Rep McCaul Says The Taliban Are Holding Americans Hostage At An Airport In Afghanistan

Rep Michael McCaul(R-TX), the top Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appeared on Fox News Sunday(09/05/2021), where he made the bombshell claim that the Taliban are holding Americans, already seated in planes and awaiting departure, hostage at the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport in Afghanistan.

Rep McCaul’s full interview on Fox News Sunday is available here, but the relevant clip is below

Rep McCaul told host Chris Wallace: “We have six airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif Airport, six airplanes, with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands right now. State[Department] has cleared these flights, and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport…And that’s my concern…they[Taliban] are going to demand more and more, whether it be cash, or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan…This is really turning into a hostage situation, where they are not going to allow American citizens to leave until they get full recognition from the United States of America.”

Needless to say, Americans being held hostage in a hostile foreign nation, will always be a big deal, or as TeamBiden would say, a “bfd”. It will be interesting to see how the Biden administration addresses this bombshell claim by the ranking Republican in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick Defends State’s Controversial Abortion Law

Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick(R-TX) appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle show(09/02/2021) to defend the controversial Texas abortion bill(SB8), which the U.S. Supreme Court recently allowed to stand. Lt. Gov Patrick told fill-in host Jason Chaffetz that SB8 is simply meant to punish doctors in Texas who perform abortions after detecting a heartbeat.

Lt. Governor Patrick specifically said: “The Supreme Court said in Roe v Wade…that the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of life, and that’s what SB8 does. When we pass this bill, we want to give that little Texan in the womb, who has a heartbeat, a chance to see their full potential. And so everyone who is speaking against this bill, obviously for whatever their reason, [is] very comfortable with taking the life of a little Texan who has a heartbeat. Our bill, which has everyone apoplectic on the left, simply says that any doctor who performs an abortion once that doctor detects a heartbeat, can be sued by any citizen in Texas, for up to $10,000, and anecdotally…what we hear now, our Planned Parenthood abortion centers around the state, have stopped doing abortions on little Texans with a heartbeat. That’s the purpose of SB8.”

Abortion has been, and continues to be, a very charged topic in U.S. politics. Yours Truly, the consummate “gentleman and scholar”, believes that it is in the public’s best interests, that the contours of the SB8 debate be clearly defined–that people know exactly what each side is arguing. It is very clear, that according to Lt. Governor Patrick, SB8 is meant to punish doctors in Texas, who perform an abortion, even after detecting a heartbeat. Whether one agrees or disagrees with that point of view is not the issue here. The important thing is that the public is very clear as to the Republican stance re SB8 versus the Dem/liberal stance. Everybody benefits from an informed debate.

It will be interesting to see how the fight over SB8 will play out in the months and years to come, and whether the conservative U.S. Supreme Court will ever entertain a challenge to SB8 on the merits. Until then, as Trump famously says, “We’ll see what happens.”

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Texas State Rep Exposes The Real Deal Behind GOP’s Voter Suppression Laws

Texas State Rep Jasmine Crockett On MSNBC’s Cross Connection show on 08/14/2021

Texas State Rep Jasmine Crockett, one of the Texas Democrats currently “in exile” in Washington DC, appeared on MSNBC’s Cross Connection show(08/14/2021), where she exposed the real deal behind Texas GOP’s voter suppression laws. Rep Crockett basically exposed what Texas residents have known all along, but is rarely mentioned in the national mainstream media, and that is, Texas is quickly becoming majority-minority state, and Texas Republicans, who are heavily dependent on the White vote, are freaking out. This, she correctly points out, is the real reason behind the Lone Star State’s voter suppression laws.

The full Cross Connection segment is available here, but the relevant clip is below.

Rep Crockett told host Tiffany Cross:“We have the real deal numbers[from the census], and it shows that over the last ten years, 95% of the growth in the state of Texas has been people of color…that’s absolutely true. When we look at Trump and Biden, he only lost Texas by five percentage points. That’s what scary. So they[TexasGOP]are saying wait a minute…we only added 180,000 Anglos in the last ten years, whereas Asian-Americans grew over half a million, Black-Americans grew over half a million, Latino-Americans grew over two million. So they are saying wait a minute, if we don’t do something now, then that floor[Texas Legislature]is going to start to look like what the state looks like. The state is a majority-minority state, and they don’t want that.”

