Wednesday, May 31, 2023

QOTD -- Neutering The Nuts

 

"... The deal pretty effectively neuters the Freedom Caucus and limits the damage House Republicans can do between now and Jan. 1, 2025. They can’t take the debt ceiling hostage again in the next year and a half, and they can’t shut down the government by refusing to complete spending bills without doing serious political damage to themselves.

"From a progressive perspective, the bill isn’t great, and most in the Progressive Caucus probably won’t support it. They don’t have to. There will be enough Republican votes and votes from other Democrats to pass the bill. From a political and economic stability perspective, the bill is fantastic. It averts economic catastrophe and neutralizes the Freedom Caucus in one go. In other words, Biden wins in a big way." -- Joan McCarter at Daily Kos, in a pretty fair summation of the debt ceiling deal moving through the full House today, then the Senate on its way to President Biden's desk.


Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Dave Granlund, politicalcartoons.com)

(Walt Handelsman, The Times-Picayune, New Orleans)

(Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune)

(Jimmy Margulies, jimmymargulies.com)

(Andy Marlette, Creators.com)

(John Branch, Houston Chronicle)

(Paul Fell, Artizans.com)

(Jen Sorensen, gocomics.com)

(Patrick Chappatte, Le Temps, Geneva)

(Peter Kuper, The New Yorker)


Tweets Of The Day


Ultra MAGAts folding like cheap suits --

 


A MAGA skill set (afflicting the afflicted) --

 

 

 

Not a MAGA skill set --

 

 

The targets (yes)  multiply --

 

 

 

 

A century- old lesson that the "anti- woke" crowd wouldn't want you to learn about --

 


The Malignant Loser turns on a faithful boot- licker ("milktoast"(sic))--

 

 

 

Another boot- licker thinks he's going to shake up the race --


 

Time marches on --

 

 

 

Mid-Week Song

 

Amber Mary Bain, better known professionally as The Japanese House, has a second album coming out at the end of June, after a four year hiatus. She chose the name after a Japanese-style house in Cornwall, England, once owned by Kate Winslet,  that she stayed in on vacation with her family. We have a track from her new album as today's song: "Sunshine Baby." Enjoy.



Sentencing The Insurrectionists -- "Warrior Inside" To Be Inside Prison

 



Another day, another treasonous MAGAt gets their comeuppance:

A Pennsylvania restaurant owner who screamed death threats directed at then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi while storming the U.S. Capitol was sentenced on Tuesday to more than two years in prison.

Pauline Bauer was near Pelosi’s office suite on Jan. 6, 2021, when she yelled at police officers to bring out the California Democrat so the mob of Donald Trump supporters could hang her.

In January, U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden convicted Bauer of riot-related charges after hearing trial testimony without a jury. The judge sentenced her to two years and three months of imprisonment, giving her credit for the several months she already has served in jail, court records show.

Prosecutors had recommended a prison sentence of six years and six months for Bauer, 55, of Kane, Pennsylvania.

Bauer was part of the mob that forced police officers on the East Plaza to retreat. After forcing her way into the Capitol, she accosted officers who were trying to secure the Rotunda, shoving one of them, and yelled at police to “bring them out or we’re coming in,” according to federal prosecutors.

“They’re criminals. They need to hang,” she screamed. “Bring Nancy Pelosi out here now. We want to hang (her). Bring her out.”

Other rioters shouted threats against Pelosi while they roamed through the Capitol.

“Bauer’s threat to hang Speaker Pelosi was real, imminent, and placed the Speaker of the House in danger,” prosecutor James Peterson wrote in a court filing.  [snip]

McFadden convicted Bauer of all five counts in her indictment, including a felony charge that she obstructed the Jan. 6 joint session of Congress that certified President Joe Biden’s 2020 electoral victory.

Defense attorney Komron Jon Maknoon said Bauer never intended to interfere with the process of certifying the Electoral College vote. She “genuinely regrets her past actions” and doesn’t pose a threat to the public, her lawyer said.  [Ed., we seriously doubt that -- read on.]

“The international spotlight showcasing her at her worst has deeply affected her,” Maknoon wrote.

