Is Ukraine Heating Up?

New tanks will be heading to Ukraine….will this change the equation?

With this new addition to the Ukrainian military will the war get hotter than it is now?

In the clear sky over the winter-yellowed marsh grasses on the outskirts of the town of Huliaipole, the bang and crump of artillery picked up pace like the thunderclaps of a distant but approaching storm.

The Russian armed forces declared on Sunday that they had launched a new offensive in Zaporizhzhia region, but the Ukrainian soldiers seemed unperturbed. The frontline here has not moved for 10 months, and the Russians are hunkered in their trenches, which run across the rolling hills of black-soil farmland. They are not going anywhere soon, the soldiers said.

“There is more activity in these past couple of weeks with shelling from artillery and even from tanks, but they don’t send infantry over the line because they’re scared,” said Vitaly, a senior sergeant in the 56th Mariupol motorised infantry brigade, which is holding the line around this town 60 miles (100km) east of Zaporizhzhia city.

However, Vitaly acknowledged that the frozen line was beginning to heat up. The number of incoming shells and rockets on this segment of the southern front has more than doubled this month to 4,000 a day. Two weeks earlier, the Russians had twice sent a handful of tanks forward to probe the Ukrainian lines only to pull back under fire.

Sooner or later, most likely in the next few months, one side would make its move and try to break the deadlock. The question is: who will strike first and where.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/27/the-big-battle-is-coming-ukrainian-forces-prepare-for-the-wars-most-intense-phase

I fear that any escalation could involve the US…and apparently some in our military are hoping and planning for this event.

“I hope I am wrong,” an Air Force general told commanders under him as he warned in a new memo that he expects the US and China to be at war in two years. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025.” Gen. Mike Minihan, who has nearly 50,000 service members as head of the Air Mobility Command, which handles transport and refueling, told his commanders to prepare for battle, NBC News reports, partly by shooting at a target. “Aim for the head,” he said. No other senior Defense official has said such a war is imminent, per the Washington Post. Minihan ordered his commanders to report back on their preparations by the end of February.

The four-star general points out that Chinese President Xi Jinping has won a third term in office and “set his war council.” Part of Miniham’s reasoning is that Taiwan and the US will be preoccupied with presidential elections in 2024, giving China an opportunity to move against Taiwan. The next stage of preparations for everyone in his command, Minihan said, is to get their personal affairs in order in March. And they should commence rigorous training, he wrote. A spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of his memo, dated Feb. 1, though a Defense Department official said, “These comments are not representative of the department’s view on China.”

What is the likelihood that the US is inching closer to that so-called ‘red line’?

Seems NATO thinks they should be more involved…..

Adm. Rob Bauer, the head of NATO’s Military Committee, said that NATO is “ready” for a direct confrontation with Russia, citing the alliance’s recent efforts to boost its presence in Eastern Europe.

Last year, NATO placed new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia on top of the ones that have been deployed in Poland and the Baltic states for years. The US also deployed troops on its own, sending tens of thousands more to Europe, including many that are stationed near the Ukrainian border in Poland and Romania.

Bauer, a Dutch naval officer, also said NATO countries should discuss shifting to a “war economy,” where civilian factories started producing military goods, similar to what the United States did during World War II.

“We have to increase defense industry production, and there are already more and more talks on the subject at the national level,” Bauer said in an interview with Portuguese TV.

“This could mean prioritizing certain raw materials, certain production capacities needed for the defense industry rather than the civilian one. Those priorities should be discussed about, partially, a war economy in peacetime,” he added.

The US is taking measures to ramp up arms production to keep arming, including a Pentagon plan to increase artillery ammunition production by 500% over the next two years. The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act granted the Pentagon wartime purchasing powers to speed up arms deals, but the US has yet to take any measures as drastic as Bauer suggested.

(antiwar.com)

I am guessing that few will find this unacceptable….after all the events happening in Ukraine is far more important than anything occurring here and now.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

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The Irrationality Of The Debate

Yes I have written many posts on the Ukraine situation…..let me say here before some troll gets a hard on…..I oppose the invasion and the subsequent conflict that stared earlier this year when Russia invaded Ukraine.

