Kurt Bardella: 2022 Midterms Might Be The Last Free And Fair Elections We Have. WHOA!!

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MSNBC’s Katie Phang show(05/21/22) did a segment on WaPo’s bombshell revelation that Ginni Thomas’ involvement in the effort to overturn the 2020 election results was much more than has been previously reported. The conversation then turned into how ruthlessly Republicans would have dealt with a similarly situated liberal justice. Guest Kurt Bardella slammed the perennial weakness by congressional Democrats, who he said always played defense as opposed to the attack-minded Republicans. Bardella then made a startling assertion, telling host Katie Phang that if the January 6th Select Committee doesn’t go on the offense by making top Trump officials testify in public like Republicans did Hillary Clinton during Benghazi, then “this[2022 midterms]might be the last free and fair elections we have.”

MSNBC host Katie Phang(video at 5:11): “Kurt I saw you tweeting about how you were surprised that Democrats didn’t immediately start investigations into the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic as soon as they got into power. Now we see the January 6th Committee is apparently fine with not even getting him to testify…What will it take for the Dems to go on the offensive?”

Kurt Burdella: “I just think back to the Benghazi Select Committee, when Republicans didn’t blink to bring up Hillary Clinton to testify for more than 11 hours and face that type of grilling. I don’t know how you can have a system that has Secretary Clinton at the time having to do that, but you let Donald Trump, and people like Mike Pence, and Ginni Thomas, and Rudy Giuliani, and Steve Bannon, and Mark Meadows avoid that type of public setting. It’s such a parity and I’m telling you, we’re seeing right now, at this very second, Republicans campaign for the midterms on the idea that they are going to do this to the Biden administration. That they are not going to hesitate to use the reins of power to go after the president’s son…to try to impeach the president, to try to impeach the DHS secretary…Democrats are about to get a lesson on how to wield power, whether they like it or not, if they don’t step up right now because they are the last line of defense of stopping Republicans from hijacking democracy. It’s not about 2024 Katie, it’s about 2022 because I promise you, if Republicans are allowed to regain a congressional majority, they will not certify a Democrat win in 2024…This check and balance that we are about to see with the January 6th Select Committee is perhaps the last guardian of defense that we have of our democracy and our process, and if we don’t get answers from everybody who was involved, especially at the very top, this might be the last free and fair elections we have.”

As outlandish as Kurt Bardella’s assertion sounds, rank and file Democrats know it is absolutely true. A lot of the crazy things we’ve witnessed from Trump Republicans are rooted in their belief that Democrats will never muster enough courage to hold them accountable in any meaningful way–all bark no bite. Let’s hope the January 6th Select Committee breaks this expectation of weakness by Republicans, by holding them accountable through lengthy public testimonies, under oath. If the January 6th Select Committee fails to hold Trump and his top lieutenants accountable, then as Bardella correctly points out, democracy as we know it, will be dead this year, not in 2024, and Dem weakness will be partly to blame. This of course, also apples to President Biden’s Department of Justice.

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Rep Beth Van Duyne Defends Gov Abbott’s Immigrant Bussing Ploy

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Rep Beth Van Duyne(R-TX) on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures(04/17/22)

Texas Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne, a former Mayor of Irving who is considered to be a rising GOP star, appeared on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures show(04/17/22) to discuss the Biden administration’s recent lifting of Title 42 and other immigration issues related to the southern border. Rep Van Duyne defended Texas Gov Abbott’s controversial bussing of migrants caught crossing the southern border to Washington DC, saying this will make politicians in DC “see what it has been like in areas all around Texas.”

Rep Beth Van Duyne specifically told host Jason Chaffetz(video at 4:38):“In Texas we are seeing a huge influx of illegal immigrants, a huge influx of illegal drugs, of illegal weapons, and quite honestly the citizens of the state of Texas are sick of it, which is why I think you see some of the desperate measures that our Governor is taking to put them on buses and send them to Washington, DC since the Biden administration finds themselves too busy to actually be able to come back to the border, well maybe they need to see what its like in DC, what it has been like in areas all around Texas…I guarantee you if we see a mass immigration of illegal aliens, you are going to see those walls go back up around the Capitol to be able to protect the politicians, while we are leaving a wall down on our southern border and ignoring the effects it’s having on the rest of the nation.”