Prosecutors said Bauer lied during her trial testimony, giving a bogus explanation for her confrontation with police and claiming she didn’t remember threatening Pelosi.

Bauer has used “sovereign citizen” extremist rhetoric and filed “nonsense” court documents while defending herself, prosecutors said.   [snip]

More than a year before the trial, McFadden ordered Bauer to be jailed for several months for violating conditions of her release. She had claimed the court has no authority over her and told the judge that she doesn’t want “any lawyering from the bench.”...

The unrepentant MAGAt Bauer owns a restaurant named "Bob's Trading Post," which could more appropriately be named "Bob's Traitor Post."

The FBI is still looking for many of the insurrectionist morons.  Check out their web site to see if anyone looks familiar.

(Photo:  "Warrior Inside" Bauer at "Bob's Trading Traitor Post" with fellow thing/ AP photo)


North Korea's Spy Satellite Launch Fizzles

 

North Korea's launch of its first spy satellite ended in failure as the rocket plunged into the sea shortly after launch. From the Associated Press:

"The newly developed Chollima-1 rocket was launched at 6:37 a.m. at the North’s Sohae Satellite Launching Ground in the northwest, carrying the Malligyong-1 satellite. The rocket crashed off the Korean Peninsula’s western coast after it lost thrust following the separation of its first and second stages, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

South Korea’s military said the North Korean rocket had 'an abnormal flight' before it fell in the water. Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters that no object was believed to have reached space.

North Korean media said the country’s space agency will investigate what it calls 'the serious defects revealed' by the launch and conduct a second launch as soon as possible." (our emphasis)

You can bet that there will be deadly repercussions for the managers of that defective launch, since it was widely promoted by the regime as a major event. The failed launch also set off alarms in South Korea and Japan, where residents briefly took shelter.

In launching the satellite, North Korea again violated international resolutions that ban use of ballistic technology by the regime. With every launch, North Korea is gaining knowledge of long-range ballistic missile technology of the kind that could enable it to build intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching North America.

 

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Biden Accuser Tara Reade Defects To Russia


News item:

Tara Reade, a former Senate aide who accused President Joe Biden of sexual assault, announced Tuesday she defected to Russia.

The shocking confession was made during a Russian state press conference, where Reade was sitting next to alleged Kremlin spy—and pal—Maria Butina. Reade told the pro-Putin press the “very difficult” decision to move came after the realization that she no longer feels safe in Biden's America.

“I'm still kind of in a daze a bit but I feel very good,” Reade told Sputnik. “I feel very surrounded by protection and safety. And I just really so appreciate Maria [Butina] and everyone who's been giving me that at a time when it's been very difficult to know if I'm safe or not.”

“You have U.S. and European citizens looking for safe haven here,” Reade added. “And luckily, the Kremlin is accommodating. So we're lucky.”

This deeply disturbed person is a self- admitted admirer and "supporter" of war criminal Putin.  Some have speculated she was part of a Russian disinformation campaign, wittingly or unwittingly, when she made her debunked claims three years ago about being sexually assaulted by President Biden in 1993 -- a curiously- timed claim likely intended to enable Republicans to "both- sides" that claim with the 20+ claims of sexual assault and rape against the Malignant Loser.

Regardless, she's now made her bed.  Good riddance to bad rubbish.


Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Stanfil, ragingpencils.com)

(Pat Byrnes, caglecartoons.com)

(Dave Whamond, caglecartoons.com)

(John Deering, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

(Drew Sheneman, The Star-Ledger, Newark, NJ)

(Michael Ramirez, Las Vegas Review-Journal)

(Tim Campbell, Counterpoint)

(Frank Hansen, caglecartoons.com)

(Clay Jones, claytoonz.com)

(Jeff Darcy, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

(Frank Cotham, The New Yorker)


Tweets Of The Day


And the defamation will go on with new lawyers --



Debt limit hostage takers in a lather -- 


 

 


