New Jan 6th Video Shows Officers Being Attacked With Crutches, Flagpoles And Fists

The Justice Department has released a new troubling body cam video from the January 6th DC insurrection, which shows former President Trump’s supporters verbally assaulting, and attacking Capitol Police officers with crutches, flagpoles and fists. The video, which was aired on CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett (7/09/2021), yet again flies in the face of arguments by Republican politicians and their allies on Fox News, downplaying the January 6th incident as some form of made-up liberal myth, aimed at destroying Trump politically.

In the newly released video, the violent Trump supporters can be heard hurling verbal assaults like “f*ck you” and “f*cking traitor”, at the Capitol Police officers. According to host Erin Burnett, the officers had gone into the crowd to save the life of one of Trump’s supporters who had been trampled. The violent Trump thugs then turned on the officers, assaulting them with crutches, flag poles and fists. One of the officers, whose face appears on the video (with a Sheriff vest), sustained very serious injuries from the incident and according to Erin Burnett, “was hospitalized after the attack, needing staples in his head to stop the bleeding.”

Bottom line folks, these and other gruesome details from the January 6th incident, must be used to push back against the counter narrative currently being conjured up by congressional Republicans and their allies on Fox News, that January 6th was “no big deal”. More importantly, gruesome videos like these must be used by congressional Democrats to demand a complete and thorough investigation into the January 6th insurrection, so that all responsible parties, especially the behind-the-scene planners, are held to account. We owe this to the families of the Capitol Police officers, who will have to live with the trauma of January 6th for the rest of their lives. It’s the least we can do for them.

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Handy List Of The 20 GOP Senators Up For Reelection In 2022

The 2022 midterm elections are fast approaching and Democrats cannot afford to lose both the House and the Senate to the GOP. Midterm elections traditionally favor the party out of power, so it’s reasonable to assume that Republicans have a good shot of recapturing both the House and the Senate in 2022. Recapturing the House especially favors Republicans given the fact that Republican-controlled states currently have an advantage when in comes to redistricting–they can add/redraw more congressional districts than Democrats.

Democrats however, cannot afford to lose the Senate, which is not affected by the redistricting process. If Democrats lose both the House and Senate in 2022, the Biden presidency will for all intents and purposes be over–at least until the 2024 general elections. Republicans are already abusing the filibuster to stifle President Biden’s legislative agenda, even without control of either chamber (House or Senate), so one can just imagine how reckless they will be, if they take over both the House and the Senate in 2022. Simply put, they will block all of President Biden’s legislative proposals and judicial nominations until the 2024 elections. The upcoming 2022 elections are therefore crucially important for the Biden-Harris agenda.

34 U.S. Senate seats are up in 2022. Out of these 34, 20 are currently held by Republicans, and 14 by Democrats. The map below gives a breakdown of the states where the 34 Senate elections will be held in 2022.

Republican Senators whose seats are up in 2022 include Richard Shelby(AL), Roy Blunt(MO), Rob Portman(OH), Pat Toomey(PA), Richard Burr(NC)–all of whom are retiring(open seats)–plus Lisa Murkowski(AL), Marco Rubio(FL), John Boozman(AR), Mike Crapo(ID), Todd Young(IN), Chuck Grassley(IA), Jerry Moran(KS), Rand Paul(KY), John Neely Kennedy(LA), John Hoeven(ND), James Lankford(OK), Tim Scott(SC), John Thune(SD), and Mike Lee(UT), Ron Johnson(WI)

Democrats are Mark Kelly(AZ), Alex Padilla(CA), **KDH SEAT, Michael Bennet(CO), Richard Blumenthal(CT), Raphael Warnock(GA), Brian Schatz(HI), Tammy Duckworth(IL), Chris Van Hollen(MD), Catherine Cortez Masto(NV), Maggie Hassan(NH), Charles Schumer(NY), Ron Wyden(OR), Patrick Leahy(VT) and Patty Murray(WA).

