The Jury Talks Back

10/31/2019

Turkey (And Rep. Ilhan Omar) Unhappy Over Armenian Genocide Resolution

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:52 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I would expect nothing less from Turkey:

Turkey has summoned the U.S. ambassador after lawmakers in Washington voted to recognize Ottoman-era mass killings of Armenians as a genocide and called for sanctions against Ankara.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution recognizing the genocide — which Ankara denies — and passed a bill aiming to impose fresh sanctions on Turkey over its military operation against Syrian Kurdish forces.

In response, the Turkish government on Wednesday morning summoned David Satterfield, the U.S. representative in Ankara, the state news agency Anadolu reported.

The Turkish foreign ministry rejected the genocide recognition as “meaningless” and “devoid of any historical or legal basis” in a statement issued late Tuesday, suggesting that lawmakers had approved the resolution to “take vengeance” against Turkey over its incursion into Syria.

“Undoubtedly, this resolution will negatively affect the image of the U.S. before the public opinion of Turkey as it also brings the dignity of the U.S. House of Representatives into disrepute,” the statement added.

Turkey continues to deny that a genocide took place:

The Armenian genocide — the massacre and deportation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians at the hands of Ottoman Turks in 1915 — is a sensitive issue in Turkey.

Turkey accepts that many Armenians in the Ottoman Empire died during World War I, but denies that the killings were systematic and firmly rejects the label genocide.

And speaking of expecting nothing less, Rep. Ilhan Omar was the only Democrat to vote “present” on the Armenian genocide resolution. When criticized for her decision, her office took the opportunity to politicize that which she claims should not be politicized:

I believe accountability for human rights violations — especially ethnic cleansing and genocide — is paramount. But accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as cudgel in a political fight. It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics. A true acknowledgment of historical crimes against humanity must include both the heinous genocides of the 20th century, along with earlier mass slaughters like the transatlantic slave trade and Native American genocide, which took the lives of hundreds of millions of indigenous people in this country. For this reason, I voted ‘present’ on final passage of H.Res. 296, the resolution Affirming the Unites States record on the Armenian Genocide.

Because the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians and Christian minorities on its own, doesn’t constitute a genocide on its own, I guess. However, when you consider both Omar’s “present” vote and vote against sanctioning Turkey after its military actions against the Kurdish forces in light of her affinity for Turkey’s President Erdogan, it all makes sense, unpleasant as it may be.

And about that “academic consensus” blather, how does Omar not understand that by acknowledging and recognizing that one genocide took place, does not negate that others have taken place as well:

The mention of an “academic consensus” being necessary for recognition is perplexing, given the consensus among historians that the genocide is historical fact. To dispute the existence of this consensus is shameful and akin to denial. For Omar to invoke a “whataboutist” argument, as she does in mentioning Native Americans, similarly discounts the matter that she was expected to consider exclusively when the resolution was on the House floor. Genocide-denial tactics used by Turkey include attacking the motivations of the truth teller. Omar does the same thing by framing this bill as a political cudgel (which it’s not — H.Res. 296 was introduced in April). An acknowledgment of the Armenian genocide does not preclude an acknowledgment of any other genocides, and Omar could have voiced her opinion on the atrocities she cites after voting to recognize the one that her colleagues resoundingly voted in favor or formally recognizing.

Omar’s decision, as well as the decision of eleven Republicans to oppose the bill, fails to live up to the role of a witness of justice. There is no justice without recognition, and opposing measures that aim to affirm the U.S.’ stance as a protector of the persecuted is dishonorable. Victims of genocide die two deaths. Once at the hands of their persecutor, and again when the genocide is denied.

P.S. Shame on the 11 Republicans who voted against the resolution.

–Dana

10/30/2019

On Republicans Who Say They Are “Forced” to Defend Trump

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:54 am

Washington Post:

Trump dismissed Vindman as a “Never Trumper,” while some of his allies questioned the patriotism of the Army combat veteran because his family emigrated from the Soviet Union when he was 3.

Trump’s attack on the Purple Heart recipient unnerved Republicans in Congress, with several pushing back, albeit without naming the president. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) called the offensive “misplaced and very unfortunate,” and said he had “full confidence” in Vindman “as an individual and his patriotism.”

The response from Trump’s party created an unusual dynamic in which Republicans were defending a man who was simultaneously accusing the president of undermining national security for his own political purposes. Privately, several Republicans found Vindman’s testimony to be damaging and lamented that once again they were forced to defend the president.