With my posts have come many comments in support for Ukraine/NATO and the massive involvement in the conflict…..to me many of those are irrational because we Americans have given so much treasure in our many many wars and yet there is still some chest thumping……

When asked I usually get some snarky comments that have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

And the conversation continues with  o actually talking….

A Harvard professor has made some interesting observations on this very subject……

Because war is uncertain and reliable information is sparse, no one knows how the war in Ukraine will play out. Nor can any of us be completely certain what the optimal course of action is. We all have our own theories, hunches, beliefs, and hopes, but nobody’s crystal ball is 100 percent reliable in the middle of a war.
You might think that this situation would encourage observers to approach the whole issue with a certain humility and give alternative perspectives a fair hearing even when they disagree with one’s own. Instead, debates about responsibility for the war and the proper course of action to follow have been unusually nasty and intolerant, even by modern standards of social media vituperation. I’ve been trying to figure out why this is the case.
 
What I find especially striking is how liberal interventionists, unrepentant neoconservatives, and a handful of progressives who are all-in for Ukraine seem to have no doubts whatsoever about the origins of the conflict or the proper course of action to follow today. For them, Russian President Vladimir Putin is solely and totally responsible for the war, and the only mistakes others may have made in the past was to be too nice to Russia and too willing to buy its oil and gas. The only outcome they are willing to entertain is a complete Ukrainian victory, ideally accompanied by regime change in Moscow, the imposition of reparations to finance Ukrainian reconstruction, and war crimes trials for Putin and his associates. Convinced that anything less than this happy result will reward aggression, undermine deterrence, and place the current world order in jeopardy, their mantra is: “Whatever it takes for as long as it takes.”
 
This same group has also been extraordinarily critical of those who believe responsibility for the war is not confined to Russia’s president and who think these war aims might be desirable in the abstract but are unlikely to be achieved at an acceptable cost and risk. If you have the temerity to suggest that NATO enlargement (and the policies related to it) helped pave the road to war, if you believe the most likely outcome is a negotiated settlement and that getting there sooner rather than later would be desirable, and if you favor supporting Ukraine but think this goal should be weighed against other interests, you’re almost certain to be denounced as a pro-Putin stooge, an appeaser, an isolationist, or worse. Case in point: When a handful of progressive congressional representatives released a rather tepid statement calling for greater reliance on diplomacy a few weeks ago, it was buried under a hailstorm of criticism and quickly disavowed by its own sponsors.
 
Prof. Walt sums up my thoughts expertly….
 
What will it take for the tide to turn on this debate?
 
Just wondering.
 
On an unrelated topic…..US is considering  cluster bombs for Ukraine…..
 

According to a report from CNN, the Biden administration is considering a request from Ukraine to provide cluster bombs, munitions that are banned by over 100 countries under an international treaty due to the harm they cause to civilians.

Cluster munitions scatter small bombs over large areas, making them more indiscriminate than other munitions. The small bombs often don’t explode on impact, making them a huge danger to civilians who comes across them, similar to land mines.

The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions that bans the weapons has 108 signatories, but the US, Russia, and Ukraine are not parties to the treaty. Since Russia launched its invasion in February, both Russian and Ukrainian forces have used cluster munitions, and Kyiv was accused of using the bombs in populated areas of Donestk back in 2014.

The last known time the US used cluster bombs was in Yemen in 2009. Before that, US forces used them in the early days of the Afghanistan war and in Iraq in 2003. The US has supplied cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia, which has used them in its war on Yemen.

The CNN report said that the Biden administration has been fielding a request from Ukraine for cluster munitions for months and has not rejected it outright. The administration hasn’t taken the option off the table if US stockpiles of other munitions become dangerously low.

(antiwar.com)

What happened to all that concern for civilians?

Personally I am sick of the pathetic excuses some Americans for this country pouring much needed cash into this war.

I Read, I Write, You Know
 
“lego ergo scribo”

Is Ukraine Winning?