The U.S. Senate is currently tied at 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans so neither party can afford to lose a seat in 2022. Democrats have a good shot at picking up the open Pennsylvania seat, where incumbent Republican Pat Toomey is retiring. President Biden won Pennsylvania in 2020. Based on a recent Iowa poll showing unfavorable numbers for incumbent Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Senate seat may also be a potential pickup for Democrats. These two pickups for Democrats, would make up for the two Senate seats where they have the biggest vulnerability–Warnock’s Georgia seat, and Mark Kelly’s Arizona seat. While President Biden won both Georgia and Arizona in 2020, these two states have traditionally voted Republican in statewide elections.

Bottom line folks, even though the game plan for Democrats heading into the 2022 elections should be to retain both the House and Senate, special emphasis must be placed on retaining the Senate. Simply put, if the Biden-Harris administration is to survive beyond 2022, Dems must retain the Senate.

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GOP MoCs Voted Not To Impeach Trump Out Of Fear For Their Safety

A bombshell audio of Rep Liz Cheney(R-WY) obtained by CNN from an Axe Files podcast interview, confirms what many have feared all along, and that is, some Republican members of Congress voted not to impeach former President Trump after the January 6th DC insurrection because they were afraid for their personal safety and that of their families. Questions about Republican members of Congress operating under duress under the Trump administration, have been floated by authoritarianism scholars like Sarah Kendzior, among others, but received with much skepticism by the mainstream media. The fact that Rep Liz Cheney, a sitting member of Congress, is now publicly confirming such claims, should be a source of great concern for every democracy-loving American.

The full CNN segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below

In the audio, Rep Cheney is heard saying, “I’ve had a number of members[of Congress]say to me things like, you know, we would have voted to impeach, but we were concerned about our security…I think that’s a very important point to pause and contemplate, that you have members of the United States House of Representatives for whom security, their personal security or their family’s security, their concerns about that affected the way they felt they could vote, That’s a really significant thing to say about the current state of our politics.”

Bottom line folks, it is one thing when liberal anti-Trumpers level blackmail accusations against Trump sycophants, but when such accusations are being stated publicly by a sitting member of Congress(Rep Cheney), who says her colleagues have personally expressed such fears to her, then this is an issue that deserves greater scrutiny. Simply put, no member of Congress should be making decisions that affect the lives of their constituents, based on fear for their personal safety, or that of their family. This is patently un-American.

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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Calling For A $10 Trillion Over 10 Years Infrastructure Plan

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) On The Rachel Maddow Show (03/31/2021)

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) appeared on the 03/31/2021 edition of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show(TRMS), to discuss the $2 trillion infrastructure plan President Biden had announced earlier the same day. Rep Ocasio-Cortez (aka AOC), told host Maddow that her Progressive colleagues in the House will “absolutely” push for a figure higher than the $2 trillion set out by President Biden, adding that her personal preference would be a $10 trillion over 10 years infrastructure plan.

AOC’s full interview on TRMS is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Specifically, AOC told Maddow in response to a question as to whether Progressives in the House will push for a figure bigger than $2 trillion: “Absolutely. You know if we could wave a magic wand, and Progressives in the House were able to name any number and get it through, which obviously isn’t the case, but if we are looking at ideals and what we think is the actual investment that can create tens of millions of good union jobs in this country, that can shore up our healthcare, our infrastructure, our housing, and doing it in a way that draws down our carbon emissions to help us get in line with IPCC standards, we are talking about realistically, $10 trillion over 10 years.” AOC added that even though $10 trillion is an “eye popping” figure, it is not in any way unrealistic.

Basically, AOC’s message on TRMS was that even though House Progressives are very appreciative of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure proposal, they are looking at the $2 trillion as a starting point, and not necessarily the ceiling. Progressives in the House will work hard for a higher figure. This promises to be quite an interesting battle in Congress, especially given the fact that in the recently passed American Rescue Plan(Covid), House negotiations began at $1.9 trillion and worked their way downwards. It appears for infrastructure, the House negotiations will begin at $2 trillion and possibly end up much higher. Will AOC’s $10 trillion wish come true? Hmm–time will tell.