She went on to add that the number of illegal immigrants that have come through the southern border in the last 15 months is more than the combined population of three U.S. states, and that mixed in with these illegal immigrants, are people from “questionable countries” like Syria and Yemen–presumably terrorists.

For the record, illegal immigration has been and still remains a big problem in the United States, and the concerns Rep Van Duyne raised in her Fox News interview regarding the sheer numbers of migrants illegally crossing the southern border, and the prospect of some of them being criminals/terrorists are for the most part, valid concerns. The question here is whether Governor Abbott’s bussing ploy, and that’s exactly what it is–a ploy, is the best way to deal with this decades old, complex immigration problem? Reasonable people will agree that the bussing ploy employed by Gov Abbott, which essentially amounts to playing with the lives of desperate migrants, is no way to deal with a complex problem like immigration. The bussing ploy may play well among Fox News viewers eager to embarrass Democrats in Washington, but it will ultimately blow up in the face of Texas Republicans because it does zero to address the real illegal immigration problem at the southern border.

Bottom line folks, illegal immigration is a complex problem that calls for serious politicians to sit down and come up with concrete solutions to fix it. Texas Governor Abbott, and it appears Rep Van Duyne, are clearly not up to the task of coming up with a concrete solution to this complex problem, and have instead settled for ploys/gimmicks, or “stunts” as Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke calls them.

Maybe it’s time stuntman Abbott stepped aside, and allowed Gov O’Rourke to work with serious Texas Republicans, to come up with concrete ways of tackling the complex illegal immigration problem. Hopefully Texas voters will arrive at this conclusion this Fall.

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FBI Ignored Specific Warnings About Killing Cops & Arresting MoCs Weeks Before January 6th

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As part of it’s Thanksgiving special programming(11/26/21), MSNBC’s Deadline White House invited venerable Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker to discuss their bombshell 10/31/21 piece titled “The Attack” which is to date, the most in depth look(by journalists) into the events that transpired before, during and after the January 6th attack on the Capitol, aka DC Insurrection. The revelations in this bombshell Washington Post investigative piece show that the warnings that were ignored by the FBI and the rest of our national security apparatus prior to January 6th, were far more detailed and specific than has been previously reported by the mainstream media, or acknowledged by the agencies. Simply put, if this bombshell WaPo reporting holds, a reasonable argument can be made that our national security agencies knew full well what was going to happen at the January 6th event, and still allowed the event to proceed–a conspiracy.

According to Leonnig, as early as December 17th, the FBI was already receiving specific and detailed warnings about plans by attendees of the January 6th event to sneak in guns, kill Capitol Police officers, and even arrest Members of Congress. One warning even specified Sen Mitt Romney(R-UT), an outspoken Trump critic, as one of the targets of such arrests. Leonnig added that the January 6th warnings became so severe that an Intel Operator at the DC Fusion Center, one Donell Harvin, whose job it was to alert the FBI and other law enforcement agencies of known threats, was “basically clanging a bell saying, ‘Everybody, come on down to my office, you can see how scary this[warnings] is.'”

The full Thanksgiving special edition of Deadline White House w/Nicolle Wallace is available here (a must watch for January 6th enthusiasts), but the relevant clip is below.

Carol Leonnig told host Nicolle Wallace: “What we revealed in this reporting and in this investigative series, it was even a shock to me, is that in late December..in the final sort of two weeks of December, the FBI, the preeminent entity responsible for gathering, collecting and assessing the potential threat to our country, was getting warnings on a scale that was stunning. One from December 17th in which a person involved in extremist chat alerted the FBI that they saw a conversation happening, in which leaders of this organization were not only plotting to come to January 6th, but were encouraging each other to weapon up , giving them specific instructions for firearms they could bring without being detected, and also to be prepared to draw down on police. One of them wrote, ‘Are you comfortable killing the palace guards? Be with me, we need to drop a few and the rest will flee’…On December 20th…the FBI receives an alert from another tipster who says, ‘I’m reading chatter on a group that I’m monitoring, and I’m warning you that these individuals who clearly plan to come January 6th, are discussing targeting and arresting specific lawmakers, including[Sen]Mitt Romney’…an attack on a public official, a precipitated, threatened attack on a public official…the FBI decided to close that without investigation, within 48 hours…. These are things the FBI was alerted to and it’s still unclear Nicolle, why they discarded it as not that important.”