A great question as this war approaches its year anniversary…..if you read the headlines in the news (corporate media)all the weapons and cash sent to Ukraine is paying dividends as the Russian keep losing territory.

We never hear any negativity on this side of the pond from our major news sources……so no news is good news, right?

Not necessarily so according to German sources…..

The German foreign intelligence service assesses that Kiev is losing a “three-digit number” of soldiers daily, according to a report in Der Spiegel. Berlin informed politicians of the assessment during a secret meeting this week.

Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) is “alarmed” by the high number of losses Ukraine is suffering. The report says Berlin believes Ukraine was losing a three-digit number of soldiers every day during the battle of Bakhmut with Russian forces. The BND informed German politicians of the high number of injured and killed Ukrainian forces during a covert Bundestag meeting last week.

The BND believes the Ukrainian casualties will have severe consequences during future battles. The German intelligence service also believes that Russia is suffering high casualties and using its soldiers as “cannon fodder.”

Reuters reported officials in Washington believe Kiev spent significant resources attempting to defend Bakhmut. The White House is currently advising Ukraine not to launch any major counteroffensives to recapture the city. The Joe Biden administration is additionally advising Kiev that continuing to pour soldiers into defending Bakhmut is preventing Ukrainian forces from attacking Russians defending other cities.

Ukraine is seeking tanks from its NATO partners. However, many countries, including the US and Germany have resisted sending their modern tanks to Ukraine.

Bakhmut is located in the Donetsk region. The BND believes if Russia takes the city, it will open the door for additional gains. Bakhmut has seen fierce fighting for several months, but the intensity picked up last week. Russian forces have made some gains in the city.

(antiwar.com)

The War Department will pull all punches and lie to keep the cash following and the ill-advised popular support for a war that shows no signs of ending.

Why is that?

It is called mission creep.

When the United States involves itself militarily in a conflict, it often finds it hard to get itself out, let alone avoid deep entanglements that blow well past lines it had drawn at the start of the intervention. 

It happened in Vietnam, when U.S. military advisers helping the South Vietnamese fight Viet Cong eventually became U.S. soldiers fighting an American war. It happened in Afghanistan, when an initial invasion to capture al-Qaida and overthrow the Taliban morphed into a nearly two-decade-long nation-building project. And it could be happening right now in Ukraine. 

Little by little, NATO and the United States are creeping closer to the catastrophic scenario President Joe Biden said “we must strive to prevent” — direct conflict between the United States and Russia. Despite stressing at the start of the war that “our forces are not and will not be engaged in the conflict,” current and former intelligence officials told the Intercept back in October that “there is a much larger presence of both CIA and US special operations personnel” in Ukraine than there was when Russia invaded, conducting “clandestine American operations” in the country that “are now far more extensive.” 

Mission Creep? How the US role in Ukraine has slowly escalated

I ask once again…..what does the US expect to be the return on their investment in Ukraine?

Out newest investment is Abrams tanks…..31 total…

As expected, President Biden on Wednesday announced that the US is following Germany’s lead and will supply Ukraine with tanks. Some 31 Abrams tanks, which the president described as equivalent to one Ukrainian battalion, will be sent. Standout points:

  • BBC Washington correspondent Gary O’Donoghue writes that the US has previously indicated that the complexity of the high-tech Abrams tanks in terms of operating and maintaining them was holding it back from making the commitment. It had pushed for the delivery of Leopard tanks, which are used by more allies and require less training.
  • But Germany, which on Wednesday announced will send 14 Leopard 2 A6 tanks, had said it would only do so if the US “put its Abrams on the table, not wanting to incur Russia’s wrath without the US similarly committing its own tanks,” per the AP.
  • The New York Timesreports the tanks contributed by Germany and other allies would equal two additional battalions. Ukraine has said it would take 300 Western tanks to make a meaningful difference; it has thus far relied on Soviet-era tanks.
  • While training on the Abrams will likely begin right away, the BBC reports “the funding process for the tanks themselves means they will not be deployed for months” and “not in time for Russia’s anticipated spring offensive,” per the AP.
  • They’re part of a $400 million package that also includes eight M88 recovery vehicles, which can tow the Abrams if it gets stuck.
  • A logistical detail from the AP: The 70-ton tanks rely on a turbine jet engine that burns a minimum of two gallons a mile regardless of whether they are on the move or idling; as such, a bevy of fuel trucks is required to keep the tanks mobile.
  • Last week, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl described Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s thinking as such: “that we should not be providing the Ukrainians systems they can’t repair, they can’t sustain, and that they, over the long term, can’t afford, because it’s not helpful.”