Interested to see what dollar amount Qevin places on "wokeism" --



Bootsie on the "indigestion tour" of Iowa. Will there be pudding? -- 



Marjorie Traitor Green has a fan -- 



Christofascist cancel culture in action --



Chalking up another one of war criminal Putin's miscalculations -- 



Hope they had enough chips and pretzels -- 


 

 

Trump Legal Team: Knives Are Out

 

The so-called "legal team" around the Malignant Loser is looking more like the "legal team" of a crime family boss. As the Malignant Loser comes closer to indictments for mishandling classified documents, obstruction, and seditious conspiracy on the Federal side and election fraud and racketeering in Georgia, his legal team is looking around to see if one of them (or more) is providing info on the Malignant Loser to authorities. From Salon.com:

"Five sources with direct knowledge of the situation told the outlet that clashing personalities and the threat that they could face legal jeopardy themselves has 'sown deep divisions that have only worsened in recent months.' Attorney Tim Parlatore left the team earlier this month after throwing another member of Trump's team, Boris Ephsteyn, under the bus — but sources told the outlet his departure may only be the beginning.

'There's a lot of lawyers and a lot of jealousy,' a member of Trump's legal team told The Daily Beast, adding that the number of lawyers representing a single client accused of so many crimes is unprecedented.'

As special counsel Jack Smith's team targets multiple Trump attorneys in his investigations, Trump's lawyers 'seem to be questioning whether their colleagues may actually turn into snitches,' the report added.

Smith's team successfully pierced attorney-client privilege claims invoked by Trump attorney Evan Corcoran after arguing that the former president may have used his services to further a crime. Prosecutors interviewed Corcoran before a grand jury about topics he previously refused to discuss and obtained his notes about discussions with the former president.

Trump's legal team has also groused about Ephsteyn, who has described himself as Trump's in-house counsel, which sources ridiculed and compared it to how mob boss John Gotti's lawyer described his services, according to the report."  (our emphasis) 

Ephsteyn, born in the Soviet Union in 1982, would seem to be the perfect lawyer for the Russia-loving Malignant Loser, seeking to protect both his client and the country of his birth. A hack who often appears on far right media platforms, Ephsteyn has been involved in Republican / Sedition / Shooters party circles, along with the likes of felon Paul Manafort, for decades. As a source cited in this article says:

"'Boris pissed off all the Florida lawyers. People are dropping like flies. Everybody hates him. He's a toxic loser. He's a complete psycho,' a source told The Daily Beast. 'He's got daddy issues, and Trump is his daddy.'"  (our emphasis)

With a "team" like that, why not go right to sentencing?

 

QOTD -- The Debt Ceiling Ritual

 

"...The biggest win of all, for the nation, is that apparently we get a nearly two-year respite from this ridiculous game. Congress or the president should use that time to eliminate the debt ceiling once and for all.  [snip]

"Democrats should have tried to do away with the debt ceiling when they controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress. After this agreement is signed and sealed, Biden should look for a way to have the Supreme Court decide whether the 14th Amendment makes the debt ceiling unconstitutional, as some legal scholars believe.

"Reasonable people need to stop the madness. One of these times, unreasonable people will miscalculate — and deal the nation a crippling self-inflicted blow."-- Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post on the debt ceiling hostage- taking game, and what needs to be done about it.  Only the U.S. and Denmark have a debt ceiling that's set at an absolute amount rather than as a percentage of GDP.

Where we would depart from Robinson is in entertaining any thought that the Republican Supreme Court would be a venue that could rule favorably on the 14th Amendment issue.  


Texas Passes Election Law Targeting Democratic Stronghold

 



ICYMI over the weekend, the anti- democracy yahoos in Texass are continuing their rear guard action to defend Christofascism in their state:

Texas Republicans wound down their regular legislative session Sunday by changing election policies for a single populous Democratic stronghold but not other parts of the state.

The measure gives the secretary of state under certain conditions the power to run elections in Harris County, home to Houston and 4.8 million residents. It follows a bill approved days earlier that shifts the oversight of elections from its appointed elections administrator to the county clerk and county assessor.

Harris County officials at a news conference last week said they would bring a lawsuit challenging the measures as soon as Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signs them into law.

