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Republicans claim to be patriots but they are not. Real patriots put country first not party; Republicans put party first not country, Republicans are not real patriots. The Republican Party is doing some very unpatriotic things and is willing to destroy our democracy using lies, hate, fear, alterative facts, whataboutism and Russian talking points to stay in power and protect a comprised and corrupt Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party and Putin. Welcome to GOP Watch keeping an eye on Republicans for you. The Republican Party is using lies, hate, fear, alterative facts and whataboutism to stay in power and protect a comprised and corrupt Donald J. Trump, the Republican Party and Putin. The GOP is a danger to America and Americans.

*** Make no mistake about it Donald J. Trump interfered in the 2020 election on multiple levels in an attempted coup. ***
By Ed Kilgore

On December 1, I looked back at Donald Trump’s elaborate efforts to discredit voting by mail and cast doubt on a Biden victory before, during, and after Election Day and asked questions about why his coup had failed. I thought faulty planning, hesitation when it looked like Trump might win without stealing it, a failure to bring Republican state legislators in on the coup, and legal incompetence were all factors. But while I acknowledged Biden’s victory would not be complete until Congress confirmed it on January 6, I didn’t expect Trump was saving his worst offenses against democracy for the very end. Ultimately, Congress did confirm Biden’s win, the mob Trump incited was repulsed, and he has been impeached for his outrageous conduct. But it’s time to ask again: How close did we come to a stolen election, or at least a constitutional crisis? Here are some moments of real peril to consider: more...

*** Republicans are the party of hypocrites. Republicans were silent when Trump did the same thing. Republicans are ok with it when they do it but are not ok with it when the Democrats do the same thing. ***

David Knowles

Over the past week, a growing number of Republicans began sounding the alarm about the number and content of executive orders being issued by President Biden. “The first week in office, what has Joe Biden done? He’s signed an executive order ending the Keystone pipeline, destroying 11,000 jobs,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in a Tuesday interview on Fox News. “The scale of Joe Biden’s executive orders and their impact on Americans is stark,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said last week. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., blasted Biden for issuing “more executive fiats than anyone in such a short period of time, ever. More than Obama, more than Trump, more than anyone. Second, these aren’t just normal executive fiats, this is literally going down the wish list of the far left and checking all of them off.” more...

It comes as old Facebook posts appeared to show the Congresswoman support violence against Democrats
Justin Vallejo

A video has emerged showing conspiracy-supporting Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene confronting Parkland massacre survivor David Hogg before she was elected. In the video posted to Ms Greene's YouTube account in January 2020, she can be seen following Mr Hogg down the street in Washington DC asking him to defend his stance supporting "red flag" laws, which permit temporary removal of firearms from a person considered a danger to themselves or others. "David, why are you supporting the red flag laws? If Scot Peterson the resource officer at Parkland had done his job then Nickolas Cruz wouldn't have killed anybody in your high school, or at least protected them," she said in the video. "And why are you using kids as a barrier? Do you not know how to defend your stance?" more...

By Em Steck and Andrew Kaczynski, CNN

(CNN) Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress, a CNN KFile review of hundreds of posts and comments from Greene's Facebook page shows. Greene, who represents Georgia's 14th Congressional District, frequently posted far-right extremist and debunked conspiracy theories on her page, including the baseless QAnon conspiracy which casts former President Donald Trump in an imagined battle against a sinister cabal of Democrats and celebrities who abuse children. In one post, from January 2019, Greene liked a comment that said "a bullet to the head would be quicker" to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In other posts, Greene liked comments about executing FBI agents who, in her eyes, were part of the "deep state" working against Trump. more...

David Jackson USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – An impeachment trial is both a legal proceeding and a political event, and the upcoming prosecution of former President Donald Trump has spawned a complex set of political challenges for Republicans and Democrats, as well as the defiant defendant. Republicans are already fighting about whether to move past Trump by convicting him – and blocking him from seeking office again – or keep faith with the former president and his large base of voters ahead of elections in 2022 and 2024. The Democrats and new President Joe Biden, meanwhile, run the risk of distracting themselves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic by conducting the trial of a politician who is already out of office. With opening arguments set for Feb. 9, the trial "will make it difficult for Joe Biden to unify the country," pollster Frank Luntz said. "It will be very difficult for the Republicans to unify their party. It will be difficult for the Democrats to push their agenda because everybody will be talking about impeachment." more...