Folks, if you miss everything else in the fight for voting rights currently playing out in Texas, do not miss what Texas Rep Jasmine Crockett said on the Cross Connection show. GOP’s freak-out over the dwindling White population in Texas is right at the heart of their voter suppression effort. The restrictive voting laws Texas Republicans are currently pushing, have zero to do with the integrity/security of the vote. It’s all an effort to keep as many Blacks and Browns as possible, from voting.

Bottom line folks, Democrats need to bring a lot of pressure to bear on Senators Joe Manchin(VA) and Kyrsten Sinema(AZ) who are still reluctant to get rid of the filibuster, despite it’s racist roots. They need to be told in no uncertain terms, that racism is at the center of GOP’s voter suppression efforts in Texas and other Republican states, and that by insisting on keeping the filibuster, they are complicit in GOP’s racism. Plain and simple!!

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Fox News’ Hypocrisy Over Covid Vaccine Passports Exposed

Fox News Host Tucker Carlson Railing Against Covid Vaccine Passports To His Millions Of Viewers(06/01/21)

Turns out, per bombshell segment on CNN Newsroom (07/19/21), that the critical stance Fox News hosts routinely take regarding COVID-19 vaccine passports, is just another case of blatant hypocrisy by the network. Fox News has apparently had in place since June, a COVID-19 passport program, which means vaccine passport “critics” Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, are most likely fully vaccinated participants of the network’s vaccine passport program.

Senior Media Reporter Oliver Darcy said on CNN Newsroom: “This is more blatant hypocrisy from Fox News. Tucker Carlson, the main star over at Fox, he’s compared the idea of vaccine passports to Jim Crow laws, and other hosts have railed against the idea of vaccine passports–showing that you have received a vaccine and the employer being able to verify that. But Fox, we learn, has quietly back in June…rolled out a system where employees can input that they have received a vaccine, which dose of the vaccine they received, when they received it, and then they get special privileges. They don’t have to do the normal health screenings for instance, when they walk into the office. This is just more brazen hypocrisy from Fox.”

Think about that. There’s a very good chance that since June, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and other hosts at Fox News, have been discouraging their millions of viewers/followers from receiving the readily available COVID-19 vaccines, while hiding the fact that they, without hesitation, did what was best for the health and safety of their families–getting fully vaccinated. This is borderline criminal conduct by the Fox News hosts. CNN host Alisyn Camerota summed it best; “Some of the Fox hosts are vitriolic, but they are not crazy. They have been vaccinated. Chances are they have been vaccinated, they don’t want to die. But they don’t want to tell their viewers they have been vaccinated, so they have to rail against any sort of having to disclose if you have been vaccinated, or even [being] asked. I mean, Tucker has gone so far as to say it’s vulgar to ask someone if they have been vaccinated…”

Bottom line folks, there has to be some kind of retribution for the dangerous COVID-related lies that keep spewing out of Fox News. It is one thing for news hosts to express their philosophical opposition to vaccines on air, but it’s quite the other where, as here, the hosts are trashing a vaccine for a deadly disease, while hiding the fact that they have received it. The public must demand that Tucker Carlson, Hannity and Ingraham immediately disclose their COVID vaccination status, so their millions of viewers can fairly evaluate their criticism of the vaccines/vaccine passports. Anything short of this is borderline criminal misinformation, for which the hosts should be held accountable.

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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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35 GOP Senators Who Voted Against A Bipartisan Jan 6th Commission

05/28/21 will be memorialized in History textbooks, as one of the most shameful days in U.S. Senate history, as 35 Republican Senators voted to kill via filibuster, a bill to establish a bipartisan commission to investigate what led to the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol Complex, aka DC insurrection. The final vote tally was 54 yeas, 35 nays, with 11 Senators not voting. 60 yea votes were needed to overcome the filibuster.

The violent insurrection by former President Trump’s supporters on Jan 6th, was an attempt to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying the results of the electoral college, officially making Joseph R. Biden Jr the 46th President of the United States. During the violent insurrection, most of which played out on live TV, sitting members of Congress could be seen frightened for their lives, and being ushered into safety by Capitol Police officers. Five people lost their lives that day, including one Capitol Police officer, and many others had to be rushed to local DC hospitals with serious injuries.

January 6th 2021 will go down in history as one the lowest points in American democracy for several reasons, chief among them, the fact that it shattered America’s towering reputation around the world, as the only country where a peaceful transition of power was a guarantee, following every presidential election. On January 6th, the world watched with disbelief, on live TV, as violent Trump supporters fought to prevent the transition of power to the 2020 presidential election winner, Joe Biden.

