Hodges and Sgt. Harry Dunn shared their experiences of fighting to defend the Capitol from Trump's attack force.

They told the committee and public how they were attacked and beaten by rioters. They were clubbed, tased, crushed, blinded with pepper spray and other irritants, verbally abused (in Dunn's case, with racial slurs) and forced to confront the fear of death, overwhelmed and alone. The unifying theme in their testimony was that various kinds of fanaticism and rage, fueled by white supremacy, conspiracy theory, religious fundamentalism and cultlike devotion to Donald Trump propelled his attack force forward.

Despite the heroism of those officers and others, the coup continues. Jan. 6 was but one stop in a journey by Trump supporters, the Jim Crow Republicans, and the larger neofascist movement aimed at overthrowing multiracial democracy.

Donald Trump himself spoke at a rally in Phoenix on Saturday. He continued to threaten political violence against the Democrats and others who "stole" the 2020 election from him and his followers. The "Big Lie" was reinforced with a new conspiracy theory about "routers." Trump channeled numerous tropes of white victimology; his thousands of devoted followers basked in their collective sociopathy. The rally was clearly invigorating for Trump's broken and alienated followers, if only for a few hours. Such is Trump's power over his cult following, for whom he acts as a human intoxicant.

The mainstream media largely chose to treat Trump's rally in Phoenix as a sideshow not worthy of extensive coverage. This reflects a logic where if Trump and his neofascist movement are ignored, the danger to the country will go away. It will not. In hopes of better understanding Donald Trump's escalating threat to American democracy and the growing power of his fascist cult and movement, I asked several experts from a range of backgrounds for their thoughts on his speech in Phoenix.

Jennifer Mercieca is a professor of communication at Texas A&M, and the author of "Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump."

Former President Donald Trump is America's first "pretender to the presidency." We've never had a president claim to be president when he is not. We've never had a former president insist that he won the election when he did not. His speech in Arizona was for his partisans only, it wasn't meant to persuade anyone who doesn't already agree with his view of reality. It was awash in conspiracy theories. Trump's main message is "politics is war and the enemy cheats." That claim informs Trump's whole view of politics, including his election conspiracy claims. Trump's "pretender to the presidency" speech was dangerously anti-democratic.

Norm Ornstein is an emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a columnist and contributing editor for The Atlantic and co-author (with E.J. Dionne Jr. and Thomas E. Mann) of "One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported."

Donald Trump has tried to overturn a legitimate presidential election ever since last November. He incited a violent and deadly insurrection at the Capitol. He has lied every day, and is a traitor to his own country. Trump's speech in Arizona took the next step by trying to get the state's Republicans to decertify their 2020 election results, another step to undermine our system and divide us further. And of course, Trump is thoroughly corrupt. He does not belong in civil society.

Federico Finchelstein is a professor of history at the New School for Social Research, and the author of several books including "A Brief History of Fascist Lies." His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Politico and the Guardian.

The Arizona speech made clear that Trump desires to be a fascist. He represents a return to the key elements of fascism: a style and substance steeped in political violence, a leader's cult, dictatorial aims and practices (remember the coup), a politics of hatred, religious fanaticism, militarization of politics, denial of science and totalitarian propaganda. Trump lies like a fascist. Fascists believe their lies and try to transform reality to resemble their lies. This is what Trump expected of his public in Arizona.

Dr. David Reiss is a psychiatrist, expert in mental fitness evaluations and contributor to "The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump."

People are expressing the opinion that Donald Trump is deteriorating, be it emotionally and/or cognitively. I have not evaluated him, so I have neither a clinical baseline nor an acute clinical opinion. But I know what I see and what I hear. This all leads me to one conclusion: As a person and regarding any possible "diagnoses," Trump is mostly unchanged. Unhappier? Almost certainly. Angrier? Without a doubt. He also appears to be vengeful, vindictive and sadistic to a dangerous level. What is  new about that?