For a moment, it looked like the Republican Party was getting some distance from the former president. Not anymore.
By DAVID SIDERS

For a moment, it looked like Donald Trump might be losing his iron grip on the GOP. In the wake of the deadly Capitol riot, 10 House Republicans joined Democrats in their vote to impeach him. Several other Republicans openly suggested at least censuring the president. Not anymore. Local and state Republican parties are censuring Republicans for disloyalty in states across the country. The lawmakers who broke with him are weathering a storm of criticism from Trump-adoring constituents at home, with punitive primary challenges already taking shape. In Washington, party leaders who once suggested Trump bore some responsibility for the Jan. 6 violence are backtracking. On Tuesday, 45 Republican senators — all but five members of the GOP conference — voted that putting a former president on trial for impeachment is unconstitutional, all but guaranteeing the Senate won’t convict him. If the Republican Party seemed to be at a crossroads about its post-Trump future, it now appears to have concluded in which direction to travel. more...

*** Why are Republicans putting America lives at risk? Are they trying to kill more Americas than the 400,000 who have already died? ***

By: Scott Bauer, Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted Tuesday to repeal Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide mask mandate, despite warnings from virtually every sector of the health care community that doing so would impair efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic. Both legislative chambers have to pass the resolution in order to undo the mask requirement. The Assembly, controlled 58-30 by Republicans, scheduled it for a vote Thursday. The Assembly on Tuesday passed an expanded COVID-19 response bill that may face a veto by the Democratic governor. The bill would prohibit the closure of churches during the pandemic and bar employers from requiring workers to get vaccinated for the disease. The Senate previously removed those provisions from a more limited COVID-19 bill that it passed and that the governor supports. more...

*** Republicans pledge full allegiance to Trump but not to America. ***

Once a producer of centrist Republicans like Arlen Specter and Tom Ridge, the state GOP now bears the MAGA stamp.
By HOLLY OTTERBEIN

PHILADELPHIA — Pennsylvania once stocked D.C. with a steady stream of establishment Republicans. Now, in the wake of Donald Trump’s reelection defeat, it’s better known for its GOP hard-liners — among them, Scott Perry, the congressman who recently made headlines for his behind-the-scenes efforts to assist Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia. The state GOP’s transformation from the party of former Sens. Arlen Specter and John Heinz — and Govs. Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge — to a bastion of Trump loyalists has been decades in the making. But the shift has perhaps never been so obvious as in the past two months when Republicans here were repeatedly thrust into the spotlight for their role in trying to override President Joe Biden’s victory. more...

Candy Woodall USA TODAY

Calls are mounting for U.S. Rep. Scott Perry to resign after a report late Saturday exposed his "significant role" in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Perry, a Republican from York County, connected President Donald Trump with a Justice Department official to try to remove the acting U.S. attorney general from his post and pressure Georgia lawmakers to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential contest, according to The New York Times. The congressman did not respond to questions from The Times before publication. He also did not immediately respond to questions from the USA TODAY Network on Saturday night. It was Perry, according to the report, who made Trump aware that Jeffrey Clark, "a relatively obscure Justice Department official" and acting chief of the civil division, supported the former president's view that the election had been stolen. more...

By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

Republicans are floating anti-impeachment trial balloons, and here is the essence of their argument: Putting Donald Trump on trial again before the Senate will just make everybody edgy, so let’s agree to move on. That was the proposal Sen. Marco Rubio made Sunday, when he told Fox that “we already have a flaming fire on this country and this is like taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on the fire.” Nobody wants a fire. But the constitutional inferno was set by Trump himself, who told an army of gas-fueled yahoos to invade the US Capitol and prevent Congress from conducting business so that he can stay in the White House. Rubio seems to think a mulligan would help bring about unity, because the dysfunctional Senate is too busy doing the “really important things,” and has a chance to “kinda bring the country together” by governing for a change. Mitt Romney set him straight: “If we’re going to have unity in our country,” the Utah senator said, “I think it’s important to recognize the need for accountability, for truth and justice.” more...

