NY Governor Kathy Hochul Slams SCOTUS Decision Knocking Down Her State’s Gun Law

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In a fiery speech delivered minutes after the United States Supreme Court handed down a decision knocking down her state’s concealed gun law, New York Governor kathy Hochul slammed the decision, calling the high court, “a politicized Supreme Court.”

Governor Hochul specifically said:“We are not powerless in this situation. We are not going to cede our rights that easily, despite the best efforts of the politicized Supreme Court of the United States of America…Apparently, the Supreme Court has now decided, with this far-reaching decision, that the two step standard that had been in place since Heller vs McDonald, where they analyze the 2nd amendment where it combines history…but also means and scrutiny–does the means of the restriction justify the infringement, and most people would say, yes we have a right to protect people from gun violence…They[Supreme Court]have now said, that the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation. That’s it. No longer can we strike the balance.”

Gov Hochul then read directly from the text of the Supreme Court decision:“Only if a firearm regulation is consistent with this nation’s historical tradition, may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the 2nd amendment’s unqualified command”, to which she responded, “Shocking, absolutely shocking, that they have taken away our right to have reasonable restrictions. We can have restrictions on speech, you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater, but somehow there is no restrictions allowed on the 2nd amendment? This is New York, we don’t back down, we fight back…I’m sorry this dark day has come. We are supposed to go back to what was in place since 1788 when the constitution of the United States of America was ratified. And I would like to point out to Supreme Court Justices that the only weapons at that time were muskets. I’m prepared to go back to muskets. I don’t think they envisioned the high-capacity assault weapon magazines intended for battlefields, as being covered. I guess we’re just going to have to disagree.”

Governor Hochul has since convened an extraordinary session of the New York legislature to address issues raised by this Supreme Court decision–leadership matters, folks!!

Bottom line folks, given the recent horrific mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde, it’s not hard to understand Governor Hochul’s frustration with this Supreme Court decision, which reasonable people will agree, curtails efforts by states to institute common sense gun control measures.

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Is It Time To Hold Fox News Accountable Over Its Role In The January 6th Insurrection?

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An interesting segment on MSNBC’s Katie Phang Show(06/11/22) delved into the burning question among members of the public, as to whether Fox News should be held accountable for what many believe, was an incitement by some of its leading hosts towards the violent insurrection at the Capitol on 01/06/2021. This question is resurfacing because a former senior editor at Fox News, one Chris Stirewalt, who was known to openly criticize the network’s super close ties to the Trump administration and its far right extremist backers, is set to testify at the January 6th Committee’s second public hearing set for Monday(06/13/22). It is expected that Stirewalt will draw a direct connection between some of the leading insurrectionists and Fox News’ hosts. Katie Phang’s guest Danielle Moodie, who hosts the Woke AF Podcast, thinks Fox News should absolutely be held accountable for it’s role in the January 6th insurrection.

Host Katie Phang:“One of the witnesses on Monday, we know, is Chris Stirewalt. He was fired from Fox after calling Arizona for Biden. He’s also been known to say Fox News is an arm of the Republican Party. Do you think the committee is going to start zeroing in on the White House’s[Trump’s] interactions with the network Fox News?”

Danielle Moodie:“I would love for them to do that. I would love for the Department of Justice to do that, I’d love for the FCC to do that, I mean the reality here is that Fox News for the longest time, is the propaganda arm, it is a dangerous entity, and so I think it is incredibly important for them not to just look at this and say, ‘Oh well, freedom of speech, we can’t touch it’. We have to see how all of these pieces fit together, and I think that without Fox News, you wouldn’t have the kind of amplification of the insurrection, and replacement theory, and all of the things that we know that these militias…and the Trump base holds dear, and so yes, I think that they absolutely should be zeroing in on Fox at some point, and I hope it’s soon.”

Bottom line folks, we can complain about the rise of White nationalism and other far right violent extremist groups all we want, but unless we are willing and able to confront the Fox News engine that we know, powers all these dangerous groups, then we might as well start preparing for the next, possibly successful insurrection. If the January 6th Commitee is serious about its stated goal of preventing another violent insurrection, then as Danielle Moodie correctly points out, it necessarily has to deal with the role of Fox News in the 2021 insurrection, and potentially, a future one. Put another way, it’s about time Fox News’ freedom of speech defense got put to the test. Incitement to violence is a well known exception to a freedom of speech claim.