Trump has always relied on inventing reality extemporaneously to fit his mood and to connect with his audience. He has always had an expertise in that area, such that by now it comes naturally and without planning. He has always been very "strategic" in the moment — but not much further down the road than a few minutes into the future.

CNN recently featured a headline that read "This is the most unhinged Trump rant about the 2020 election yet." Trump is lying more, but Trump is not "more unhinged." Trump has always responded to being uncomfortable with reality by inventing his own reality to meet his needs. He is more uncomfortable with objective reality since Nov. 4, so of course he is increasingly inventing different "realities" that are even less grounded in reason and reality than the ones previously.

Jean Guerrero is an investigative reporter and author of "Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda." Her writing and other work has been featured by the New York Times, PBS and NPR. She is currently an opinion columnist at the Los Angeles Times.

Trump's speech was pure gasoline on the flames of white extremism. While much of it sounded like incomprehensible and presumably improvised gibberish, the speech also included the trademark pseudo-intellectualism of his former speechwriter Stephen Miller, with the latter's mastery of white supremacist talking points.

The most disturbing element was Trump's calculated and deliberately vague promise that Democrats plan to "get rid of" certain people, dog-whistling a meme that has been spreading on far-right social media called "Ten Stages of Genocide," which implies that liberals are plotting to exterminate Trump supporters. Trump began his presidency persecuting Mexicans, Muslims and Central Americans while conjuring false visions of their violence to justify that persecution, then expanded to target Black Lives Matter protesters and anti-fascists with the same strategy. Trump is now making it clear that if he returns to office he will be going after all liberals and encouraging his supporters to do the same.

He is inciting political persecution against his critics by promoting delusions of persecution among his armed, white supremacist, violence-loving base. It can be tempting to write off white grievance politics as a joke, but as Trump's own DHS acknowledged, it remains among the top threats to homeland security, as embodied in conspiracy theories about white genocide that Trump is openly embracing.

Trump's claim that "woke politics takes the life and joy out of everything" speaks to the fact that his happiness appears to hinge on the ability to freely scapegoat and persecute others without accountability. We can't be complacent about the threat that Donald Trump continues to represent to democracy and the American people's collective grip on reality.

Jason Stanley is a professor of philosophy at Yale University, and author of "How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them" and "How Propaganda Works."

Trump's speech in Arizona brilliantly structured the themes in American politics that are gradually coming into greater clarity as a fascist social and political movement centering on Trump as leader. In fascist ideology, communists are supposedly seeking to destroy the nation by opening the borders to immigrants who will dilute the majority population and give power to ethnic and sexual minorities (currently, transgender persons are the most vilified by the far right worldwide, and Trump's speech was no exception). Fascism requires minorities to vilify to create panic and fear among the dominant majority. The fascist leader represents himself as the nation's savior and only hope against these threats. In the case of the United States, fascist ideology has always taken the form of exaggerating threats to the dominant white Christian population. The fascist leader presents the options as total loyalty to him or subservience to the communist agenda. All of these fascist themes were front and center in Trump's speech.

The Democrats are supposedly controlled by communists and are letting crime and nonwhite immigration run rampant. Cities run by Democrats, such as New York and Chicago, are "worse than any war zone in the world"; "it's a crime wave the likes of which we've never seen before." The Biden administration is controlled by "the extreme left" and nepotistic and corrupt. Immigration is supposedly out of control. The themes of white supremacy are front and center here ("they're coming in from Yemen. They're coming in from all over the Middle East. They're coming in from Haiti. Large numbers are coming in from Haiti. They're coming in from all parts of Africa."). The communists with their "critical race theory" are threatening our children at their most vulnerable, in schools. And most of all, of course, there was fascist projection — the "big lie" was not that the election was stolen, it was that the election was fair.