Bottom line folks, as AOC correctly pointed out, if one considers the fact that for covid relief, Congress passed a one year $1.9 trillion package, it is not unreasonable to assume that for an infrastructure plan, we would need much more than the $2 trillion proposed by President Biden. It is a good thing that AOC threw the $10 trillion figure out there because it will inspire some imagination among House Democrats as to what’s possible–thinking big. Simply put, even though passing a “skinny” infrastructure plan is better than no infrastructure plan at all, House Democrats should not look at President Biden’s $2 trillion proposal as a limiting factor, but instead, like AOC, come up with their own imaginative ideas as to how to revamp our dilapidated infrastructure. All in all, let there be a robust infrastructure debate in Congress, and may the best ideas win.

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Barr’s DOJ Refuses To Release Notes Of Kushner’s Interview With Mueller

A federal judge recently granted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by CNN and Buzzfeed and ordered the Justice Department to release documents currently in its possession related to the now concluded investigation into Russian election interference in 2016 (Mueller probe)

Among the documents media houses CNN and Buzzfeed are most interested in, are the notes from the various interviews Mueller conducted with witnesses–known in legal circles as “302 notes”. Needless to say, such notes can be very important in determining whether a particular witness lied to/misled/withheld material information from investigators.

Ever since the federal judge granted CNN and Buzzfeed’s FOIA request, Barr’s DOJ has largely complied and released several 302 notes. Conspiquously absent from the 302 notes however, are those related to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner–a prime target of CNN and Buzzfeed’s FOIA request.

Equally troubling is the fact that Barr’s DOJ is yet to provide the legal justification for its refusal to comply with the federal judge’s order on 302 notes related to Jared Kushner. Is there something very bad in Kushner’s 302 notes that Barr’s DOJ is so intent on keeping away from the public even if that means violating a federal judge’s order?

Bottom line folks, it is now quite evident that AG Barr considers his position as one intended primarily to protect/defend President Trump and his family. Where, as here, his Justice Dept refuses to release 302 notes related to Trump’s son-in-law Kushner, and giving no legal justification for the refusal, a reasonable inference can be made that AG Barr is hiding from the public Kushner’s 302 notes because they contain information he thinks will cast Trump and his family in negative light. Congressional Democrats and the mainstream media must demand that DOJ comply with the federal judge’s order and release Kushner’s 302 notes.

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Little Known FBI’s Race-Based Surveillance

There have been numerous media reports about a very troubling practice by the FBI to designate Black activists as “Black Identity Extremists”, an often bogus designation which is then used to justify subjecting the said activists to all levels of surveillance–private, local, state, federal and even military surveillance in major cities like Houston, LA, Chicago, New York and others. The rationale, a bogus one, is that a “Black Identity Extremist” or BIE is more likely to attack law enforcement officers and thus needs to be placed under 24-hour surveillance.

The controversy surrounding this program, beyond its prima facie racism, centers around the ease with which a Black activist could end up in this designation. Several media reports have said that even mundane activities like organizing or attending a Black Lives Matter rally could in the eyes of the FBI qualify a Black activist as a BIE subjecting them to unjustified long-term government surveillance, the fruits of which could be used in their criminal prosecution. Needless to say, Black activists who support/sympathize with Black Lives Matter on social media (Twitter, Facebook) can also very easily be designated as BIEs. Simply put, this is a very serious problem that is yet to garner the mainstream media attention it deserves.

Yours Truly has ranted and raved about the lack of mainstream media attention surrounding this seemingly–let’s face it–racist surveillance by the FBI for quite a while now, wondering when House Democrats would take up this serious issue with the justice department.

Well, it turns out Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee (R-TX) did indeed raise this issue with then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a House hearing on November 14, 2017. Rep Jackson-Lee asked Sessions; “My question is, as I hold up the poster dealing with the report under your jurisdiction–Black Identity Extremists. It is interesting to me that you are opposing [meant targeting] individuals who are opposing lethal force, similar to the attack on Reverend Dr Martin Luther King on Cointelpro, but there seems to be no report dealing with the tiki torch parade in Charlottesville chanting ‘Jews will not replace us’. Why is there an attack on Black activists versus any report dealing with the Alt Right and the White Nationalists?” AG Sessions responded that he was not aware of the report.