Another waste but that is what we do….waste money on worthless endeavors while children starve…..good plan.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

The ‘Freedom Caucus’

Ever notice that these people give their BS all these patriotic sounding titles….like the ‘Fair Tax Act’, Freedom Caucus and none of them have anything patriotic attached to it in reality.

For this post I want to write about the ultra-conserv caucus within the House of Representatives, the Freedom Caucus……

The group, which includes many veterans of the Tea Party movement, was formed in January with the declared aim of pushing the House GOP leadership rightward on certain fiscal and social issues. More broadly, the caucus wants power shifted away from the leadership to the rank-and-file (by, for instance, giving committees more leeway on which bills to move forward and allowing more amendments to come to floor votes).

Unlike the plethora of caucuses and committees – which range from the Ad Hoc Congressional Committee for Irish Affairs to the House GOP Study Group – the Freedom Caucus does not officially disclose who belongs to it (aside from its nine founding members), though various unofficial lists have circulated. Membership is by invitation only, and meetings are not public.

The caucus originated during the mid-January 2015 Republican congressional retreat in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  According to founding member Mick Mulvaney, “that was the first time we got together and decided we were a group, and not just a bunch of pissed-off guys”.  Nine conservative Republican members of the House began planning a new congressional caucus separate from the Republican Study Committee and apart from the House Republican Conference. The founding members who constituted the first board of directors for the new caucus were Republican representatives Scott Garrett of New Jersey, Jim Jordan of Ohio, John Fleming of Louisiana, Matt Salmon of Arizona, Justin Amash of Michigan, Raúl Labrador of Idaho, Mulvaney of South Carolina, Ron DeSantis of Florida and Mark Meadows of North Carolina.

(wikipedia.org)

Like the forerunner of the group, the Tea Party, the Freedom Caucus never intended to lead only to disrupt.

At the beginning of this month, the House endured the longest contest to elect a speaker in 164 years. Rep. Kevin McCarthy ultimately was elected speaker, but only after he made several concessions to a small but influential faction of dissenting conservative Republicans. Though not every member of the Freedom Caucus — a far-right coalition of Republican lawmakers — voted against McCarthy, nearly every member who did oppose him was a member of the Freedom Caucus.

That commonality has drawn renewed attention to the Freedom Caucus and its role within Congress. Despite being a minority in the House, the Freedom Caucus has repeatedly punched above its weight and effected genuine change in the chamber. Powerful political factions are as old as American politics, and in most ways, the Freedom Caucus is just a continuation of that tradition. But in a few key ways, its members are doing something different: voting as a bloc, willing to go against their own party’s leadership and to gum up the works to make a statement. Those differences have allowed the Freedom Caucus to exercise influence over the better part of the past decade — and are why it’s only just getting started.

Modern congressional caucuses emerged in the last century, though less formal organizations of like-minded members have existed in Congress since the start, according to Ruth Bloch Rubin, a political science professor at the University of Chicago and the author of “Building the Bloc: Intraparty Organization in the U.S. Congress.” During the Progressive Era in the early 20th century, a group of insurgent Republicans worked alongside Democrats to strip away some of the powers that had been consolidated by the speaker. In the 1960s and ’70s, the left-leaning Democratic Study Group worked to push through civil rights legislation (along with, later, the Congressional Black Caucus), against bitter opposition from conservative Southern Democrats.