The GOP reaction to Vindman comes as the party faces frontal attacks on two of its major talking points in Trump’s defense. Vindman’s account of the phone call deprives Republicans of the complaint that the witnesses called by Democrats have relied on hearsay when discussing the president’s interactions with Zelensky. And as Democrats moved to vote on a resolution to hold open hearings on impeachment, Republicans faced the prospect of losing their complaint that the inquiry is being conducted in secret.

Read that sentence in bold again: “Privately, several Republicans found Vindman’s testimony to be damaging and lamented that once again they were forced to defend the president.”

“Forced.”

Ain’t nobody forcing you guys to do anything. You could just speak up and say what you actually think, in front of God and everyone.

We’re watching, in real time, the same dynamic that has allowed far worse things to happen in history: people refuse to speak up because they are scared. It sounds easy to speak up, of course — until you realize that everyone you know who has spoken up … is gone. Gone from the party, gone from Washington D.C., gone from political life and everything they worked a lifetime for.

So, yeah. This takes more than a bit of courage.

Still, all you’re really being asked to do is to say what you think is true. If you can’t remotely begin to think about doing that, why are you even there?

10/29/2019

Lt. Col. Vindman: The Ukraine Transcript Is Missing Some Important Lines

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:44 pm

This morning we were told, amidst seemingly coordinated talking points about Vindman’s “affinity” for Ukraine, that we didn’t need to hear from Vindman because everyone can read the “perfect” transcript.

But what if the perfect transcript is … missing something?

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, told House impeachment investigators on Tuesday that the White House transcript of a July call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president omitted crucial words and phrases, and that his attempts to restore them failed, according to three people familiar with the testimony.

The omissions, Colonel Vindman said, included Mr. Trump’s assertion that there were recordings of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. discussing Ukraine corruption, and an explicit mention by Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, of Burisma Holdings, the energy company whose board employed Mr. Biden’s son Hunter.

Colonel Vindman, who appeared on Capitol Hill wearing his dark blue Army dress uniform and military medals, told House impeachment investigators that he tried to change the reconstructed transcript made by the White House staff to reflect the omissions. But while some of his edits appeared to have been successful, he said, those two corrections were not made.

As the House prepares tomorrow to end the Republicans’ whining about how there has been no formal vote for an impeachment inquiry — a vote that will usher in a new era of Republican lawmakers focusing on the facts misleadingly whining about other alleged procedural shortcomings — let’s hope there is a new focus on getting to the bottom of whether Vindman is right about what is missing from the transcript.

There Is Nothing That Can’t Be “Woke” – Including Math

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:23 am

[guest post by Dana]

Because you knew that, eventually, even math would be sucked up into that swirling vortex of silly wokeness and that a city like Seattle would be the place to birth the movement in public school curriculum :

Seattle’s four-page framework is still in the proposal stage. If adopted, its ideas will be included in existing math classes as part of the district’s broader effort to infuse ethnic studies into all subjects across the K-12 spectrum. Tracy Castro-Gill, Seattle’s ethnic studies director, said her team hopes to have frameworks completed in all subjects by June for board approval.

If the frameworks are approved, teachers would be expected to incorporate those ideas and questions into the math they teach beginning next fall, Castro-Gill said. No districtwide—or mandated—math/ethnic studies curriculum is planned, but groups of teachers are working with representatives of local community organizations to write instructional units for teachers to use if they wish, she said.

“Seattle is definitely on the forefront with this,” said Robert Q. Berry III, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. “What they’re doing follows the line of work we hope we can move forward as we think about the history of math and who contributes to that, and also about deepening students’ connection with identity and agency.”

But seriously, when “power and oppression” and “history of resistance and liberation” become a focal point in math curriculum, is it still really math being taught?

Anyway, Robby Soave rightly observes:

[H]aving read over the proposed framework, I have to say that it does seem fairly terrible. It’s chock full of social justice jargon that sounds smart but is actually vapid. What does it mean to decode mathematical “beauty” or “identify how the development of mathematics has been erased from learning in school?” (Has it been erased? That seems like a problem for history class.) The guidance says it will “re-humanize mathematics through experiential learning” and facilitate learning “independently and interdependently.” That’s a fancy way of saying almost nothing at all.

The guidance also includes some extremely political, simplistic talking points that might be popular among activist academics but are in reality somewhat dubious. This is verbatim from the proposal: Students will be able to “identify the inherent inequities of the standardized testing system used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color,” “explain how math has been used to exploit natural resources,” and “explain how math dictates economic oppression.” Each of these statements are debatable, but they are not being presented as such. It would be one thing to hold a class discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of standardized testing, but what’s happening here is that students are being trained to reject standardized testing due to its “inherent inequity,” which is asserted as some kind of proven fact.