In reality, of course, the election was fair. New York City in July had one of its lowest homicide rates in history. Violent crime is not sharply up, and certainly not high given historical trends. None of this relevant in Trump's world, where loyalty to his version of reality is the only possible way of expressing American patriotism. This is fascism in its pure ideological form.

Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4206 on: August 13, 2021, 03:17:58 AM »

Donald Trump is a loser. Several of his handpicked stooges he endorsed have lost their races and this is just another one. This loser lost the election in a blowout and his sycophants think he will run in 2024 when he is even less popular in the GOP.  :D

Trump's big Texas loss sent 'shockwaves through the former president's inner circle': report

Since the November 2000 election, Trump backed candidates have not done too well. I think this is something the Republican leadership is ignoring, hoping this is all just a fluke, but I think it reflects the new reality. In any case, they have gone too far to turn back now.

Losing the two elections for the U. S. Senate in January, 2021, Losing other elections. A recent election that bucks the trend was Mike Carey winning a primary in Ohio. But that may have more to do with Trump funneling in a massive amount of cash more than Carey receiving Trump’s endorsement.

I think it is likely that by November of 2022, the new reality will become undeniable. Trump has his fervent supporters, can still raise a huge amount of cash, but whose endorsement will hurt a candidate in a general election. Trump has lost the ‘Rhinos’, whom he has disparaged but always needed to win. I am looking forward to that month.

Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4207 on: August 17, 2021, 03:59:30 AM »
RNC quietly deletes webpage touting Trump's call for U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan

Well, it appears that some information about Trump has disappeared down a memory hole.

I think if we had just stayed in Afghanistan another 20 years, the Afghanistan army would have been capable on holding on entirely on its own for two, perhaps three months. As it is, they were not able to stand very long.

It just goes to show that you never know how long an army will stand. No one knows, not even the members of the army know how long they will stand once the fighting starts. This is not the first time in history that a people were willing to fight much harder for tyranny than freedom, particularly since the “freedom” of Afghanistan was pretty corrupt.

Getting out was our best option. Should we have gone to Afghanistan in the first place? Well, unlike Iraq, they did attack us. Not directly but through proxies from that they protected.

Online Jon Banks

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4208 on: August 17, 2021, 05:38:00 PM »
RNC quietly deletes webpage touting Trump's call for U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan

Well, it appears that some information about Trump has disappeared down a memory hole.

I think if we had just stayed in Afghanistan another 20 years, the Afghanistan army would have been capable on holding on entirely on its own for two, perhaps three months. As it is, they were not able to stand very long.

It just goes to show that you never know how long an army will stand. No one knows, not even the members of the army know how long they will stand once the fighting starts. This is not the first time in history that a people were willing to fight much harder for tyranny than freedom, particularly since the “freedom” of Afghanistan was pretty corrupt.

Getting out was our best option. Should we have gone to Afghanistan in the first place? Well, unlike Iraq, they did attack us. Not directly but through proxies from that they protected.

I mostly agree but the Taliban didn't attack us on 9/11/01.

We should've focused on getting OBL and avoided the nation-building crap.

Offline Joe Elliott

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Re: Trump supporters and conspiracy theory - Part 2
« Reply #4209 on: August 19, 2021, 12:54:41 AM »
I mostly agree but the Taliban didn't attack us on 9/11/01.

We should've focused on getting OBL and avoided the nation-building crap.

Agreed. As soon as OBL was dead, it would have been a good time to pull out within a year.

Well, I guess we will wait for the other shoe to drop. Iraq. We should never have gone into there in 2002. After we redraw, how long will it hold out?

I should mention that nation-building does not always fail. It worked in Germany and Japan. Despite the recent past of the 1930’s and 1940’s, both countries had a history of democracy before the Nazis and the Japanese military took over. In Germany, first the Kaiser was able to stifle it, then Hitler really stifled it, but the desire for democracy was still there among millions, at least after dictatorships had so thoroughly failed. But any country without a strong desire for freedom and democracy among their people, forget it.


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