*** 'False flag', ‘crisis actors’, ‘alterative facts’ the lies (Bulls***) Republicans and conspiracy theorists use to deny the facts. ***

By Lexi Lonas

The Oregon Republican Party earlier this month approved and released a resolution calling the Jan. 6 Capitol riot by pro-Trump supporters a “false flag” operation and condemning Republicans who voted to impeach now-former President Trump over his role in the assault. The resolution claims without proof that there is “growing evidence” that the Capitol attack that left five dead was a “false flag” event meant to “discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans.” “This provided sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power,” the statement says. The resolution goes on to rebuke the 10 House Republicans — none of whom are from Oregon — who joined every Democrat in the chamber in voting to impeach Trump on Jan. 13. more...

Early in Trump’s presidency, emboldened neo-Nazi and fascist groups came out into the open but were met with widespread revulsion. So the tactics of the far right changed, becoming more insidious – and much more successful
by Brendan O’Connor

In March 2018, on a cold, grey Monday afternoon in East Lansing, Michigan, about 500 militant antifascists gathered in a car park with the intention of stopping Richard Spencer, the high-profile white nationalist, from speaking at Michigan State University (MSU). Spencer had not been asked to come by any student group on campus, but had instead invited himself. After the university denied his initial request to speak a few months earlier, Spencer sued. As part of the settlement agreement, Spencer agreed to speak in the middle of spring break at the MSU Pavilion for Agriculture and Livestock Education, a venue more than a mile away from the main campus. There in the parking lot, the antifascists kept one another warm, dancing to hardcore and hip-hop played over a wheeled-in guitar amplifier, sharing cigarettes and news from elsewhere. Some people talked about the leaked chat logs of the fascist gang Patriot Front, members of which were on their way to campus that very moment. Others discussed the arraignment of one of Spencer’s followers the night before on weapons charges after he pulled a gun on protesters. About 40 police officers in riot gear huddled at the far end of the car park. Bike cops on patrol swirled by. more...

Are "Ranger qualified" troops allowed to call themselves "Army Rangers"?
Alex Kasprak

On Jan. 23, 2021, Salon published an expose accusing Sen. Tom Cotton of overstating his military experience during past political campaigns. Cotton is, indeed, a military veteran with combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he was not an Army Ranger when he served there. Cotton did complete a two-month Army Ranger training program, allowing him to be termed “Ranger qualified” and put a Ranger “tab” on his uniform. Such a training program, however, is not the same as being an actual Army Ranger, a term associated with an elite set of troops “traditionally reserved for soldiers who served with the 75th Ranger Regiment based out of Fort Benning, Georgia,” according to Military Times. Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post fact-checker, wrote about the difference between the two in a July 2020 article: Simply put, there’s the Ranger School, and there’s the Ranger Regiment, a Special Operations unit. Anyone in the military can attend the Ranger School, whether or not they served in the Ranger Regiment. The Ranger School is an intense 62-day small-unit tactics course for dismounted infantry that only about 40 percent manage to complete. If a soldier makes it through the course, he or she earns the right to wear a uniform “tab” — a small cloth arch — that reads “Ranger.” more...

By Natalie Colarossi

Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton was criticized by a Democratic lawmaker who served as a U.S. Army Ranger, after Cotton was accused of misrepresenting his military record during his first run for office. Colorado Democratic Representative Jason Crow called out the GOP Senator on Twitter Saturday, following a report that said Cotton previously embellished the truth about being an Army Ranger. "Hey@SenTomCotton, unless you wore one of these berets you shouldn't be calling yourself a Ranger. Truth matters," Crow wrote. more...

*** It is official republicans are the anti-American party; republicans are loyal to Donald J. Trump but not to America, the constitution or the oaths of office they have taken. ***

The votes demonstrate the party leadership's loyalty to Donald Trump.
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

PHOENIX — Arizona Republicans voted Saturday to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP members who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump. The censures of Sen. John McCain’s widow, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey are merely symbolic. But they show the party’s foot soldiers are focused on enforcing loyalty to Trump, even in the wake of an election that saw Arizona inch away from its staunchly Republican roots. Party activists also reelected controversial Chairwoman Kelli Ward, who has been one of Trump’s most unflinching supporters and among the most prolific promoters of his baseless allegations of election fraud. The Arizona GOP’s combative focus has delighted Trump’s staunchest supporters and worried Republican insiders who have watched the party lose ground in the suburbs as the influence of its traditional conservative establishment has faded in favor of Trump. A growing electorate of young Latinos and newcomers bringing their more liberal politics from back home have further hurt the GOP. more...