Having read over the proposed framework myself, and given that I was one of those students who struggled to solve for X, I don’t think this woke math would have helped me out. Instead, I think I would have seen it as just more gibberish on top of the already undecipherable gibberish taunting me from my Algebra book.

–Dana

Lt. Col. Vindman Gives Opening Statement, Trump-Supporting Media Personalities Question His Patriotism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:47 am

[guest post by Dana]

In spite of some disturbing commentary coming from Trump-supporting media personalities implying that the patriotism and loyalty of immigrants – even those who arrived here as toddlers – is suspect, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander S. Vindman gave his opening statement regarding activities relating to Ukraine that are now under investigation. Here are some excerpts. There is plenty of commentary to be found, but I wanted to post his own words.

Personal background:

I have dedicated my entire professional life to the United States of America. For more than two decades, it has been my honor to serve as an officer in the United States Army. As an infantry officer, I served multiple overseas tours…In Iraq, I was wounded in an IED attack and awarded a Purple Heart…Since 2008, I have been a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia. In this role, I have served in the United States’ embassies in Kiev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia. In Washington, D.C., I was a politico-military affairs officer for Russia for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs where I authored the principle strategy for managing competition with Russia. In July 2018, I was asked to serve at the National Security Council…My family fled the Soviet Union when I was three and a half years old. Upon arriving in New York City in 1979, my father worked multiple jobs to support us, all the while learning English at night. He stressed to us the importance of fully integrating into our adopted country. For many years, life was quite difficult. In spite of our challenging beginnings, my family worked to build its own American dream. I have a deep appreciation for American values and ideals and the power of freedom. I am a patriot, and it is my sacred duty and honor to advance and defend OUR country, irrespective of party or politics.

He then makes it very clear that his testimony is voluntary, and that he is not the whistleblower, nor does he know the identity of the whistleblower.

About the July 2010 meeting with Ukraine officials In Washington, D.C.:

On July 10, 2019, Oleksandr Danylyuk, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council for Ukraine, visited Washington, D.C. for a meeting with National Security Advisor Bolton. Ambassadors Volker and Sondland also attended, along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry.

The meeting proceeded well until the Ukrainians broached the subject of a meeting between the two presidents. The Ukrainians saw this meeting as critically important in order to solidify the support of their most important international partner. Amb. Sondland started to speak about Ukraine delivering specific investigations in order to secure the meeting with the President, at which time Ambassador Bolton cut the meeting short.

Following this meeting, there was a scheduled debriefing during which Amb. Sondland emphasized the importance that Ukraine deliver the investigations into the 2016 election, the Bidens, and Burisma. I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push. Dr. Hill then entered the room and asserted to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate.

Following the debriefing meeting, I reported my concerns to the NSC’s lead counsel. Dr. Hill also reported the incident to the NSC’s lead counsel.

About the election phone call:

On July 21, 2019, President Zelenskyy’s party won Parliamentary elections in a landslide victory. The NSC proposed that President Trump call President Zelenskyy to congratulate him.

On July 25, 2019, the call occurred. I listened in on the call in the Situation Room with colleagues from the NSC and the office of the Vice President. As the transcript is in the public record, we are all aware of what was said.

I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. government’s support of Ukraine. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained. This would all undermine U.S. national security. Following the call, I again reported my concerns to NSC’s lead counsel.

President Trump reacts this morning:

Vindman is giving his testimony behind closed doors today.

–Dana

10/28/2019

Judge Rules Nick Sandmann’s Lawsuit Against Washington Post Can Be Reopened

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:02 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I sure didn’t expect this. The decision comes with limits, however :

After reviewing an amended complaint, Judge William Bertelsman ordered Monday that the case could enter the discovery phase and hence a portion of the lawsuit against the newspaper could continue.

Nick and his attorneys had alleged that the gist of a Washington Post article conveyed that Nick had assaulted or physically intimidated Nathan Phillips and engaged in racist conduct after the Right to Life March in Washington D.C. on Jan. 18.

[…]

Sandmann’s lawyers argue that the Washington Post incorrectly characterized the teen as the aggressor in the situation and exposed him to public ridicule.

Bertelsman said in the order that he stands by his decision that 30 of the 33 statements Sandmann’s lawyers argued were libelous were not, but that “justice requires” further review of three of the statements.