Cointelpro which Rep Jackson-Lee referenced in her questioning was a controversial and secret surveillance program the FBI deployed on Black civil rights activists in the 60s, most notably, on the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Historians agree that the primary reason the FBI ran Cointelpro on Black civil rights activists was to scare them into silence. This is precisely why when Black activists hear about “Black Identity Extremists” they are immediately reminded of stories they’ve read about Cointelpro and are justified in questioning whether the FBI has indeed reverted back to its 1960s tactic of stifling Black dissent.

Bottom line the “Black Identity Extremist” debate is one that begs for serious mainstream media attention. The mainstream media and indeed members of Congress must not remain silent as a section of the population is unjustly subjected to heightened levels of government surveillance all in an effort to stifle their first amendment compliant political speech. At moments like these, Martin Niemoller’s famous words come to mind; “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist, then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist, then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

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Did Mueller Get Trump’s Tax Returns? Dems Must Ask

As America gets ready for Robert S. Mueller’s public testimony before Congress slated for Wednesday 7/24/2019, there are questions as to whether House Democrats will manage to squeeze any more information from him than what he has already provided in his 400 page report. Mueller has previously stated his objection to testifying before Congress pointing to his detailed 400 page report as his testimony. Concerns about him not being very forthcoming during his congressional testimony are therefore well placed.

There is one question however that House Democrats must ask Mueller when he testifies before them and that is whether or not he got Trump’s tax returns. If not, why didn’t he? Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) posed this question to Attorney General Barr during his confirmation hearing but Barr refused to answer telling Sen Klobuchar to ask Mueller instead.

Well, it turns out Democrats now have a perfect opportunity to get an answer to Sen Klobuchar’s very important question as to Trump’s tax returns and one hopes they will deliver on it.

Bottom line, Trump’s tax returns have been a major topic of interest for many Americans and they continue to be today. More importantly, reasonable people will agree that anybody looking into whether Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential elections would have looked into his tax returns to see whether he had any financial ties with Russia or people closely tied to the Russian government. Muerller therefore has an obligation to disclose to Americans whether or not he obtained Trump’s tax returns during his TrumpRussia investigation and if not, explain why his team concluded that such information was not relevant. Equally important, House Democrats must also find out if TeamMueller did indeed seek Trump’s tax returns but their efforts were rebuffed by the Trump administration. This goes to the whole “we fully cooperated” argument that we have become accustomed to from the Trump administration. Simply put, Democrats must put to rest all questions/concerns related to Trump’s tax returns when Mueller shows up before them.

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Trump Says Ignoring Congressional Subpoenas Is Criminal

CNN’s OutFront with Erin Burnett yesterday aired a video clip of then presidential candidate Trump railing about the potential consequences of Hillary Clinton ignoring Congressional subpoenas. Trump is apparently on record saying, “You know when you delete something or when you don’t provide the documents requested after you get a subpoena from the United States Congress, that’s a criminal act.” This is shockingly the same conduct President Trump’s administration is currently engaged in, with seemingly not enough outrage from congressional Democrats and the mainstream media.

Bottom line House Democrats need to counter much harder Trump administration’s stone-walling or even outright rejection of congressional subpoenas and this eye-opening video from OutFront CNN showing Trump saying such conduct is criminal should feature prominently in the Dem counter message.

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Ivanka’s Lawyer Told Cohen To Lie About Her Role In Trump Tower Moscow

There was a bombshell revelation in MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show yesterday that Ivanka Trump’s lawyer Abbe Lowell directed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about Ivanka’s role in the Trump Tower Moscow project. You’ll remember that Ivanka’s role in Trump Tower Moscow project became a huge issue of concern among those who believed President Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 elections. Intense media coverage around this issue led to Ivanka’s infamous remark that she knew “literally almost nothing” about the Trump Tower Moscow project. The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

Maddow said on last night’s show, “One of the allegations at issue here for which there is apparently some sort of documentary trail, is the allegation that lawyer Abbe Lowell specifically told Cohen that he should tell Congress Ivanka Trump had essentially no knowledge of Trump Tower Moscow. According to Michael Cohen that wasn’t true. According to Cohen, Ivanka Trump was regularly briefed on Trump Tower Moscow. Well, if as Cohen alleges, Abbe Lowell was involved in telling Michael Cohen to lie to Congress specifically about the involvement of Ivanka Trump in that scheme….that is sensitive on a lot of different levels.”