Typically, such influential intraparty factions emerge only when parties find themselves especially divided, Bloch Rubin said. “It’s usually because there’s enough of a cleavage within the party that these sort of factions have enough members and the distance between one faction and a competitor faction within the same party is enough that it warrants this kind of organizational work,” she said.

The Freedom Caucus Was Designed To Disrupt

This caucus was designed to be a distraction from the silliness of the GOP….they are there to disrupt and play political games not to govern.

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“lego ergo scribo”

Putin’s Future

I read this article and thought I would pass it on to my readers especially those that have no love for the criminal Putin.

People have envisioned all sorts of scenarios for the demise of Putin…..from being crazy to an internal revolution that would sideline him and his policies……

This article will be music to some of those ears…..

Vladimir Putin is reportedly set to “disappear” from his leadership position within the Kremlin because there is “clearly something wrong” with his health, RadarOnline.com has learned.

In a sudden development to come amid rumors and reports the 70-year-old Russian leader’s health is quickly deteriorating, intelligence officials have revealed Putin is preparing to step down as Russia’s leader.

The surprising revelation also comes as Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine is “going from bad to worse,” and Putin’s political career is “hanging in the balance” as his forces struggle to take the neighboring nation one year after first invading in February 2022.

“He’s probably faced with another call-up. That clearly is deeply unpopular in Russia,” Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, recently said according to Daily Star. “There must be massive tensions within the leadership group inside the Kremlin, there must be massive tensions socially across Russia over this whole issue.”

“I just don’t think we can say if he will be deposed,” Dearlove continued. “I rashly predicted last year that on the grounds of probably his health, he gets shuffled off into a sanatorium and would disappear and then you would just have a probably a continuation of the same regime and in someone else’s hands.”

“I still think that that’s a possibility,” the former head of MI6 added. “There’s clearly something wrong with him. Physically, I think. I’m not a clinician but I know there are clinicians analyzing his movements. There’s something wrong with him and maybe that is affecting his political judgment as well.”

(radaronline.com)

I have not been able to verify this report…..so please take this prediction with a grain of salt….I know many of you are pulling for something to befall the Russian leader…..do not celebrate too soon….this may be just rumor….or another social media hoax.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is DeSantis A Racist?

Easy answer for me….yes he is!

Every time Florida’s gov opens his mouth or puts plans into action he proves to me that he is a racist.

His action show a serious dislike for brown and black people.

His newest attempt is to ban Afro-American studies from Florida’s high schools….

Ron DeSantis, Florida’s Republican governor, has rejected a new advanced placement course in African American studies from being taught on high school campuses. He argues that the course violates state law and “lacks educational value”.

This move is the latest in a series of actions to keep conversations and lessons about race, sexuality and gender identity off the state’s school campuses.

DeSantis officially banned the course in a letter from the state education department to the College Board, the organization that administers college readiness exams like the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). They also oversee advanced placement (AP) courses, which allow students to earn college credits in subjects like English and chemistry.

In a 12 January letter to the College Board, the Florida education department said the course is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value”.

In the summer of 2022, the College Board announced a pilot program to “offer high school students an evidence-based introduction to African American studies” would be launching in 60 high schools across the country during the 2022-23 school year and will be set to expand to other campuses the following year.

“Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multiyear pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers,” the College Board said in a statement.

“The process of piloting and revising course frameworks is a standard part of any new AP course and frameworks often change significantly as a result,” the statement continued.

DeSantis, a one-time Donald Trump ally, plays an active role in stoking social and political anxieties, primarily among white Americans, that stem from conversations about race and gender that occur on K-12 public school campuses. In April 2022, he signed the Stop Woke Act, which severely limits “race-based” discussions at schools.

(theguardian.com)

I think this action answers the question originally asked.

Please I would like to hear from any Floridian reader on this subject.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Poverty–Oh SNAP!

There are a few programs that try to help the poor with their struggle with hunger….one of those programs is the SNAP.

SNAP provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of needy families so they can purchase healthy food and move towards self-sufficiency.

Now that the Repubs are in control of most state houses there is a movement to end this program….

