Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo:”Texas Is Being Run From Maralago”

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo appeared on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (09/24/2021), where she blasted elected Republicans in Texas for giving in to former President Trump’s baseless demands for an audit into the state’s 2020 election results. The decision by the Texas Secretary of State’s office to conduct an audit into the election results of Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties, came literally a few hours after Trump’s demand, which led a visibly upset Judge Hidalgo to tell host Maddow that Texas was “being run from Maralago.”

Judge Hidalgo told Maddow:“We have to remember we had incredibly successful elections here in Harris County in 2020. We had innovations that led to record turnouts from both parties, the highest in 30 years, I mean it was beautiful, and since then, no evidence has come out that would in any way cause the need for this kind of audit. All we’ve seen is [former]President Trump exhorting the state, or [Governor]Abbott, to have this audit…The reality of it is Texas is being run from Maralago, and that is dangerous, and it’s not appropriate…it’s extremely concerning.”

Judge Hidalgo added that time had come for politicians in Washington to get off the sidelines, and actively join the fight against voter suppression in the states, telling host Maddow, “We need the federal government to act, I mean, this has gone too far… This should be another call to action. We’ve got the writing on the wall. We’ve got to get off our chairs and get moving on all this.”

Bottom line folks, as Judge Hidalgo correctly pointed out, time has come for some decisive action to be taken against these naked efforts by Republicans at the state level, to restrict the voting rights of minorities. Democrats in Washington cannot just sit on the sidelines, and watch their counterparts in Republican-led states like Texas, go to war against GOP’s efforts to restrict minority voting rights. Simply put, time has come for Democrats in Washington to finally do away with the filibuster, and institute a national voting standard geared towards making it easier for people to vote, as opposed to GOP’s scheme of limiting access to the ballot box. As Judge Hidalgo correctly put it, congressional Democrats need to “get off their chairs and get moving” on a comprehensive federal voting rights law.

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Meeting Between Biden Admin Officials And Saudi Prince At Center Of Khashoggi Murder Raises Eyebrows

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid bin Salman with Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Senior Biden administration officials, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, reportedly met with Saudi’s Prince Khalid bin Salman, who is the brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman(MBS), and former Ambassador to the United States. Prince Khalid’s high level welcome to the United States has naturally shocked and angered human rights activists because our very own CIA pinpointed him as one of the masterminds behind the killing of former Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Specifically, the CIA said that it was Prince Khalid who lured Khashoggi into the Istanbul consulate where he was later killed.

Washington Post Columnist and CNN Political Analyst Josh Rogin told New Day host John Berman:“The Biden administration is trying to have it’s cake and eat it too. They want to say that they are being tough on Saudi Arabia for it’s atrocious and worsening human rights record, at the same time they want to do business with Saudi Arabia on areas of mutual interest, and I get that. But the way that they decided to do that was by welcoming back the former Ambassador, Khalid bin Salman, the brother of Mohammed bin Salman[MBS], the guy who the CIA asserts was responsible for the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post contributing columnist Jamal Khashoggi. And the allegation by the U.S. intelligence services, is that his brother Khalid lured him into the Istanbul consulate where he was later murdered…..So it seems like a weird thing to invite the guy who was connected to the murder back to have a bunch of pictures and give him the red carpet treatment, and let him meet with Defense Secretary and the National Security Adviser. It sends the signal to the Saudis, and to the region, and to the human rights community frankly, that the Biden administration’s protestations against Saudi atrocities are just that, just words, and not actions. It signals a return to business as usual….It also insults the legacy of Jamal Khashoggi, and reneges on Biden’s promise to deliver justice to Jamal and his family.”

Bottom line folks, for a Biden administration that is usually very fine-tuned and on-message, one has to admit that granting Prince Khalid a high profile welcome despite the CIA’s findings on Khashoggi’s murder, was quite an uncharacteristic blunder by the administration. More importantly, this blunder unnecessarily dings the Biden administration’s stance and messaging on human rights. Surely somebody at Biden’s White House should have foreseen and prevented this “unforced error” of immense magnitude.

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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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Trump Administration Locking Migrant Children In Cages

In a previous post Yours Truly called on Congressional Democrats to demand an immediate end to Trump Administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy for its evil/inhumane practice of ripping migrant children from their parents upon apprehension at the southern U.S. border. This is a policy that the United Nations has called a violation of human rights and most recently torture so Dems must not hold any punches over it. It is quite encouraging to see highly influential figures in the Democratic Party like former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton forcefully voicing their opposition to this evil “Zero Tolerance” policy and Congressional Dems should follow their lead.


However Dems must also expose an even more troubling aspect of this already abominable “Zero Tolerance” policy which is that the Trump Admnistration is putting Migrant Children in cages–like animals.

This is simply unacceptable in the United States of America, let alone any civilized society. Part of the Dem opposition to the evil “Zero Tolerance” policy has to be this sickening practice of putting migrant children in cages. Quite frankly at this point, Dems have no otherwise but to join Sen Kamala Harris in calling for the immediate resignation of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen


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Dems Must Confront Trump Admin’s Evil Policy Of Ripping Migrant Children From Their Parents

Ever since U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Trump Administration’s new tough “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy, a sharp debate has erupted as to whether Trump Admin’s immigration stance is so tough as to be inhumane/a human rights violation

Of particular concern has been the “Zero Tolerance” policy’s requirement that when migrant families are apprehended after illegally crossing the southern U.S. border, the children are separated from their parents who go and face immigration/removal proceedings. The Department of Homeland Security takes custody of their children, in many cases infants, and places them with U.S. relatives


For the record, every U.S. Admin crafts its own immigration policy which often differs from previous administration policies and the Trump Admin is entitled to its own immigration policy. What makes the "Zero Tolerance" policy markedly different is that many, including the United Nations have called it a violation of human rights for the way it rips migrant children from their parents. The Obama administration, as did other previous administrations placed similarly situated families in family detention centers for the precise reason of keeping families together. The Trump Administration, ashamed of its own immigration policy has resorted to shifting the blame on the Obama administration--a blatant lie. Rather than put an immediate end to their human rights violations the Trump admin has chosen to perpetuate it using a blatant lie that it is Obama who started the evil program

In addition to that there have been reports that in the process of placing the kids with their relatives, their parents are losing contact with them which as you know is any parent's worst nightmare.

As if the immediate trauma "Zero Tolerance" policy is inflicting on migrant families is not enough, now doctors are warning that the separation from their parents will cause the children irreparable harm, up to and including mental problems. This is as serious as it gets which is why Yours Truly is calling upon Dems to immediately step in and do what America has always done-- rescue children in danger.

The dire warning by the doctors must be the "red line" for Dems as regards Trump Admin's Zero Tolerance policy. This is way beyond the usual immigration politics Americans are accustomed to.

Dems have a moral obligation to demand an immediate end to Trump Admin's "Zero Tolerance" immigration policy which subjects migrant infants to irreparable health defects.

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