*** Some Republicans continue to protect Trump and want to give him a pass after crimes against America, his multiple coup attempts and inciting insurrection, sedition and sacking of the United States Capitol. ***

Speaking with NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., called the impeachment trial "a moot point."
By Allan Smith

Several Republican senators on Sunday discouraged suggestions that the chamber could convict former President Donald Trump in his upcoming impeachment trial. "Well first of all, I think the trial is stupid," Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told "Fox News Sunday." "I think it's counterproductive. We already have a flaming fire in this country and [impeachment is] taking a bunch of gasoline and pouring it on top of the fire." Rubio added he believes Trump "bears responsibility for some of what happened" during the deadly riots at the Capitol earlier this month but that he does not believe impeachment is the right way to address the matter. He also said it would be "arrogant" to say that Trump should be barred from running for office again. "The first chance I get to vote to end this trial I will do it because I think it's bad for America," he said. "If you want to hold people accountable there's other ways to do it, particularly for president." Rubio said impeachment will "make it harder to get important things done and it's just going to continue to fuel these divisions that have paralyzed the country and have turned us into a country of people that hate each other." more...

*** How many times and how many ways did Trump try to steal the election? ***

The former president dropped the efforts to replace the acting attorney general after top DOJ officials agreed to resign en masse in protest if he succeeded, people familiar said
By Jess Bravin and Sadie Gurman

WASHINGTON—In his last weeks in office, former President Donald Trump considered moving to replace the acting attorney general with another official ready to pursue unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, and he pushed the Justice Department to ask the Supreme Court to invalidate President Biden’s victory, people familiar with the matter said. Those efforts failed due to pushback from his own appointees in the Justice Department, who refused to file what they viewed as a legally baseless lawsuit in the Supreme Court. Later, other senior department officials threatened to resign en masse should Mr. Trump fire then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, according to several people familiar with the discussions.

Senior department officials, including Mr. Rosen, former Attorney General William Barr and former acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall refused to file the Supreme Court case, concluding that there was no basis to challenge the election outcome and that the federal government had no legal interest in whether Mr. Trump or Mr. Biden won the presidency, some of these people said. White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy, Patrick Philbin, also opposed Mr. Trump’s idea, which was promoted by his outside attorneys, these people said. more...

The widow of the late senator was targeted because of her support for gay marriage and Joe Biden's bid for the presidency.
By The Associated Press

PHOENIX — Arizona Republicans voted Saturday to censure Cindy McCain and two prominent GOP officials who have found themselves crosswise with former President Donald Trump. The censures of Sen. John McCain’s widow, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Gov. Doug Ducey are merely symbolic. But they show the party’s foot soldiers are focused on enforcing loyalty to Trump, even in the wake of an election that saw Arizona inch away from its staunchly Republican roots. Party activists also reelected controversial Chairwoman Kelli Ward, who has been one of Trump’s most unflinching supporters and among the most prolific promoters of his baseless allegations of election fraud. The Arizona GOP’s combative focus has delighted Trump’s staunchest supporters and worried Republican insiders who have watched the party lose ground in the suburbs as the influence of its traditional conservative establishment has faded in favor of Trump. A growing electorate of young Latinos and newcomers bringing their more liberal politics have further hurt the GOP. more...

Opinion: Elect Kelli Ward chair. Censure Doug Ducey, Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain. Then, send in the clowns.
EJ Montini Arizona Republic

It would be like the AFL/CIO censuring Joe Hill, Cesar Chavez and Mother Jones. Or like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences censuring Steven Spielberg, Jimmy Stewart and Elizabeth Taylor. Or the WWE censuring Hulk Hogan, John Cena and Charlotte Flair. (Don’t ask how I know this.) Apparently, the Arizona Republican Party has decided that it no longer wants to be affiliated with … Republicans. There is really no other explanation for the party on Saturday re-electing Donald Trump cultist Kelli Ward as the state chairperson and, then, passing resolutions to censure Gov. Doug Ducey, former Sen. Jeff Flake and Cindy McCain. “These resolutions are of no consequence whatsoever, and the people behind them have lost whatever little moral authority they may have once had,” Sara Mueller, Ducey’s political director wrote in a statement after the vote. more...