Republicans in the Iowa House introduced legislation this month that would impose a slew of fresh restrictions on the kinds of food people can purchase using SNAP benefits, sparking outrage among local groups who say the measure would exacerbate hunger in the GOP-dominated state.

The Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC), an interfaith group that operates the largest food pantry network in Iowa, noted in a statement earlier this week that if the bill passes, “Iowans could no longer use their SNAP benefits to purchase meat, nuts, and seeds; flour, butter, cooking oil, soup, canned fruits, and vegetables; frozen prepared foods, snack foods, herbs, spices—not even salt or pepper.”

“This is a punitive policy that will do nothing to improve the health and nutrition of Iowans, but rather be a detriment,” the group said.

The Iowa Hunger Coalition (IHC) also condemned the bill, voicing opposition to its proposed food restrictions as well as new asset limits that would make it more difficult for families to qualify for SNAP, a program funded by the federal government and administered by states.

According to Feeding America, the largest hunger-relief organization in the U.S., roughly 229,500 people—including 80,160 children—are facing food insecurity in Iowa.

The details of the new legislation—which is sponsored by 39 Iowa House Republicans, including Speaker Pat Grassley—were met with national anger.

“This is so profoundly cruel and petty,” said Leah Greenberg, co-executive director of the progressive advocacy group Indivisible.

Sarah Bowen, a sociologist who studies food and inequality, noted in a tweet on Thursday that “Republicans have tried to destroy SNAP for years,” animated by the lie that “SNAP recipients are all stocking up on lobster and steak.”

“This is the most ridiculous proposal I’ve seen though,” Bowen added. “No chicken or ground beef. No chili beans. No American cheese?!”

SNAP recipients are already limited in what they can purchase at the grocery store using their benefits, but Iowa Republicans are seeking to dramatically expand those restrictions.

As Todd Dorman of the Iowa Gazetteexplained in a column on Thursday, the legislation “would require the Department of Health and Human Services to seek a federal waiver allowing Iowa to scrap an already restrictive federal list of approved foods and replace it with a list of food available to recipients of aid to Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC.”

“The bill would also, for the first time, create an asset test, limiting household assets to $2,750 or $4,250 if one member of the household is over 60. It exempts just one vehicle, potentially making households with two cars ineligible,” Dorman wrote. “Beyond all of that draconian wisdom, the bill would force recipients to jump through far more regulatory hoops to become eligible and stay on SNAP, wrapping recipients tightly in red tape and likely costing the state millions more to administer the program.”

Only two groups support the bill,” Dorman added. “One is the Florida-based Opportunity Solutions Project, which sends its minions across the country to cut holes in the social safety net and oppose policies such as Medicaid expansion. The group is part of a web of conservative think tanks and bill mills bankrolled by rich donors who think if you just make poor people hungry and sick enough, they’ll utilize their bootstraps.”

(commondreams.org.

Read on….https://www.businessinsider.com/iowa-republicans-bill-ban-snap-recipients-meat-sliced-cheese-2023-1

How long will it be before this kind of cruelty expands into other red controlled Houses?

And yet they get votes from the very people they are screwing….where’s the logic in that?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Capital Riot Has Consequences

I have reported on the fines and penalties handed out by the courts on those that participated in the 06 January insurrection…..and now there is a new consequence possible.

Democratic lawmakers in a handful of states are trying to send a message two years after the violent attack on the US Capitol: Those who engage in an attempted overthrow of the government shouldn’t be allowed to run it. New York, Connecticut, and Virginia are among states where proposed legislation would prohibit anyone convicted of participating in an insurrection from holding public office or a position of public trust, such as becoming a police officer, per the AP. While the bills vary in scope, their aim is similar. “If you’ve tried to take down our government through violent means, in no way should you be part of it,” New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal said.