Any reasonable person presented with the text of Carol Leonnig’s statement on Deadline White House would arrive at the conclusion that at a minimum, this was either gross negligence by the heads of our national security agencies–DHS, FBI, DOD–or even worse, a case of outright sabotage/conspiracy–they knew what was going to happen on January 6th, and still allowed it to happen. Needless to say, none of these scenarios is acceptable, and should be cause for an immediate investigation by the January 6th Committee.

Bottom line folks, at some point, the January 6th Committee will have to haul in the heads of DHS, FBI, and other heads of our national security apparatus, whose job it was to prevent January 6th insurrection from happening, and hit them with the elephant-in-the-room question as to whether they were in on the plot. This lingering question cannot be left unanswered, especially considering the fact that some corrupt elements in these agencies may still be working there. The January 6th Committee owes the public an answer to this burning question.

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AOC Exposes FBI’s Terrorism Double Standard

Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) grilling the Assistant Director of FBI’s Counter-Terrorism Division Michael McGarrity

In one of her most stunning congressional performances yet, Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) grilled FBI’s Assistant Director of Counterterrorism Michael McGarrity on the double standard with which the bureau charges non-White perpetrators as terrorists, while pursuing equally violent White supremacists only with hate crimes–with far fewer legal consequences.

There is no question that FBI’s double standard when it comes to terrorism has to be addressed. However, Rep Ocasio-Cortez and other members of Congress should not focus solely on who gets charged with what statute and instead dig into an even more troubling and still very under-covered topic by the mainstream media and that is, the increasing designation by the FBI/DHS of non-White activists in major urban centers(New York, Houston, LA, Chicago etc) as terrorists or radicalized extremists who then end up on their surveillance lists. Americans will be shocked to find out that even mundane activities like participating in/being an organizer of a Black Lives Matter rally, or Tweeting under “TheResistance” hashtag (#TheResistance)–all activities protected by the 1st amendment–could land someone in these obscure FBI/DHS surveillance lists.

Therefore members of Congress should not be singularly focused on who gets charged with what statute but rather the arbitrariness with which non-White political activists in major cities are increasingly getting caught up in FBI/DHS surveillance dragnets. These kinds of surveillance have disastrous effects on people’s lives whether they result in criminal charges or not, meaning absolute care must be taken to ensure the wrong people don’t end up in these dragnets. It certainly appears given the exchange between Rep Ocasio-Cortez and A.D. McGarrity, that it is infinitely easier for a non-White person to be designated and therefore investigated for terrorism than a similarly situated White person. These seemingly racist/bigoted surveillance policies should greatly trouble members of Congress.

Bottom line, Americans entrust the FBI and DHS with enormous investigative powers including but not limited to, the deterrence of terrorism. AOC and her fellow members of Congress have a duty to step in and ensure that these powerful agencies are not arbitrarily designating minority political activists as terrorism suspects and subjecting them to unjustified long-term surveillance for engaging in constitutionally protected speech.

1700 Migrant Children Were Separated Before “Zero Tolerance” Policy

A shocking NBC News piece says DHS separated more than 1700 migrant children before it officially began the “zero tolerance” policy in May 2018. This means the 1700 figure is over and above the official figures released by the Trump administration as to the number of migrant children separated from their parents as a result of the administration’s “zero tolerance” policy which according to this NBC News piece currently stands at 2800. Think about that, we are now finding out that the roughly 2800 migrant children that were separated from their parents as a result of DHS’ “zero tolerance” policy sparking justified national outrage, were just a drop in the bucket.

All these new revelations are coming out as a result of U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw’s order that the Trump administration identify all the migrant children that were separated before “zero tolerance” took effect and make efforts to reunite them with their families. Lee Gelent, the Lead ACLU lawyer in the case told NBC News, “The government has indicated that it has already found preliminary indications of 1700 more separated families, on top of the more than 3000 separated families already reported.”

Bottom line folks, it appears even with all the bombshell news reports about DHS’ evil family separation policy and the resultant national outrage, we are just now coming to terms with the breadth and scope of DHS’ troubling actions in this regard. It is vitally important that House Democrats and the mainstream media not drop their guard on this humanitarian issue of great national concern so that we not only get to the bottom of what happened here, but that bad actors are brought to justice. America owes this to the innocent migrant children.