The congressman’s involvement underlined how far the former president was willing to go to overturn the election, and Democratic lawmakers have begun calling for investigations into those efforts.
By Katie Benner and Catie Edmondson

WASHINGTON — When Representative Scott Perry joined his colleagues in a monthslong campaign to undermine the results of the presidential election, promoting “Stop the Steal” events and supporting an attempt to overturn millions of legally cast votes, he often took a back seat to higher-profile loyalists in President Donald J. Trump’s orbit. But Mr. Perry, an outspoken Pennsylvania Republican, played a significant role in the crisis that played out at the top of the Justice Department this month, when Mr. Trump considered firing the acting attorney general and backed down only after top department officials threatened to resign en masse. It was Mr. Perry, a member of the hard-line Freedom Caucus, who first made Mr. Trump aware that a relatively obscure Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, the acting chief of the civil division, was sympathetic to Mr. Trump’s view that the election had been stolen, according to former administration officials who spoke with Mr. Clark and Mr. Trump. Mr. Perry introduced the president to Mr. Clark, whose openness to conspiracy theories about election fraud presented Mr. Trump with a welcome change from the acting attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, who stood by the results of the election and had repeatedly resisted the president’s efforts to undo them. more...

Matthew S. Schwartz, Emma Bowman

Arizona Republicans passed resolutions on Saturday to censure three of the state's most prominent party leaders who have found themselves at odds with former President Trump: Gov. Doug Ducey; former Sen. Jeff Flake; and Cindy McCain, widow of the longtime Sen. John McCain. The sweeping — yet essentially symbolic — rebuke took place during a meeting to figure out how to move forward after the state flipped blue in November, narrowly giving its 11 electoral votes to now President Joe Biden. McCain and Flake, both of whom endorsed Biden for president, were censured for their outspoken opposition to Trump and for their support of globalist interests, according to state GOP members. In condemning Ducey, the party cited the governor's decision to enact emergency orders during the pandemic that the committee said are unconstitutional and "restrict personal liberties." Much of the meeting, held indoors at Dream City Church in Phoenix, was largely a pep rally for state Republicans who support the former president and his baseless claims of election fraud. more...

*** Trump was impeached before he left office the process needs to be completed. Republicans are still protecting Trump after he tried to commit a coup and incited a riot that caused the sacking of the capitol of the United State of America and caused the deaths of five Americans. Republicans are definitely the anti-American party; they are protecting a man who attempted to commit a coup on the United States of America. Not sure if it is white privilege or they are just spoiled children when they do not get there way they want to blow everything up. ***

Reuters in Washington

The Texas Republican senator John Cornyn warned on Saturday that Donald Trump’s second impeachment could lead to the prosecution of former Democratic presidents if Republicans retake Congress in two years’ time.
US man charged with threatening to 'assassinate' Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Read more

Trump this month became the first US president to be impeached twice, after the Democratic-controlled House, with the support of 10 Republicans, voted to charge him with incitement of insurrection over the assault on the Capitol by his supporters on 6 January which left five people dead. Trump failed to overturn his election defeat and Joe Biden was sworn in as president this week. After a brief moment of bipartisan sentiment in which members from both parties condemned the unprecedented attack on Congress as it met to formalize Biden’s victory, a number of Senate Republicans are opposing Trump’s trial, which could lead to a vote blocking him from future office. “If it is a good idea to impeach and try former presidents, what about former Democratic presidents when Republicans get the majority in 2022?” Cornyn, a 19-year veteran of the Senate who last year tried to distance himself from Trump when it seemed his seat was at risk, tweeted at majority leader Chuck Schumer. more...