  • New York: Hoylman-Sigal is sponsoring a bill that would bar people convicted of engaging in an insurrection or rebellion against the United States from holding civil office, meaning they would not be able to serve as a judge or member of the Legislature.
  • Virginia: A state lawmaker introduced a bill this month, on the second anniversary of the Capitol riot, that would prohibit anyone convicted of a felony related to an attempted insurrection or riot from serving in positions of public trust—including those involving policymaking, law enforcement, safety, education, or health.
  • Connecticut: A proposed bill would prohibit people convicted of sedition, rebellion, insurrection or a felony related to one of those acts from running for or holding public office. Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, who introduced the measure, said he wants the legislation eventually to bar them from holding state or municipal jobs.

Some Republicans say the legislation is unnecessary. In New York, Republican Assemblyman Will Barclay, the minority leader, called the bill there a “political statement,” saying it is “more political than it is a concern about public policy.” He said existing rules already apply to people in certain positions who are convicted of crimes and that those laws “should be sufficient.” The legislation is another example of how the Capitol riot has become a political Rorschach test in the country.

Stellar ideas in my book…..there has to be consequences for their actions….this should include anyone convicted of any charge pertaining to the riot.

Is there more news about the others involved?

More “Oath Keepers’ learn their fate….

A federal jury on Monday convicted four members of the Oath Keepers militia of seditious conspiracy, deciding they’d plotted to use force to keep former President Donald Trump in office. Roberto Minuta, 38; Joseph Hackett, 52; David Moerschel, 45; and Edward Vallejo, 64, also were found guilty of obstructing and conspiring to obstruct lawmakers and Congress in general, the Washington Post reports. “They claimed to wrap themselves in the Constitution, but they trampled it,” said prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler in the trial’s closing arguments. “They ignored the will of the people” while having “the audacity to claim to be oath-keepers.”

The four men’s case was split from the trial of Stewart Rhodes, leader of the Oath Keepers, and others because of limited space in the courtroom. In November, Rhodes also was found guilty of seditious conspiracy. Prosecutors said these four ranked lower in the far-right militia group than those in the other trial, more like troops than organizers. Hackett and Moerschel forced their way into the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, with a dozen others, the government said. Minuta came behind them with another group that fought officers inside, and Vallejo, an Army veteran, stayed with a stash of guns in a hotel in Virginia. Prosecutors said he repeatedly texted fellow conspirators that he was ready to join them at the Capitol but received no response.

When officers pushed Minuta and others out of the building, prosecutors said, he shouted “All that’s left is the Second Amendment!” The Oath Keepers met for dinner after the riot at an Olive Garden in Virginia and began planning their next move, per the Post. But they scattered, one member said, when they heard federal agents were looking for them. The jury deliberated for about 15 hours over three days before returning its verdict Monday, per the New York Times. Hackett and Moerschel were acquitted of damaging Capitol doors. US District Judge Amit Mehta allowed all four to await sentencing while under house arrest.

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Now We Will Have Fiscal Responsibility

It is official the GOP is in control of the House and now that the Repubs are in power we will have what we have been promised….fiscal responsibility.

First if you believe this steaming pile of horse manure then I have a slightly used bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell you.

Their first fiscal response was to eliminate the metal detectors….next was to authorize smoking in the House….then came another give away for Ukraine….

Since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine less than one year ago, Congress has approved more than $113 billion of aid and military assistance to support the Ukrainian government and allied nations. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 omnibus appropriations package included an additional $47.3 billion of emergency funding to provide humanitarian, military, and economic assistance to Ukraine on top of the $65.8 billion of funding already approved in three other emergency funding packages enacted by Congress.

Of the $113 billion approved in 2022, about three-fifths ($67 billion) has been allocated toward defense needs and the remaining two-fifths ($46 billion) to nondefense concerns such as general Ukrainian government aid, economic support, and aid for refugee resettlement. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provided cost estimates of the four funding packages at the time each was passed. In total, CBO estimated that $6.6 billion of the $113 billion would be spent in FY 2022 and another $37.7 billion in FY 2023. Furthermore, CBO estimated more than half of the approved funds would be spent by the end of FY 2024 and more than three-fourths by the end of FY 2026.

(crfb.org)

So where will the fiscal responsibility kick in?

