scharrison's blog

Trump, the grim reaper of the Republican Party

He's pushing people in both directions:

“The Patriot Party is a repudiation of the GOP for the central fact that they weren’t very supportive of the president, they had the majority once upon a time over the last four years, and they failed to do the things that need to be done for the American people.”

GOP leaders do have potentially more serious worries at the center-right of their party, however, as dozens of former officials, including people who have served as White House and congressional staff, met recently to discuss starting a breakaway political party to distance themselves from the Trump wing of the party, according to Reuters.

Go for it, you have my blessing. Split the party into three separate entities, and make sure you run Congressional candidates from all three as well. There will be a run on popcorn at grocery stores that will rival the Great Toilet Paper Crisis. Unfortunately, most of these Pro-Trumpers are pretty stupid:

Trial of George Floyd's killer set to begin

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All eyes are on Minneapolis, once again:

As soldiers prepared to take to the streets, the officer, Derek Chauvin, believed that the case against him was so devastating that he agreed to plead guilty to third-degree murder. As part of the deal, officials now say, he was willing to go to prison for more than 10 years. Local officials, scrambling to end the community’s swelling anger, scheduled a news conference to announce the deal.

But at the last minute, according to new details laid out by three law enforcement officials, the deal fell apart after William P. Barr, the attorney general at the time, rejected the arrangement.

The article claims that Barr nixed the plea deal because he thought it was too lenient, and would stir up public unrest. But after watching him in action supporting Trump for so long, I find that hard to believe. I think (it's possible) he wanted to force it to trial with harsher charges so the jury would fail to convict this cop. Whatever the case, a guilty verdict is not a foregone conclusion:

Large percentage of insurrectionists had "financial troubles"

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But efforts to make this a cause & effect are flawed:

Nearly 60 percent of the people facing charges related to the Capitol riot showed signs of prior money troubles, including bankruptcies, notices of eviction or foreclosure, bad debts, or unpaid taxes over the past two decades, according to a Washington Post analysis of public records for 125 defendants with sufficient information to detail their financial histories.

The group’s bankruptcy rate — 18 percent — was nearly twice as high as that of the American public, The Post found. A quarter of them had been sued for money owed to a creditor. And 1 in 5 of them faced losing their home at one point, according to court filings.

At the risk of coming off as "elitist," and with an acknowledgment that economic hardship is a reality that many Americans face each day, I categorically reject the "this is why they did it" explanation for attacking Congress:

Here we go again: Bo Hines plans to challenge Virginia Foxx

Another Madison Cawthorn but without the wheelchair:

Hines said football has helped prepare him for a possible future in Congress. Hines describes himself as a traditional pro-life, pro-Second Amendment conservative but said he has some differences with Foxx he plans to hammer.

"My constituents are worried about tech censorship," Hines said. "That's something I don't think Congresswoman Foxx has hit on much. ... We have a very America First agenda. We’re going to press that hard. I think the American people understand capitalism is the best way to grow the economy ... but also want fair trade."

I will leave that football comment alone so close after the Tom Brady Bowl, other than to say: It also prepared Gerald Ford for Congress, but apparently not for stair-climbing or snow-skiing. That "tech censorship" thing is either a whine about Trump being booted from Twitter, or Bo's buddies being forced to go to Parler for racist insurrectionist talk. Not home-schooled like Cawthorn, but he did graduate from a Christian high school. *sigh*

Detox: The missing bridge to opioid recovery

Becoming clean and staying clean are two separate issues:

Nationally, more than 81,000 Americans died from drug overdoses between May 2019 and May 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC noted that this was the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in a one-year period.

On Thursday, NC Attorney General Josh Stein announced a $573 million multi-state settlement with consulting firm, McKinsey & Company, as a result of the group’s alleged role in advising opioid manufacturers on how to promote their drugs. North Carolina will receive $19 million from that settlement, which Stein said will be used to address the consequences of opioid addiction in communities across the state.

Whether an addict ends up in the emergency room due to an overdose, or because of a mental health crisis associated with addiction (including withdrawal symptoms), that person is in critical need of detox. If going to the hospital is the first step, this is the second, and possibly the most critical one. Follow me down for a deeper look:

Minority advocates worry Jan. 6 Insurrection will spawn laws that hurt them

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They always get the sharp end of the stick:

“The answer ought to be to sort of pause. Because the instinct to do something is something I’m really quite afraid of,” said Maya Berry, executive director of the Arab American Institute, one of more than 130 civil and human rights organizations that say the FBI already has the tools it needs.

“White violence is consistently perpetuated and then used as justification for increased surveillance or increased state power against communities of color,” said 26-year-old Iranian American activist Hoda Katebi, who is Muslim, wears a headscarf and grew up defending herself against harassment and being called a terrorist in the years after Sept. 11, 2001.

I consider myself a supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but our current gun laws are a big mess. And "Open Carry" is one of the worst ideas that has emerged from the gun culture, and the lawmakers who embrace this trend have no business holding elected office. It has only served two main purposes; to intimidate other citizens, and to "normalize" dangerous and misanthropic behavior in the public square. Law enforcement has become inured to the inherent danger of open carry in our society, which is (of course) one of the main goals of these groups. Back to the potential statutory backlash of the failed coup:

Meadows likely being probed by FEC for campaign spending violations

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I call dibs on the new nickname Gourmet Cupcakes for Mark, but only if it makes him cry:

In October, the nonprofit government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) requesting an investigation into Meadows, based on a Salon report that detailed a series of apparent violations of the prohibition on using campaign funds for personal expenses.

Those payments covered gourmet cupcakes, grocery store purchases, a cell phone bill, posh meals and lodging at Donald Trump's Washington hotel, according to filings with the FEC. Meadows' campaign also spent thousands of dollars on "printed materials" at an upscale Washington-area custom jeweler on the day he left Congress for the White House. (The jewelry retailer has said it sells nothing that could be categorized that way.)

This is bad, but it's not as bad as using taxpayer dollars to golden parachute a serial sexual harasser. An FEC probe is nothing to scoff at, but it looks like Meadows may be facing more serious charges down the road from the Justice Department:

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