“These three statements state that (Sandmann) ‘blocked’ Nathan Phillips and ‘would not allow him to retreat,'” the order reads.

The judge’s order that discovery can continue means Sandmann’s legal team can make requests for internal Washington Post documents concerning the events like emails and communications between editors and reporters.

The Sandmann family and their lawyer count this as a huge victory:

Attorney Todd V. McMurtry, who represents the Sandmann family with attorney L. Lin Wood, called the judge’s order a “huge victory.”

“The Sandmann family and our legal team are grateful that Judge Bertelsman has allowed the case to proceed,” said Mr. McMurtry in an email. “The Court’s ruling preserves the heart of the Nicholas Sandmann’s claims. We can consider this a huge victory and look forward to initiating discovery against the Washington Post.”

As a reminder, two separate defamation lawsuits have been filed against CNN and NBCUniversal by the Sandmann’s lawyer. Both media outlets deny that they defamed Sandmann and have taken steps for dismissal.

–Dana

10/27/2019

WaPo Headline: “Austere Religious Scholar” Dies; Reality: Most Wanted Top ISIS Monster Dies

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:54 am

[guest post by Dana]

Terrific news from the White House:

Trump addressed the country this morning from the White House to declare the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The President said a US special operations forces mission went after the ISIS leader and there were no US deaths during the operation.

Several ISIS fighters and companions of al-Baghdadi were killed, including two women wearing suicide vests and three children. Trump would not provide a specific number of casualties, only describing those targeted on scene as “more dead than alive.” Eleven children were moved out of the house and are uninjured, the President said.

The death of al-Baghdadi marks the culmination of a years-long hunt to find one of the most wanted terrorists in the world and the man who declared a so-called Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria in 2014.

Here is a portion of President Trump’s statement on the mission:

Last night, the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead. He was the founder and leader of ISIS, the most ruthless and violent terror organization in the World. The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years. Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my Administration. U.S. Special Operations forces executed a dangerous and daring nighttime raid into Northwestern Syria to accomplish this mission.

No U.S. personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him. He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming. The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering or being shot and killed. Eleven young children were moved out of the house un-injured. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, who had dragged three children with him to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast, but test results gave certain and positive identification.

The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic and dread – terrified of the American Forces bearing down.

We were in the compound for approximately 2 hours, and after the mission was accomplished we took highly sensitive material and information from the raid.

Baghdadi’s demise demonstrates America’s relentless pursuit of terrorist leaders, and our commitment to the enduring and total defeat of ISIS!

The President also expressed his thanks to first, Russia, then Turkey, Syria and Iraq, and finally, he thanked our allies, the Syrian Kurds for certain support they lent the US. There are any number of details about the mission that would be interesting to know.

Finally, as the title of this post notes, the Washington Post felt it their Democracy Dies in Darkness duty to solemnly honor monstrous terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on headline of today’s edition before they didn’t:

I’m not going to post anything from Al-Baghdadi’s obituary at The Post, because if you are one of the biggest media outfits around, and you aren’t even clear about what a vile, vicious monstrous POS Al-Baghdadi was, then why would I care what you have to say about him or his life or, well, anything? Disgraceful.

–Dana

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 179

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 8:15 am

It is the twentieth Sunday after Pentecost. Today’s Bach cantata is “Siehe zu, daß deine Gottesfurcht nicht Heuchelei sei” (See to it, that your fear of God be not hypocrisy):

The performance was recorded live at St. David’s Cathedral in Wales.

Today’s Gospel reading is Luke 18:9-14:

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

The text of today’s piece is available here. It contains these words:

Who is on the inside just like the outside,
can be called a true Christian.
Thus was the tax-collector in the temple,
who beat his breast in humility,
he did not credit himself with a holy existence;
and this sets for you,
o fellow man, a worthy model
for your repentance;
though you are no thief, adulterer,
no unrighteous oath-breaker,
ah, do not imagine therefore
that you are angelically pure on that account!
Acknowledge your sins to God in humility,
so that you can find mercy and aid!

. . . .

Wretched man that I am, wretched sinner,
I stand here before God’s face.
Ah God, ah God, be gentle
and do not enter into judgment with me!
Have mercy, have mercy,
God, my Forgiver, over me!

Happy listening! Soli Deo gloria.

