Closing Thought–18Jan22

Will SCOTUS help legalize bribery?

Sen. Ted Cruz is doing his best to see that the court does just that.

The details of Federal Election Commission v. Ted Cruz for Senate, a case that the Supreme Court will hear next Wednesday, read more like a paranoid fantasy dreamed up by leftists than like an actual lawsuit.

The case concerns federal campaign finance laws, and, specifically, candidates’ ability to loan money to their campaigns. Candidates can do so — but in 2001, Congress enacted a provision that helps prevent such loans from becoming a vehicle to bribe candidates who go on to be elected officials. Under this provision, a campaign that receives such a loan may not repay more than $250,000 worth of the loan using funds raised after the election.

When a campaign receives a pre-election donation, that donation is typically subject to strict rules preventing it from being spent to enrich the candidate. After the election has occurred, however, donors who give money to help pay off a loan from the candidate effectively funnel that money straight to the candidate — who by that point could be a powerful elected official.

A lawmaker with sufficiently clever accountants, moreover, could effectively structure such a loan to allow lobbyists and other donors to help the lawmaker directly profit from it. According to the Los Angeles Times, for example, in 1998, Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) made a $150,000 loan to her campaign at 18 percent interest (though she later reduced that interest rate to 10 percent). As of 2009, Napolitano reportedly raised $221,780 to repay that loan — $158,000 of which was classified as “interest.”

So in 11 years, the loan reportedly earned Napolitano nearly $72,000 in profits.

https://www.vox.com/2022/1/12/22877010/supreme-court-ted-cruz-fec-campaign-finance-bribery-loan

Still a mystery on how this case will go….but knowing the track record of the Robert’s Court I am not optimistic.

Maybe now would be a good time to take on the corruption and bribery committed by lobbyists and their corporate puppet masters.

Just a passing thought on my part.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Insurrection Update #23

This is my series watching and reporting on the aftermath of the 06 January failed coup by Trumpites…..

Finally!  Someone is being charged with sedition!

A big development in the investigation of the Capitol riot: Prosecutors filed their first charge of sedition on Thursday, reports the New York Times. Authorities indicted and arrested Stewart Rhodes, the 56-year-old founder of the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers. The charge of seditious conspiracy alleges that Rhodes conspired with others to overturn the results of the 2020 election and take control of the Capitol. The AP calls Rhodes the highest-ranking member of any extremist group to be arrested so far. Rhodes was at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, but he says he never entered the building, and no evidence has surfaced to contradict that.

Rhodes previously told the Washington Post that he was communicating with members of his group that day, but only to try to “keep them out of trouble.” He added that any members of his group who entered the building “went totally off mission.” He made similar comments to the Times over the summer, saying, “There were zero instructions from me or leadership to do so.” Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper who went on to earn a law degree from Yale, was charged Thursday with about a dozen associates.

Among the allegations against Rhodes:

  • On Election Day, he allegedly urged Oath Keeper members to “stock up on ammo” and be ready for a “full-on war in the streets,” according to a letter by House investigators.
  • During an online meeting shortly after the election, he allegedly said, “You can call it an insurrection or you can call it a war or fight,” per the Times.
  • He told Alex Jones days after the election that he had men near Washington poised to act on then-President Trump’s command.
  • He said at a Trump rally in December that failure to invoke the Insurrection Act would lead to a “much more bloody war.”
  • Two days before the riot, he allegedly posted an online article urging “all patriots” to “stand tall in support of President Trump’s fight to defeat the enemies foreign and domestic who are attempting a coup.”

About damn time!

Now roast his ass!

But wait!  He has an eye patch….does anyone know how he got his wound?

He was a gun instructor and he dropped his handgun and shot his eye out.  I cannot make this up!

The insurrection of 06 January caught the Capitol police flat footed….and ever since the same question keeps popping up…..how did this happen?

There is some news on this front….

Intelligence reports compiled by the US Capitol Police in the days before last year’s insurrection envisioned only an improbable or remote risk of violence, even as other assessments warned that tens of thousands of pro-Trump demonstrators could converge in Washington to create a dangerous situation. The documents, obtained by the AP, underscore the muddled intelligence that circulated to Capitol Police officers ahead of the Jan. 6 riot, when thousands of Donald Trump loyalists swarmed the Capitol complex and clashed violently with law enforcement officers in their effort to disrupt the certification of the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The intelligence reports in particular show how the police agency for days grievously underestimated the prospect of chaotic violence and disruptions, the AP reports. The daily intelligence reports have been discussed in congressional testimony and summarized in a Senate report. But the AP on Friday evening obtained full versions of the documents for Jan. 4, 5, and 6. On each of the three days, the Capitol Police ranked as “highly improbable” the possibility of acts of civil disobedience and arrests arising from the “Stop the Steal” protest planned for the Capitol. The event and nearly two dozen others were ranked on a scale of “remote” to “nearly certain” on the likelihood of major disruptions. All were rated as either “remote,” “highly improbable,” or “improbable,” the documents show.