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DHS-ICE Illegally Detaining U.S. Citizens

A troubling report on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show says DHS-ICE is increasingly detaining U.S. Citizens, something it has absolutely no legal authority to do. According to host Joy Reid who was subbing for the vacationing Maddow, this stems from a legally questionable practice currently in place in many U.S. counties where DHS-ICE places “detainers” on county jail inmates it suspects are either not in the U.S. legally, or even if here legally, are subject to deportation proceedings based on their criminal convictions. The Maddow segment focused on Peter Brown, a Philadelphia native who DHS-ICE almost mistakenly deported to Jamaica. For the record DHS-ICE has no legal authority to detain a U.S. citizen so any ICE detainer placed on a U.S. citizen is void on its face.

The full Maddow segment is available here but the relevant clip is below.

So for example if someone is convicted in Harris County Texas for say DWI, and jailed for say 6 months at the county jail, one of the preliminary issues that is determined by county jail officials is whether the inmate is a U.S. citizen. If it is determined that the inmate is not a U.S. citizen then DHS-ICE places a “detainer” on them essentially telling the Harris County jail officials to detain the said inmate for an extra 48 hours(2 days) to allow DHS-ICE to come and pick them up for deportation proceedings.

The problem with this policy is that it is prone to a lot of racial and ethnic profiling by county jail officials who often arbitrarily classify inmates who don’t “look like” or “speak like” Americans as non-citizens and thereby illegally subjecting them to DHS-ICE detainers. This is especially problematic in immigrant-rich cities like Houston which is home to many naturalized U.S. citizens who don’t “look like” or “speak like” Americans.

According to the Maddow segment, DHS-ICE apparently enters into contracts with county officials where they pay them an agreed sum for every inmate the county detains for them. It turns out however that in addition to this “detainer” policy being patently illegal as applied to U.S. citizens, it is also draining county tax dollars from the resultant lawsuits. In other words this “detainer” policy is ending up costing counties infinitely more money in lawsuits than the money DHS-ICE pays them to detain inmates for them. So in their zeal to push a “tough-on-immigration” agenda using the “detainers”, county officials(often Republican counties) are ending up wasting much needed tax dollars settling lawsuits brought by illegally detained U.S. citizens—a total travesty.

Bottom line as Yours Truly has said all along, Congress must step in and enforce some checks on DHS-ICE’s seemingly absolute powers. It seems as if at every turn DHS-ICE is violating the constitutional rights of poor immigrants whether that be through its evil family separation policy, illegal surveillance of legal immigrants or now illegally detaining U.S. citizens. A wise man once said, “power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It’s about time the U.S. Congress reigned in DHS-ICE’s absolute power.

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DHS Gutting Election Meddling Task Force

DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

A bombshell Daily Beast piece says despite the threat of a Russian/foreign attack on the upcoming 2020 Elections, DHS is gutting two task forces specifically created to counter such attacks. According to the Daily Beast piece, the two DHS task forces being downgraded are part of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) whose job is to guard the nation against foreign cyber attacks including those targeting our election infrastructure.

This is of course very serious news given the ongoing TrumpRussia investigation but predictably, it has also escaped the attention of the corporate mainstream media which instead devotes much of its attention and resources to Trump/GOP-inspired “scandals” implicating Democrats, the latest being Senator Warren’s ancestry and the mess in Virginia state government.

The Daily Beast reports that the two task forces meant to guard our elections against foreign meddling, especially by Russia, have seen drastic staff reduction since the 2018 midterm elections and there are no plans to ramp them back up to full force even as we face similar threats in 2020.

One of the excuses being put forward by DHS, an unavailing one, is that the task forces were meant to be temporary in nature and therefore as bad as the staff reductions look given the ongoing Russian threat, there is nothing abnormal or sinister about them. In other words the staff reductions were bound to happen one way or another because the task forces were not set up to be permanent.

Bottom line House Democrats and indeed the mainstream media must put pressure on DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen to explain why two DHS task forces specifically charged with election security are being downgraded. Simply put, after the horrendous family separation policy and now this, Secretary Nielsen’s tenure at DHS is becoming increasingly hard to justify from both a professional and moral standpoint.

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Devos Profiting From Separated Migrant Children?

Education Secretary Betsy Devos

As the scandal surrounding thousands of migrant children who the Department of Homeland Security appears to have lost track of continues, a troubling but interesting thread is developing and that is, that the migrant children are not lost, but are instead being channelled into adoption for profit. In other words, there is a profit motive behind the already shocking child separation policy.