“These bills are not about election reform,” said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the county’s chief executive. “They’re not about improving voters’ experience. They are entirely about suppressing voters’ voices. The reasoning behind these bills is nothing but a cynical charade.”

Also over recent days, the Republican-controlled legislature passed bills increasing penalties for illegal voting and likely setting the stage for the state to withdraw from the Electronic Registration Information Center. The center was formed in 2012 to help states maintain accurate voter rolls, identify instances of potential fraud and contact people so they can register to vote. More than half the states belong to the consortium, but some Republican-run states have bolted from it over the last year as election deniers have spread false information about its work.

The new law seemingly violates the Texass Constitution, not that that would stop the vote suppressors, who are being real clever:

The Texas Constitution, like those in many states, bars the legislature from passing laws that apply only to specific jurisdictions. Harris County officials said they would use that provision of the state constitution to challenge the legislation targeting their county.

Whether they succeed will be up to the courts. The legislation does not mention Harris County by name. Instead, one bill is written to apply to counties of more than 3.5 million and the other to counties of more than 4 million. Harris County is the only county that meets those thresholds.

“We’re suing the state of Texas to protect Harris County, to protect Harris County residents, to protect our public officials and to stop the state from targeting us,” Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee said during last week’s news conference.

We wish them well, but given how the Christofascists have salted the state courts with their own, even having the law and the state Constitution on your side might not be enough.

What's happened in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia, once red states now purple, is what Christofascist Republicans in Texass see coming in the distance.  It might take longer to happen than it did in those other states, but it will happen there, too.

If you want to help Harris County Democrats fight voter suppression, you can make a donation here.

(Photo:  Gabriel C. PΓ©rez / KUT News)

 

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day 2023

 

 

Today, Memorial Day, we remember and honor the men and women who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day became an official federal holiday in 1971.

We're taking time off today to be with family and to reflect on the service of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.


Sunday, May 28, 2023

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Jellyfish Galaxy


(click on image to enlarge)


From NASA/ ESA, May 22, 2023: The jellyfish galaxy JW39 hangs serenely in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This galaxy lies over 900 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices, and is one of several jellyfish galaxies that Hubble has been studying over the past two years.

Despite this jellyfish galaxy’s serene appearance, it is adrift in a ferociously hostile environment; a galaxy cluster. Compared to their more isolated counterparts, the galaxies in galaxy clusters are often distorted by the gravitational pull of larger neighbours, which can twist galaxies into a variety of weird and wonderful shapes. If that was not enough, the space between galaxies in a cluster is also pervaded with a searingly hot plasma known as the intracluster medium. While this plasma is extremely tenuous, galaxies moving through it experience it almost like swimmers fighting against a current, and this interaction can strip galaxies of their star-forming gas.

This interaction between the intracluster medium and the galaxies is called ram-pressure stripping, and is the process responsible for the trailing tendrils of this jellyfish galaxy. As JW39 has moved through the cluster the pressure of the intracluster medium has stripped away gas and dust into long trailing ribbons of star formation that now stretch away from the disc of the galaxy.

Astronomers using Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 studied these trailing tendrils in detail, as they are a particularly extreme environment for star formation. Surprisingly, they found that star formation in the ‘tentacles’ of jellyfish galaxies was not noticeably different from star formation in the galaxy disc.

[Image Description: A spiral galaxy. It is large in the centre with a lot of detail visible. The core glows brightly and is surrounded by concentric rings of dark and light dust. The spiral arms are thick and puffy with grey dust and glowing blue areas of star formation. They wrap around the galaxy to form a ring. Part of the arm is drawn out into a dark thread above the galaxy, and dust from the arm trails off to the right.]

Credit:   ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. Gullieuszik and the GASP team


Today's Cartoons

 

(click on images to enlarge)


(Robert Ariail, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, SC)

(John Cole, GeorgiaRecorder.com)

(James MacLeod, @MacLToons.com)

(Jeff Stahler, gocomics.com)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)


(Rick McKee, caglecartoons.com)

(Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun)

(Christopher Weyant, Boston Globe)

(David Sipress, @dsipress)