Given the seriousness of the events that transpired on January 6th, any reasonable person would have expected U.S. Senators to vote overwhelmingly(all 100 of them) in support of establishing a bipartisan investigative commission, as has happened in previous national tragedies like the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001. Instead, 35 GOP Senators, out of fear of upsetting former President Trump, found a way to vote against such a commission–a total shame.

Because this is one of the most shameful votes in U.S. Senate history, It is only fair that the names and faces of the said GOP Senators be memorialized for future generations. Below is a handy list of the 35 Senators.

Bottom line folks, something is seriously wrong when sitting members of the United States Senate, whose very lives were threatened on January 6th, filibuster the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the incident, simply because they are afraid to upset former President Trump, whose election fraud lies led to the incident. It is not only the epitome of political cowardice, but a total dereliction of their oaths as U.S. Senators, to defend the U.S. Constitution. It also inevitably raises the question as to whether the 35 GOP Senators are trying to cover up their direct or indirect involvement with the violent 6th insurrection.

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Rep Gaetz Says Republicans Have An Obligation To Use Second Amendment For An Armed Rebellion

Just four months after the horrific January 6th insurrection in Washington DC by violent Trump supporters, Congressman Matt Gaetz(R-FL) was in Dalton, Georgia (5/27/21) telling a crowd of supporters that the second amendment was meant for armed rebellion and importantly, that they(Republicans), “have an obligation to use it”. If this is not a direct incitement to violent insurrection by the sitting Congressman, I don’t know what is.

In the clip which was played on CNN’s NewDay with Brianna Keilar, Rep Gaetz can be heard telling the crowd, “We have a second amendment in this country, and I think we have an obligation to use it…The second amendment is not about hunting, it’s not about recreation, it’s not about sports. The second amendment is about maintaining within the citizenry, the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government if that becomes necessary.” There’s absolutely no other way any reasonable person can interpret this, other than a direct incitement to an armed rebellion against the government by Rep Gaetz.

This is a very serious issue, and must be treated as such by the powers that be, given the fact that it comes only four months after DC insurrection, an armed rebellion that came shockingly close to success. Rep Gaetz’s comments also deserve further scrutiny because unlike many other Republicans who initially distanced themselves from former President Trump after DC insurrection, he and Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, in whose district Gaetz was speaking, fully embraced Trump even after the incident, and have since projected themselves as Trump’s trusted lieutenants nationally. As a result, Trump’s supporters regard public statements by Reps Gaetz and Greene as direct messages from the former President–a call to action if you will.

Any reasonable person looking at the GOP’s reaction to the events that transpired on January 6th, and since then, is left with a very troubling picture as to where the party, and quite frankly the country, is headed. Trump’s lies about election fraud led to an armed insurrection on Jan 6th. Congressional Republicans chose not to impeach him for that. Trump is still pushing the same dangerous lies. Some Republican members of Congress have since conjured up revisionist theories as to what really happened on January 6th(just a bunch of tourists etc), to excuse their continued support for Trump.

Republican-controlled state legislatures have embarked on voter suppression laws targeting areas/voters they deem anti-Trump and importantly, made it possible for state legislatures to overturn elections in case of unfavorable outcomes. All this is being done against the backdrop of Trump teasing another run for President in 2024, meaning the said state legislatures are setting the stage for overturning the elections in case Trump loses. The sham election recount in Arizona is also setting the stage to overturn future election results that don’t go in Trump’s favor. States like Texas are passing reckless gun laws that make it possible for just about anybody to bear arms. Hmm, coincidence? How does this fit into Rep Gaetz’s rebellion rhetoric? Remember, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is a super Trumper too.

Republican Senators, at the urging of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell(KY), are today(05/28/21) set to kill an effort to establish a bipartisan commission to look into what led to the January 6th DC insurrection, and coming up with ways to prevent it from ever happening again. Is Senator McConnell afraid that the commission will show that DC insurrection was not as “fringe” as establishment Republicans want the public to believe? Was he personally involved behind the scenes? These are questions the public needs to start asking, and asking loudly, because something is off-kilter with the current GOP, and it’s continued dalliance with insurrectionist Trump. Simply put, “fringe” Reps Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene may not be that fringe after all, as CNN host Brianna Keilar pointed out.

Bottom line folks, we must never forget the fact that we simply got lucky on January 6th. Everything that has happened with Trump’s GOP since January 6th, leads any reasonable person to conclude that Jan 6th was just a trial run, and if we don’t remain vigilant, we are definitely headed towards another one, this time, successful .