Republicans in Congress have been eager to position themselves as the fiscally responsible counterweight to what they consider budget-busting and inflation-increasing overspending from the Biden administration. But just two weeks into their new majority, House Republicans have shown their true colors, and it’s more likely than not that they will make our nation’s fiscal problems even worse.

The first bill passed by the new majority would repeal $71 billion in new funding for taxpayer services and enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that Democrats passed last Congress. But an official score from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that this bill would also reduce revenue collections by $186 billion over the next decade because it would undermine the agency’s ability to make wealthy tax cheats pay what they owe.As a result, the first act by the new House majority would actually increase deficits by roughly $114 billion.

New House majority shows its true colors on ‘fiscal responsibility’

Nice to see nothing will change…the GOP will be all talk with little or no action.

“Fiscal Responsibility” is demon-speak for attacks on social programs that benefit the population.

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“lego ergo scribo”

SCOTUS Update

The Supreme Court will be putting together their agenda and a couple of the issues that could make the docket….

The Supreme Court could change the way the internet is governed next month. It will hear two cases that will challenge Section 230. Section 230 is a part of the Communications Decency Act. This act determines the rules for regulating online speech. This hearing is the first time the Supreme Court has dealt with a case fighting the 1996 act. But if the plaintiffs win, they could change how the internet is operated and used. 

Both cases being tried in front of the supreme court involve using various social media platforms by terrorists. The court will decide if the owners of these social media platforms did enough to block terrorists from using their services to spread their message and recruit new members. The social media site, Youtube, is the main focus of this trial to see if they are protected under Section 230 for the algorithmic recommendation of content. 

The first case was filed by the parents of Nohemi Gonzalez, who was killed in a terrorist attack in Paris on November 2015. Her family believes that Youtube’s algorithms push ISIS videos into people’s scope by recommending them in the suggested videos section of their platform. It is well known that many terrorist groups, including ISIS, use YouTube to recruit members to their organization from the western world. 

One Supreme Court Ruling Could Change The Internet Entirely

The next update is one that seems to be in every agenda….something religious….

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it will hear Groff v. DeJoy, a case that could give religious conservatives an unprecedented new ability to dictate how their workplaces operate, and which workplace rules they will refuse to follow.

Yet Groff is also likely to overrule a previous Supreme Court decision that treated the interests of religious employees far more dismissively than federal law suggests that these workers should be treated.

The case, in other words, presents genuinely tricky questions about the limits of accommodating an employee’s religious beliefs. But those questions will be resolved by a Supreme Court that has shown an extraordinary willingness to bend the law in ways that benefit Christian-identified conservatives.

That could lead to a scenario in which the Court announces a new legal rule that disrupts the workplace — and that potentially places far too many burdens on non-religious employees.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/23559038/supreme-court-groff-dejoy-religion-twa-hardison-workplace

I have doubt that these paleo-conserv judges will do the wrong thing.

Finally remember that famous leak of a draft of the ruling on Rowe v Wade and the ensuing investigation into that leak?

Someone is likely breathing a sigh of relief. The Supreme Court said Thursday that it can’t figure out who leaked the bombshell draft opinion of the ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade. “It is not possible to determine the identity of any individual who may have disclosed the document or how the draft opinion ended up with Politico,” says the court’s unsigned report, per the Washington Post. “No one confessed to publicly disclosing the document and none of the available forensic and other evidence provided a basis for identifying any individual as the source of the document.”

A separate report by Supreme Court Marshal Gail Curley notes that nearly 100 court staffers were interviewed and all presented the it-wasn’t-me defense, reports NBC News. The investigation into the unprecedented leak eight months ago is not over, but the tone of the two reports suggests little hope of a breakthrough. “Investigators continue to review and process some electronic data that has been collected and a few other inquiries remain pending,” wrote Curley. “To the extent that additional investigation yields new evidence or leads, the investigators will pursue them.” Curley added that it’s unlikely anyone hacked the court’s computer system.

The country owes this person a debt of gratitude for the leak….it help show just how corrupt and uncaring these judicial slugs are towards the rights of the American people.

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