Even more troubling is that the adoption agency at the center of this controversy, Bethany Christian Services, has close ties to current Education Secretary Betsy Devos, a close ally of President Trump. Strangely, even though this is a topic that has been reported by some sections of the mainstream media, it has not garnered the attention it clearly deserves.

Yours Truly has certainly done his part highlighting this very troubling migrant children separation issue and will continue to do so

Bottom line, House Democrats and the mainstream media need to get to the bottom of the migrant children separation issue and specifically, whether there are people up to and including Education Secretary Betsy Devos, who are profiting from the pain and suffering of these migrant families. This is way beyond politics and clearly a moral issue of the utmost importance. Simply put, tax payer funds should not be used to separate migrant families or any other family for that matter, for profit.

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Video Shows Migrant Children Abused At Arizona Detention Center

Surveillance footage shows migrant children dragged on the floor at a migrant detention center in Arizona

A shocking video obtained by The Arizona Republic shows migrant children being mercilessly dragged on the floor by detention officials at the now defunct Hacienda del sol detention facility in Arizona. These migrant detention facilities even though privately run, are overseen by the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) meaning this shocking incident will almost definitely be investigated by House Democrats. The original video by The Arizona Republic is available here but the relevant clip is below

Abuse of migrant detainees by detention officials is however nothing new. The root cause of migrant detainee abuse is the unspoken truth that thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court, private migrant detention centers are for all intents and purposes above the law. In other words thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Correctional Servs. Corp. v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61, 63 (2001), it is virtually impossible for abused migrants to prevail in civil lawsuits against these private prisons, even in cases of egregious abuses like the ones captured in this video. As a matter of fact some have argued that this is precisely why DHS subcontracts migrant detention to these private prisons–that way both DHS and the prisons avoid civil liability for abuses.

It is therefore very important that House Democrats if they decide to investigate this troubling incident, look beyond the specific instances of abuse here and address the root cause of migrant detainee abuse which is that nobody(neither DHS nor the private prisons) is ever held civilly liable for abuses. Unless and until there’s a realization by both DHS and these private prisons that they risk being hit with hefty financial penalties for abusing migrants in their custody, nobody should expect them to treat migrant detainees any better.

Bottom line, House Democrats need to grill DHS secretary about the abuse of migrants at DHS-overseen private detention centers. More importantly, House Democrats need to come up with legislation aimed at forcing these DHS-overseen detention centers to compensate migrants who can show that their constitutional rights were violated while in custody. Then and only then will these private detention centers start treating detained migrants like human beings. House Democrats must solve the migrant detainee abuse problem to save victims from wasting their time seeking redress at the Roberts Supreme Court, especially now that Kavanaugh is there.

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Tyrannical DHS Is Arraigning 2 Year Olds In Immigration Court

DHS recently arraigned 2 year old Fernanda Jacqueline Davila, a Honduran, before an Immigration Judge

A very troubling New York Times piece says Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s DHS which already shocked Americans with its cruel & inhumane family separation policy a few months ago, is now arraigning migrant children as young as 2 years old before immigration judges—2 year olds folks!!

It is well known that court settings can be very intimidating to a lot of adults–even traffic court. Can you imagine how scared a 2 year old would be being asked questions by an Immigration judge without their parents, in a court with uniformed law enforcement officers? The poor Honduran girl was probably so tormented by her immigration court experience, she will remember it for the rest of her life.


These horrendous scenes we are witnessing with secretary Nielsen’s DHS never used to happen in previous administrations–this callous disregard for the welfare of migrant children. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, here’s what the President of the National Association of Immigration Judges Ashley Tabaddor said: “We rarely had children under the age of 6 until the last year or so.”

Previous administrations have always gone to great lengths to ensure the young children of immigrants are spared as much as possible from the emotional trauma stemming from the decisions of their parents to bring them across the border. It is very clear that such caution has been thrown out of the window by the current Trump administration and certainly by Secretary Nielsen’s tyrannical DHS where seemingly even 2 year old migrant children are fair game.

Bottom line little Fernanda Jacqueline Davila and other very young migrant children should not be arraigned in immigration court. Surely there are other humane, civilized ways DHS could handle their immigration cases without subjecting them to this needless emotional torture. DHS does this simply because it has the power to do it. Tyranny is defined as “cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control.” Now you understand why Yours Truly routinely refers to Sec Nielsen’s DHS as “Tyrannical DHS”.

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