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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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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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Laura Ingraham Is Upset That Defense Secretary Austin Wants To Rid Military Of Racists & Extremists

The unfortunate events of January 6, 2021, dubbed “DCInsurrection”, where a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building interrupting a joint session of Congress convened to formally confirm the election of President Joe Biden, have raised a lot of questions about violent extremism and racism in the United States, and specifically, the extent to which such extremism and racism have infected the military ranks.

During the insurrection, a lot of Americans witnessed on live TV and social media, images of many of the rioters in military regalia, engaging in formations that left absolutely no doubt that they were either active duty military officers, or veterans of the U.S. armed forces. Media reports have since confirmed that quite a number of the DC insurrectionists were indeed either active duty military officers or veterans, a disturbing development indeed, and proof positive sign that there is radicalization/extremism within our armed forces. Sadly, there were also images at the DC insurrection of people displaying flags and other symbols of groups with long and documented histories of espousing White supremacist views. So the problem at DC insurrection was not just violent extremism, but violent extremism plus racism.

Naturally, as a result of these troubling media reports, there have been calls from the public and members of Congress, for the department of defense to investigate this apparent radicalization in the military, with the goal of ridding the revered American institution of racists and extremists–something all reasonable people will conclude is a very noble and justified goal. It was therefore quite interesting on Thursday’s(2/4/2021) edition of her show, to see Fox News host Laura Ingraham express reservations, even outrage, at the fact that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has put in motion efforts to do just that–rid the U.S. military of racists and extremists.

In the editorial section of her show titled “The Ingraham Angle“, Ingraham lashed out at Defense Secretary Austin saying his efforts to get racists and extremists out of the military was a veiled attempt at purging Conservatives and Trump supporters from the military. Laura played a clip of Defense Secretary Austin’s remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing where Secretary Austin said, “I will fight hard to stump out sexual assault, and to rid our ranks of racists and extremists. The job of the department of defense is to keep America safe from our enemies, but we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.” She then strangely lashed out at these perfectly normal sentiments by Secretary Austin saying, “Of course what he [Secretary Austin] really meant then, and what he would like to do now, is rid the military of all strong Conservatives and of course, Trump supporters.”

Laura Ingraham’s take on Secretary Austin’s remarks at his confirmation hearings are not only troubling because she unreasonably casts negative aspersions at the Secretary’s motives, but also because she appears to be troubled that efforts are underway to rid the military of racists and extremists. Reasonable people would welcome such a move because it is not only good for the military, but also for the country to have a military that does not harbor racists and extremists. By unreasonably suggesting that the aim here is to rid the military of “strong Conservatives” and “Trump supporters”, is Laura Ingraham tacitly admitting that Conservatives and Trumpers are indeed racists and extremists? Are racists and extremists a voting block that is now being actively courted by the modern Republican party? These and others, are interesting questions one hopes the mainstream media will pose to Ingraham and company, regarding her seeming reluctance to have the military remove racists and extremists from it’s ranks.

It also bears pointing out that Ingraham’s reservations about getting rid of racists and extremists from the military is a prevalent view among many prominent Republicans. You’ll remember that after the January 6th incident, many people started expressing concern about a similar insurrection happening two weeks later, at the January 20th presidential inauguration event. Among the steps taken to prevent a repeat of January 6th, was a beefing up of security in and around Washington DC, by bringing in National Guard troops from the various states. The troops brought in to secure the inauguration event were vetted to ensure they had no ties to the same extremists groups that participated in the January 6th insurrection. Strangely, and much like we witnessed with Laura Ingraham, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and Florida’s Ron DeSantis, were also very upset that the troops were vetted for extremism ties, something most reasonable people would consider prudent given the circumstances.

Bottom line folks, Yours Truly has repeatedly stated that among the most underreported stories during the four years of the Trump administration, is the extent to which he politicized and abused the military to achieve his political interests. These unreasonable protestations by Trumpers like Laura Ingraham, Governors Abbott, DeSantis, et al, towards ridding the military of racists and extremists, only add on to my suspicions. Are they afraid that a vetting will uncover something they are already aware of, but would rather hide from the public? Hmm

Obviously the jury is still out on the finer details of the politicization and abuse of the military during the four years of the Trump administration, and hopefully details will soon start coming out under the Biden administration. One hopes that the mainstream media will keep us fully apprised on the findings of DOD Inspector General’s investigations in this regard, especially in states like Texas and Florida with super Trumper Governors.

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