Donald Trump

First defendant sentenced for Insurrection gets probation

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Not the type of standard that should be set:

In seeking probation for Lloyd, prosecutors noted that she was not involved in any violence and destruction or preplanning and coordination of the Capitol breach. Lloyd was invited by her hairdresser to drive to Washington to hear Trump speak, her attorney wrote in court documents.

U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said he was giving her a “break,” but didn’t want others to think that probation — and not a stiffer sentence — would be the norm. “Legally, I could give you the six months, but is that really what we want our judiciary to do?” the judge asked.

Actually, that's exactly what we want our judiciary to do. I don't care who "invited" her to DC, or what her original intentions were. She ended up inside the Capitol building, and that act simply must have consequences. Those who planned and plotted the Insurrection would not have (could not have) overwhelmed police and succeeded in breaching Congress without hundreds just like her, and giving her a "break" could easily lead to a future breakdown of our democracy. And I am sick and tired of the excuses and calls for sympathy for these people:

Congress set to dial back Presidential war powers

Should have been done a long time ago:

The Democratic-led House, with the backing of President Joe Biden, is expected to approve legislation to repeal the 2002 authorization for use of military force in Iraq, a step supporters say is necessary to constrain presidential war powers even though it is unlikely to affect U.S. military operations around the world.

A vote on Thursday would come one day after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he intends to bring repeal legislation to the Senate floor this year. “The Iraq War has been over for nearly a decade,” Schumer said. “The authorization passed in 2002 is no longer necessary in 2021.”

Actually, the Iraq War was over shortly after it started, at least it should have been. What happened after that was occupation and insurgency, coupled with sectarian violence between Shia and Sunni elements, all of which was predictable. The 2002 Authorization should never have passed in the first place, but the anger over 9/11 was still fresh, and we didn't have our pound of flesh yet in Afghanistan. All that being said, if you want to sell something to a split Senate, sometimes you need to hold your tongue:

NC GOP unveils "election integrity" committee to attack voting rights

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Soon to be renamed "Buck's Clusterf**k":

The committee will be chaired by Buck Newton, a former state senator from Wilson who ran unsuccessfully for attorney general in 2016. Other members include GOP officials, lawyers and political consultants from across the state.

During a panel at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Whatley said the absence of voter fraud in North Carolina last fall was due to the NCGOP’s disproportionate spending on legal resources — the party spent three-quarters of its annual operating budget on legal expenditures, he said — to scrutinize the electoral process.

And a big chunk of those legal expenditures went to arguing in the (US) Supreme Court that a deadline extension on receipt of mail-in ballots, made necessary by Louis DeJoy's relentless attacks on the US Postal Service, was unnecessary and an invitation to voting fraud. Or something along those lines. But guess what? Republican voters were strongly represented in those late mail-in ballots:

Judge rips Trump for continuing election disinformation

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The NC GOP needs to pay close attention to this:

A U.S. judge said there is a risk that Donald Trump's supporters could still carry out attacks similar to the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol, noting the former president's "near-daily fulminations" about his election loss have not subsided.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson made the remark in a written decision on Wednesday explaining why she would continue to jail Cleveland Meredith Jr. while he awaits trial on charges that he texted about "putting a bullet" in U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's head.

Recently the NC Republican Party announced that Trump's speech(es) at their 2021 Convention would be open to the public and media outlets, and you can bet he will spew more of this "election was stolen!" garbage once that mic is turned on. That convention begins 3 days from now, turning Greenville into a circus town. More from the judge:

Drop in vaccinations has GOP stink all over it

All our progress could be at risk:

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy doesn’t line up with the H1N1 polling, nor with standard patterns of hesitancy—for example, crunchy left-wing opposition to childhood vaccinations. But the patterns do line up with resistance to mask wearing and stay-at-home orders.

In other words, the pattern of resistance to the coronavirus vaccines looks less like COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and more like COVID-19 denialism. While a significant chunk of Americans profess to be uneasy about getting shots to prevent COVID-19, most come from the swath of the population that has tended to downplay the disease’s severity and to resist other measures to fight it, rather than the swaths that have resisted vaccines for other diseases.

Bolding mine, because these people have literally painted themselves into a corner. They fought against masks, they fought against quarantine, they fought against closing businesses and schools, and now that a vaccine is available to them, their stubbornness is keeping them from getting it. They've been downplaying this thing so long, getting a shot would feel like admitting they've been a idiot all along. I got my second shot Tuesday (That's me in the pic above), and the place was desolate compared to a few weeks ago. Could just be a coincidence, but I don't think so. More from the idiocracy:

Mark Meadows is neck-deep in Georgia criminal probe

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Subtlety was never one of his stronger suits:

In late December, as then-U.S. President Donald Trump falsely alleged that rampant voter fraud caused his Georgia election loss, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows made an unexpected visit to an Atlanta suburb, hoping to observe an audit of thousands of voter signatures.

The Georgia secretary of state’s office said it had just 45 minutes notice of Meadows’ arrival in Cobb County, and it barred him from the room where state investigators were examining the absentee ballot signatures.

The term "hubris" comes to mind, but it's more than just that. Meadows spent a great deal of his time in Congress strong-arming fellow Representatives into doing his bidding, outside of normal leadership channels, eventually leading him to try a failed coup of John Boehner. Who has since described Meadows as an "Idiot and anarchist." And it's looking more and more like the hard-press of Georgia's Secretary of State was instigated by Meadows himself, as opposed to just doing what Trump wanted:

Democracy on hold: Late Census data puts NC Municipal elections in limbo

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And you can thank the incompetent Trump administration for the delay:

Raleigh, Cary and other North Carolina cities like Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem, may have to push back their 2021 local elections and keep current local leaders in office past their original terms. Cities that elect local leaders by district must update those districts after every new U.S. Census.

On Friday the U.S. Census Bureau announced it won’t be releasing district data until Sept. 30, which is after the traditional filing date for candidates to run in this year’s elections.

Just to give you an idea of how bad this is, most municipal redistricting plans are finalized by mid-June. They won't even be able to start the process until a few days before many of them would be holding the actual election. Raleigh held its 2011 municipal election on October 11th of that year, and they scheduled this year's for the 5th. And I have to say, this statement brought a face-palm and an eye-rub:

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:

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