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Trump-Tied Dark Money Group Brags About Drafting Voter Suppression Laws

Heritage Action’s Executive Director Jessica Anderson addressing a group meeting

A leaked video obtained by Mother Jones, shows the shocking extent to which a Trump-tied dark money group, Heritage Action For America, is secretly engineering the recent spate of voter suppression laws in Republican-led states. This bombshell revelation, even though not quite surprising, should be a call to action for voting rights activists nationwide, and a reminder to Congressional Democrats, of the dire need for passage of HR1-For The People Act.

In the leaked video, Jessica Anderson, a former Trump administration official and now Executive Director of Heritage Action For America, can be heard talking to a group of donors in Tucson Arizona in late April, and admitting to conduct that leaves absolutely no doubt to any reasonable person, that her group is engineering the voter suppression laws currently springing up in Republican states across the country. She is essentially bragging to the donors about how Heritage Action is drafting voter suppression laws currently being enacted by Republican-led state legislatures.

She can be heard telling the donors, “Iowa is the first state we[Heritage Action] got to work in, and we did it quickly, and we did it quietly. Honestly, nobody noticed.”(see video at 1:05). No reasonable person presented with Jessica Anderson’s “nobody noticed” remarks, can ever conclude that Heritage Action went into Iowa with a mission other than sneaking through a voter suppression law.

Other alarming statements by Jessica Anderson to the GOP donors include;

“At the end of the day, the bill that Governor[Brian] Kemp signed, and the Georgia legislature marshalled through had eight key provisions that Heritage recommended.” (see video at 1:11)

“We are working with these state legislators to make sure they have all of the information they need to draft the bills. In some cases we actually draft them for them, or we have a sentinel on our behalf, give them the model legislation so it has that grassroots, from the bottom up, type of vibe.” (see video at 1:32). This is by far, the most damning part of Jessica Anderson’s presentation. She basically admits that Heritage Action is writing voter suppression laws for the states, and faking their grassroots appeal.

It also bears pointing out that this same Trump-tied dark money group, is also in the forefront of lobbying Congressional Republicans into blocking the HR1-For The People Act, currently being pushed by Congressional Democrats, which among other things, seeks to vastly expand voting rights for all Americans.

Bottom line folks, it appears Heritage Action is the vehicle Trump Republicans are using to push their voter suppression laws targeting minority voters. Voting rights activists in Texas and other emerging purple states, where the voting rights battle is already red hot, must come up with effective strategies to confront Heritage Action and other such right wing anti-democracy groups. Yours Truly is not an attorney, but is reasonable enough to know that some of the statements Jessica Anderson made to the GOP donors, can be very useful in federal lawsuits against these Republican voter suppression laws.

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GOP’s Deficit Arguments Have Become So Ridiculous, They’re Laughable–LITERALLY!!

Chris Wallace, the host of Fox News Sunday, laughs at Sen Roy Blunt’s ridiculous response to a question about deficits (4/4/2021)

Senator Roy Blunt(R-MO) appeared on Fox News Sunday (4/4/2021) where host Chris Wallace asked him a direct question as to whether Republicans had lost all credibility regarding deficits, given the way they allowed spending to balloon under Trump, even before the covid-19 pandemic. Host Chris Wallace was basically asking Senator Blunt why the public should take GOP’s opposition to President Biden’s infrastructure proposal seriously, given their spending habits under Trump.

Chris Wallace asked Sen Blunt: “During the Trump presidency, even before the pandemic, the national debt increased by more than $3 trillion, and in 2017, every Republican in the Senate including you, voted for the big Trump tax cuts, which cut revenue by almost one and half trillion dollars, so I guess the question is….hasn’t the Republican Party lost credibility on this issue?”

Even though Chris Wallace’s question was specifically directed at GOP spending under Trump before the pandemic, Senator Blunt’s entire response focused on GOP’s actions after the pandemic. This was such a ridiculous dodge by Senator Blunt, that Chris Wallace burst out laughing, reiterating for the record, “I just want to make it clear. When I talked about the increase in debt during the Trump years, I did it purposely before the pandemic started.”

Bottom line folks, this should serve as a message to Democrats out there, freaking out about a “GOP Tsunami in 2022” brought about by some imaginary “deficits backlash” due to President Biden’s infrastructure plan. As Senator Blunt’s performance on Fox News Sunday clearly shows, Republicans have no legs to stand on when it comes to deficits, given their actions under Trump. Voters will treat such arguments in 2022 the same way host Chris Wallace did–laugh them off. Simply put, Democrats must go big and bold on infrastructure.

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