10/25/2019

Rudy Guiliani Brings The Funny: Butt-Dials News Reporter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 3:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted by this never-ending circus of indignant, self-righteous politicians moralizing at the American people while We The Actual People witness both sides of the political aisle puff up their smug, self-imagined heroic little chests and launch yet another attack on their enemies and simultaneously expose themselves as little more than money-grubbing, power-driven festering pustules on the pocked-marked ass of the Body Politic.

But. Leave it to security expert Rudy Giuliani to unknowingly inject some much-needed laughs into the putrefying political landscape by butt-dialing a reporter. And not for the first time:

Late in the night Oct. 16, Rudy Giuliani made a phone call to this reporter.

The fact that Giuliani was reaching out wasn’t remarkable. He and the reporter had spoken earlier that evening for a story about his ties to a fringe Iranian opposition group.

But this call, it would soon become clear, wasn’t a typical case of a source following up with a reporter.

The call came in at 11:07 p.m. and went to voicemail; the reporter was asleep.

The next morning, a message exactly three minutes long was sitting in the reporter’s voicemail. In the recording, the words tumbling out of Giuliani’s mouth were not directed at the reporter. He was speaking to someone else, someone in the same room.

Giuliani can be heard discussing overseas dealings and lamenting the need for cash, though it’s difficult to discern the full context of the conversation.

[…]

“You know,” Giuliani says at the start of the recording. “Charles would have a hard time with a fraud case ‘cause he didn’t do any due diligence.”

It wasn’t clear who Charles is, or who may have been implicated in a fraud. In fact, much of the message’s first minute is difficult to comprehend, in part because the voice of the other man in the conversation is muffled and barely intelligible.

But then, Giuliani says something that’s crystal clear.

“Let’s get back to business.”

He goes on.

“I gotta get you to get on Bahrain.”

Giuliani is well-connected in the kingdom of Bahrain.

The report describes Giuliani interaction and business dealings with Bahrain, which ultimately, seem unclear to me. Perhaps he is more like an ambassador to the country, as the Bahrain News Agency suggested. Or perhaps Giuliani did indeed advise the Bahrain police force on counterterrorism measures… What comes next on the voicemail, though, would make a great scene in a film where two small time bumbling crooks, who are just desperate to pull off at least one big score in their embarrassingly unsuccessful careers, slowly come to the stark realization that, although they have the will to do the job, they just don’t have the brain power left to actually figure out how to make it happen:

Giuliani can be heard telling the man that he’s “got to call Robert again tomorrow.”

“Is Robert around?” Giuliani asks.

“He’s in Turkey,” the man responds.

Giuliani replies instantly. “The problem is we need some money.”

The two men then go silent. Nine seconds pass. No word is spoken. Then Giuliani chimes in again.

“We need a few hundred thousand,” he says.

Actually, all of the messages read like some dark comedy about small-time crooks realizing that whatever edge they once had, and dull as it may have been, is no longer. As for this not being the first time that Giuliani has butt-dialed a reporter:

The first one happened when the NBC News reporter was at a fifth-birthday party for an extended family member in Central Jersey.

It was 3:37 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, and a pink unicorn piñata had just been strung up around a tree in the backyard.

Amid his 3-year-old daughter’s excitement, the reporter decided to let Giuliani’s call go to his voicemail.

The previous day, the reporter interviewed Giuliani for an article quoting several of his former Justice Department colleagues who said they believed he committed crimes in his effort to push the Ukrainians to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden.

After the pink unicorn piñata came the bouncy castle and then cake. It wasn’t until at least an hour after the call that the reporter realized it had led to a three-minute voicemail, the maximum his phone allows.

In the message, Giuliani is heard talking to at least one other person. The conversation appears to pick up almost exactly where Giuliani’s phone call with the reporter left off the day before, with Giuliani insisting he was the target of attacks because he was making public accusations about a powerful Democratic politician.

“I expected it would happen,” Giuliani says at the start of the recording. “The minute you touch on one of the protected people, they go crazy. They come after you.”

“You got the truth on your side,” an unidentified man says.

“It’s very powerful,” Giuliani replies.

Read the whole report for the details on this conversation. Ultimately, here is the good news and the bad news:

The good news is that there’s no clear evidence of a crime in the transcript, or something even more disastrous like Rudy admitting that the CrowdStrike stuff is kooky nonsense that they’re feeding to the Fox News audience. It’s mostly just him rambling about stuff that sounds crime-y — unknown business he has in Bahrain and Turkey

The bad news is that the writers of the “President Trump” reality show we now inhabit have apparently decided to take the show in a more comic direction.