Ex-president, whose Senate trial will start in two weeks, reportedly planned to oust acting attorney general in bid to overturn election.
Martin Pengelly

Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while Joe Biden settled into the White House. But in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said Trump plotted with an official at the Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Former acting US defense secretary Christopher Miller, meanwhile, made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that when he took the job in November, he had three goals: “No military coup, no major war and no troops in the street.” The former special forces officer added: “The ‘no troops in the street’ thing changed dramatically about 14.30 [on 6 January]. So that one’s off [the list].” That was the day a mob incited by Trump smashed its way into the US Capitol, in some cases allegedly looking for lawmakers to kidnap or kill. More than 100 arrests have been made over the riot, which also saw Trump impeached a second time. more...

*** Republicans are punishing the Republicans who did not go along with Trump’s coup attempt but are not punishing the ones who helped in Trump’s coup attempt. ***

Alex Isenstadt

Former President Donald Trump’s supporters are mobilizing to exact revenge on the 10 House Republicans who supported impeachment last week, thrusting the GOP into a civil war just as party leaders are trying to move on from the Trump era. Pro-Trump Republicans are racing to launch primary challenges. The former president’s donors are cutting off the Republican incumbents. And Trump’s political lieutenants are plotting how to unseat them. The unrest shows how Trump is all but certain to cast a shadow over the Republican Party long after he’s left the White House. Trump has split the GOP, pitting his loyalists against those who say he incited the Capitol Hill insurrection and want to expunge him from the party. Whether the Trump-inspired primary challengers succeed is far from clear. Dislodging an incumbent is notoriously difficult, and Republican leaders are expected to move aggressively to protect their members. But the early activity illustrates the degree to which Trump’s staunch allies are determined to make his critics pay a price. more...

Arkansas senator has repeatedly said he served as "a U.S. Army Ranger in Iraq and Afghanistan." That's not true
By Roger Sollenberger

Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has accrued a resume tailor-made for a Republican politician: He leapt from a small-town Arkansas cattle farm to Harvard University and then Harvard Law School; he left a leading New York firm to join the military after George W. Bush's re-election; he was discharged after nearly eight years and two war-zone deployments as an Army captain and decorated hero — including two commendation medals, a Bronze Star and a Ranger tab. But when Cotton launched his first congressional campaign in 2012, he felt compelled to repeatedly falsify that honorable military record, even as he still served in the Army Reserve. more...

*** Trump tried to overturn the election results in Georgia again. Once again, Trump is caught trying to interfere in the Georgia election and attempted to overturn the election in Georgia in one of his many coup attempts. ***

Trying to find another avenue to push his baseless election claims, Donald Trump considered installing a loyalist, and had the men make their cases to him.
By Katie Benner

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s top leaders listened in stunned silence this month: One of their peers, they were told, had devised a plan with President Donald J. Trump to oust Jeffrey A. Rosen as acting attorney general and wield the department’s power to force Georgia state lawmakers to overturn its presidential election results. The unassuming lawyer who worked on the plan, Jeffrey Clark, had been devising ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark. The department officials, convened on a conference call, then asked each other: What will you do if Mr. Rosen is dismissed? The answer was unanimous. They would resign. more...

John Haltiwanger

After four years of lining up behind one of the most divisive presidents in US history, Republicans in Congress and their allies are accusing President Joe Biden of undermining his calls for unity by not pushing for policies they find palatable. "A radical leftist agenda in a divided country will not help unify our country, it will only confirm 75 million Americans biggest fears about the new administration," Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida tweeted on Friday, inaccurately rounding up the number of votes Trump received in 2020. "Biden had a good message of unity," Alyssa Farah, who was the Trump administration's last White House communications director, said in a tweet on Thursday. "But the policies so far are aimed at only half the country, those who supported him, with no sign of outreach to those who did not." more...

*** Ron Johnson should be voted out of office. Ron Johnson and some Republicans should be ashamed of themselves they are still protecting Trump after all the damage he has done to our country. Republicans may claim to be patriots they are not they put party above the country. ***

By Darragh Roche

Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has suggested that the Senate may not confirm President Joe Biden's cabinet nominees if Democrats proceed with an impeachment trial for former President Donald Trump. Biden's cabinet picks need to be confirmed by the Senate. Trump is due to stand trial before the body following his impeachment by the House of Representatives in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot. "Democrats can't have it both ways: an unconstitutional impeachment trial & Senate confirmation of the Biden admin's national security team," Johnson tweeted on Thursday. "They need to choose between being vindictive or staffing the administration to keep the nation safe. What will it be: revenge or security? "I believe an impeachment trial of a former president is unconstitutional and would set a very dangerous precedent. "There is no provision in the Constitution for holding such a trial over a former president who is now a private citizen. Where would we get the authority to do so?" more...

By Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) US Capitol Police are investigating an incident in which a Republican lawmaker was stopped from bringing a concealed gun onto the House floor on Thursday, sources told CNN, the first time a member of Congress has been discovered with a firearm by the metal detectors now set up outside the legislative chamber. Rep. Andy Harris, of Maryland, set off a metal detector outside the House floor on Thursday and an officer soon discovered it was because he was carrying a concealed gun on his side, a Capitol official told CNN. The officer sent Harris away, prompting him to ask fellow Republican Rep. John Katko, of New York, to hold his weapon. According to a press pool report, Katko refused to hold the gun for Harris, saying that he did not have a license. Harris then left the area and returned moments later, walking onto the House floor without setting off the magnetometer. The Capitol official confirmed to CNN that Harris did not enter the House floor with a weapon. Harris' office did not immediately return a request for comment. more...

The two Republican senators' actions call for a probe and "a determination whether disciplinary action is warranted," the complaint said.
By Dareh Gregorian, Julie Tsirkin and Frank Thorp V

A group of Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint against Republican Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz on Thursday calling for an investigation to determine whether the pair coordinated with the organizers of the Jan. 6 pro-Trump rally that preceded the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate Ethics Committee "should also offer recommendations for strong disciplinary action, including up to expulsion or censure, if warranted by the facts uncovered," the seven Democrats, led by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said in a letter to the committee's chair and vice-chair. Hawley, R-Mo., and Cruz, R-Texas, had announced in the days before the riot that they would object to vote counts in states former President Donald Trump falsely claimed to have won during the Jan. 6 electoral vote count, which "amplified claims of election fraud that had resulted in threats of violence against state and local officials around the country," the letter said. more...

Yuliya Talmazan

Senator Ted Cruz repeated Donald Trump's America-centric climate rhetoric as President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris agreement on his first day in office. Cruz, R-Texas, said in a tweet late Wednesday that by returning America to the multinational climate accord, Biden has indicated he was more interested "in the views of the citizens of Paris than in the jobs of the citizens of Pittsburgh." When Trump announced the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement, the biggest international effort to curb climate change, in 2017 he said: "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris." Trump said the accord disadvantaged the U.S. — part of his broader strategy to loosen restrictions on domestic oil, gas and coal producers. The U.S. is the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China. Cruz’s comment on Wednesday was met with criticism on Twitter, with users pointing out the obvious: the Paris agreement is a multinational effort. more...

*** Under, Trump the Republican Party has become the Anti-America Party and the party of treason, sedition and insurrection. ***

By Darragh Roche

The chair of the Wyoming Republican Party suggested over the weekend that his state could consider seceding from the union following Congresswoman Liz Cheney's vote to impeach President Donald Trump. Frank Eathorne spoke to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon on his War Room Pandemic podcast, which was recently banned from YouTube, about Cheney's decision. "We need to focus on the fundamentals that's been stated in this broadcast, and that is what Wyoming is," Eathorne said. "We are straight-talking, focused on the global scene, but we're also focused at home. "Many of these Western states have the ability to be self-reliant, and we're keeping eyes on Texas too and their consideration of possible secession. Now, they have a different state constitution than we do as far as wording, but it is something that we're all paying attention to." more...

Until last week, too many in the Republican Party thought they could preach the Constitution and wink at QAnon. They can’t.
by Ben Sasse

Eugene Goodman is an American hero. At a pivotal moment on January 6, the veteran United States Capitol Police officer single-handedly prevented untold bloodshed. Staring down an angry, advancing mob, he retreated up a marble staircase, calmly wielding his baton to delay his pursuers while calling out their position to his fellow officers. At the top of the steps, still alone and standing just a few yards from the chamber where senators and Vice President Mike Pence had been certifying the Electoral College’s vote, Goodman strategically lured dozens of the mayhem-minded away from an unguarded door to the Senate floor. The leader of that flank of the mob, later identified by the FBI as Douglas Jensen, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with a red-white-and-blue Q—the insignia of the delusional QAnon conspiracy theory. Its supporters believe that a righteous Donald Trump is leading them in a historic quest to expose the U.S. government’s capture by a global network of cannibalistic pedophiles: not just “deep state” actors in the intelligence community, but Chief Justice John Roberts and a dozen-plus senators, including me. Now Trump’s own vice president is supposedly in on it, too. According to the FBI, Jensen “wanted to have his T-shirt seen on video so that ‘Q’ could ‘get the credit.’” more...