Those optimistic forecasts are tough to square with other intelligence assessments compiled by Capitol Police in late December and early January. Those documents, also obtained by AP, warned that crowds could number in the tens of thousands and include extremist groups like the Proud Boys. A Jan. 3, 2021, memo, for instance, warned of a “significantly dangerous situation for law enforcement and the general public alike.” A Dec. 21, 2020, assessment showed that people were researching the tunnels under the Capitol—typically used by members of Congress and staff—on public websites. Adding to the mixed intelligence portrait is a Jan. 5 bulletin from the FBI’s Norfolk field office that warned of the potential for “war” at the Capitol. Top Capitol Police leaders have said they were unaware of that document.

It still amazing that after over a year since the attack and the GOP still cannot support any actions to prevent or understand why the failed coup occurred…..

Historically, Americans haven’t disagreed on the seriousness of national tragedies — think Sept. 11, 2001. But that’s not the case with the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

Yes, one year later, more than 70 percent of Americans still regard Jan. 6 as a bad or tragic day for America, including 60 percent of Republicans, but there is still a stark partisan divide on more specific aspects of the Jan. 6 attack that shows many Republicans still minimize its importance

For instance, even though an average of 63 percent of Americans across four recent polls1 supported the congressional investigation into the day’s events, an average of 59 percent of Republicans opposed it. In the same vein, 56 percent of respondents to a YouGov/University of Massachusetts poll from Dec. 14-20 thought it was important that we learn more about what happened on Jan. 6, but 75 percent of Republicans said that it was time to move on.

Republicans also tend to use kinder language to describe the events of Jan. 6 and its participants. For example, YouGov/the University of Massachusetts found that 62 percent of Republicans used the word “protesters” to describe the people who broke into the Capitol, while only 31 percent called them “rioters” and 10 percent called them “insurrectionists.” An above-average 26 percent even called them “patriots.” 

Why Republicans Take Jan. 6 Less Seriously Than Other Americans

 Social media is doing their part to help identify and capture those treasonous bastards that participated in the coup….

A few days after the Capitol insurrection last January, the FBI got two tips identifying an Ohio man named Walter Messer as a participant, and both cited his social media posts about being there. To verify those tips, the FBI turned to three companies that held a large amount of damning evidence against Messer, simply as a result of his normal use of their services: AT&T, Facebook, and Google.

AT&T gave the FBI Messer’s telephone number and a list of cell sites he used, including one that covered the US Capitol building at the time of the insurrection, per the criminal complaint against Messer. Facebook told the FBI that the phone number provided by AT&T was linked to Messer’s Facebook account, where he posted several selfies from inside the Capitol during the riot.

Google gave the FBI precise location data showing Messer’s journey from Ohio to DC and back again between January 5 and 7, as well as his location on the afternoon of January 6 as he wandered around and ultimately inside the Capitol building. The complaint also lists videos of the riot posted on Messer’s YouTube channel, Messer’s YouTube searches, internet searches, and emails from his Gmail account — all used to help build a case against him.

Finally one of the defendants that lashed out at police has his day in court….

https://www.vox.com/recode/22867000/january-6-fbi-search-facebook-google-insurrection

I am pleased to see at least someone is acting responsibly……

And Facebook post is what one insurrectionist used to brag about his actions…..and now he is pissed off…..

Tim Boughner, 41, who is accused of pepper spraying and assaulting police on Jan. 6, 2021, during the riot at the U.S. Capitol, lashed out and left a detention proceeding on Wednesday after the judge ruled that he would stay behind bars, Law&Crime reports.

Prosecutors say Boughner used chemical spray on police multiple times as he stood at the front lines of the riot. He later bragged on Facebook that he “f***ed those cops up.”

During the hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui stated that he believed Boughner was a flight risk and a danger to the community, and cited his actions on Jan. 6 and his subsequent social media activity.

“You got these dumb*ss comments that you’re saying I said but I did not say these things,” Boughner shouted. “Do we really have to go through all this?”

https://www.rawstory.com/capitol-rioter-tim-boughner/

Yet another whiny ass slug that is pouty that he was dumb enough to brag and then got busted…..

I will continue to watch the proceedings against the insurrectionists….

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”