I’m sure any number of people will start dissecting Giuliani voicemails, and shaping them into something that benefits their political preference, as well as adding to their favorite conspiracy theories. Have at it. As for me, it’s been a hella hard week, so I’m just here for the laughs.

P.S. The reporter notes that Giuliani phone mailbox is now full. It’s very likely that his butt has been particularly busy with impeachment stuff and all, and that any number of the recipients of those voicemails have filled up his mailbox asking him, or his butt to call them back.

–Dana

10/24/2019

Republican Lawmakers Storm the Gates…Or Something Like That

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:36 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So this was a thing yesterday:

Fox News is told that the members led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., actually entered not just the non-secure anteroom and hallways of the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF), but the secure room where Cooper was to be deposed.

That’s where members are not supposed to have electronic devices. Members are asked to agree to an oath that they will not do so. The facility was swept for electronic devices after member gave up their devices.

It appeared one member didn’t surrender their device, prompting a deeper scrub that took around two hours.

The standoff occurred after lawmakers held a news conference accusing Democrats of lacking transparency and specifically calling out Schiff, who is leading the impeachment investigation into President Trump.

From there, the House Republicans stormed in the room where Cooper, who has overseen Ukraine policy at the Pentagon, was set to testify.

[…]

The members who violated the rules of the SCIF could be referred to the House Ethics Committee, one source told Fox News.

“We made our point,” said one Republican who asked not to be identified.

After filling their tummies on Dominoe’s pizza, the invaders allegedly sought martyrdom for their cause:

There was never any threat of arrest, but a source said some members asked to be arrested, citing the optics of being marched out of the SCIF in handcuffs in front of throngs of reporters and news cameras. That would have surely supported a running GOP narrative that Democrats have run amok with the impeachment process.

Be proud and walk tall, GOP.

Today, 44 Republicans signed onto Lindsay Graham’s resolution condemning the impeachment inquiry.

Also, President Trump sent his thanks to Republican lawmakers for their heroic efforts…well, some of them anyway… not the human scum ones:

–Dana

10/23/2019

President of The United States Attacks His Republican Critics: “They Are Human Scum!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:31 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Today:

Remember how Republicans howled when Trump-supporters were referred to as deplorables? Sure you do:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

So, what say you now, Republicans? Hillary Clinton was lambasted for insulting Americans, and rightly so. It’s even more worthy of condemnation when the egregious insult comes from President of the United States.

P.S. Oh, yeah, pick your poison: Are you a “deplorable” or are you “human scum”? Remember, you have to pick one because … it’s a binary choice. Them’s the rules!

–Dana

10/22/2019

Paging Steve Kerr: A Look Inside A Xinjiang ‘Reeducation’ Camp

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 12:33 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Horrifying:

Twenty prisoners live in one small room. They are handcuffed, their heads shaved, every move is monitored by ceiling cameras. A bucket in the corner of the room is their toilet. The daily routine begins at 6 A.M. They are learning Chinese, memorizing propaganda songs and confessing to invented sins. They range in age from teenagers to elderly. Their meals are meager: cloudy soup and a slice of bread.

Torture – metal nails, fingernails pulled out, electric shocks – takes place in the “black room.” Punishment is a constant. The prisoners are forced to take pills and get injections. It’s for disease prevention, the staff tell them, but in reality they are the human subjects of medical experiments. Many of the inmates suffer from cognitive decline. Some of the men become sterile. Women are routinely raped.

Such is life in China’s reeducation camps, as reported in rare testimony provided by Sayragul Sauytbay (pronounced: Say-ra-gul Saut-bay, as in “bye”), a teacher who escaped from China and was granted asylum in Sweden. Few prisoners have succeeded in getting out of the camps and telling their story. Sauytbay’s testimony is even more extraordinary, because during her incarceration she was compelled to be a teacher in the camp. China wants to market its camps to the world as places of educational programs and vocational retraining, but Sauytbay is one of the few people who can offer credible, firsthand testimony about what really goes on in the camps.

I hope Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr reads this. Remember, he was asked by reporters during the NBA kerfuffle with China, whether he’s ever been questioned about human rights abuses during his previous trips to China. He said:

“It has not come up in terms of people asking about it, people discussing it,” he said. “Nor has our record of human rights abuses come up, either. Things that our country needs to look at and resolve. That hasn’t come up either. None of us are perfect. We all have different issues we have to get to. Saying that is my right as an American. It doesn’t mean that I hate my country. It means I want to address the issue. But people in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall. I wasn’t asked that question.”

–Dana

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