Maddow’s segment essentially raised questions as to why Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen was prosecuted and is now serving prison time while the people who crafted the said lies that got him in legal trouble (attorneys Abbe Lowell, Jay Sekulow and others) got away scot-free. Maddow’s segment also raised legitimate questions as to why Trump’s eldest son Don Jr was never prosecuted even though there is enough evidence showing he engaged in the exact similar conduct as Cohen–lying to Congress. Even more troubling, as Maddow correctly pointed out, Don Jr has not just gotten away with clear cut felonies, he is also now dictating to Congressional committees the terms under which he will testify before them–a total travesty of justice.

Bottom line, as Yours Truly has repeatedly stated in previous posts, we are facing a crisis of confidence in the U.S. justice system. Specifically, it is becoming quite evident that there is a separate and distinct system of justice that applies to the poor (especially minorities) and the one that applies to the rich (especially rich White people like Don Jr and Abbe Lowell). All reasonable people will agree that if Michael Cohen was prosecuted and is now serving prison time for lying to Congress, then lawyer Abbe Lowell and others who crafted the lie he presented to Congress should also be criminally prosecuted or face some kind of sanctions up to and including disbarment. Reasonable people will also agree that if Michael Cohen was prosecuted for lying to Congress as part of the TrumpRussia investigation, then Don Jr should also be prosecuted for committing the exact similar offense. Simply put folks, we either have equal justice under the law or we don’t.

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GOP Gutted IRS’ Ability To Go After Rich Tax Cheats

An investigation by ProPublica has revealed that since 2010 congressional Republicans have systematically gutted the IRS’ budget for the express purpose of dramatically reducing its ability to pursue rich tax cheats, while at the same time ramping up the agency’s ability to go after the working poor who claim earned income credit. If there was ever a classic case of GOP’s #WarOnPoverty, this shocking finding by ProPublica certainly is.

Excerpt from ProPublica piece by Paul kiel & Jesse Eisinger dated 12/11/2018

In essence, according to the ProPublica piece, congressional Republicans have gradually and cleverly reduced the number of IRS auditors by shrinking the agency’s budget over the last 8 years(since 2010). As the article correctly points out, congressional Republicans realized that were they to make huge cuts to the IRS’ budget at once, the public/media would catch on to their shameful act. So they cleverly devised the gradual IRS budget cuts that have gone on for the last 8 years, almost totally crippling the IRS’ ability to go after rich tax cheats(usually Republicans).

Excerpt from ProPublica’s 12/11/2018 piece

This troubling ProPublica revelation comes as many working families are getting ready to file their 2018 taxes and yes–claim their earned income credit. It is sickening to learn that as the working poor are looking forward to getting their income tax refunds so they can catch up on their bills, congressional Republicans have primed the IRS to target them with audits, while letting the rich tax cheats avoid IRS scrutiny. This is absolutely sickening and House Democrats and the mainstream media must get to the bottom of this shameful attack on the poor by the GOP.

This chart from the same ProPublica piece says it all. Notice how sharply audits of those who earn $500K or more(typically Republicans) have dropped compared to the other income groups. As the article correctly points out, it is the rich who cheat on their taxes more which means IRS auditors should concentrate more on them as opposed to the poor.

The incoming House Democratic majority owes it to its voters to investigate this troubling state of affairs at the IRS. For the record, the ProPublica piece points out that it is not the IRS that is at fault here but rather congressional Republicans who have made them go after poor filers claiming earned income credit. Nobody is advocating that the IRS turn a blind eye to poor people fraudulently claiming EIC. However it is only fair that the IRS also go after rich tax filers who by far do most of the tax cheating

Bottom line it is in everyone’s interest that the ability of the IRS to go after all tax cheats, rich and poor, is fully restored. Where, as here, Republicans have turned this powerful agency into a weapon to attack poor working families, while at the same time neutering its ability to go after rich tax cheats, House Democrats have a duty to step in and restore the agency to its full investigative capacity. Specifically, House Democrats must fully furnish the IRS with the tools it needs(experienced auditors) to aggressively go after rich tax cheats. It is simply immoral to have this powerful agency go after poor working families while the rich tax cheats get off scot-free.

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