Daniel Pipes

The world is fascinated by Donald Trump, but I am not. Trump is Trump: a hyper-well-known, mostly transparent and utterly mundane personality. I am fascinated by his supporters, those astonishing Republicans who chose a sketchy and flamboyant real-estate developer to be president of the United States in 2016, stuck close by him through thick and thin and now endorse his claim of an international plot to steal the 2020 election. As the Trump presidency ends, it is clear that a majority of Republicans have abandoned their party's historic policies and temperament. Policies: As then-House speaker Paul Ryan put it, Trump won in 2016 because he "heard a voice out in this country that no one else heard." Trump rejected significant elements of the previously dominant movement conservatism in favor of a folk nationalism in the tradition of Andrew Jackson. Nicholas M. Gallagher explains in National Review: "Jacksonians characteristically emphasize anti-elitism and egalitarianism while drawing a sharp distinction between members of the folk group and those outside it." more...

Jay Reeves and Julie Carr Smyth - Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — War-like imagery has begun spreading in Republican circles after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters, with some elected officials and party leaders rejecting pleas to tone down rhetoric calling for a second civil war. In northwestern Wisconsin, the chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party was forced to resign Friday after refusing for a week after the siege to remove an online post urging followers to “prepare for war.” The incoming chairwoman of the Michigan GOP and her husband, a state lawmaker, have joined a conservative social media site created after the Capitol riot where the possibility of civil war is a topic. Phil Reynolds, a member of the GOP central committee in California’s Santa Clara County, appeared to urge on insurrectionists on social media during the Jan. 6 attack, declaring on Facebook: “The war has begun. Citizens take arms! Drumroll please….. Civil War or No Civil War?” more...

By JAY REEVES and JULIE CARR SMYTH - Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. — Warlike imagery has begun spreading in Republican circles after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters, with some elected officials and party leaders rejecting pleas to tone down rhetoric calling for a second civil war. In northwestern Wisconsin, the chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party was forced to resign Friday after refusing for a week after the siege to remove an online post urging followers to “prepare for war.” The incoming chairwoman of the Michigan GOP and her husband, a state lawmaker, have joined a conservative social media site created after the Capitol riot where the possibility of civil war is a topic. Phil Reynolds, a member of the GOP central committee in California’s Santa Clara County, appeared to urge on insurrectionists on social media during the Jan. 6 attack, declaring on Facebook: “The war has begun. Citizens take arms! Drumroll please….. Civil War or No Civil War?” more...

By Benjamin Fearnow

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, considered by many to be the most conservative Democrat in the Senate, said his colleagues should consider expelling Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for their alleged roles in inciting the January 6 "insurrection" at the Capitol. In a Friday interview on PBS' Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, Manchin said that while he has a good personal relationship with Cruz and Hawley, their alleged violation of the 14th Amendment's rule against inciting an insurrection and holding public office should be investigated. Both Hawley and Cruz have been widely condemned for challenging the Electoral College results during certification, especially after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in hopes of derailing President-elect Joe Biden's impending move into the White House. Manchin said he personally confronted Hawley to "change his mind" and think about the wider repercussions of his and Cruz's attempt to block the January 6 vote, but there was essentially zero meaningful response. more...

Will Republican state lawmakers do any better with the protests planned for their states in the days before the inauguration?
By Sen. Jim Ananich, Michigan Senate Democratic majority leader, and Sen. Vincent Hughes, representing Pennsylvania’s 7th Senate District

If last week’s violent assault on the U.S. Capitol in Washington by supporters of President Donald Trump was scary, the reported follow-up riots planned for state capitols as early as this weekend are downright terrifying. Since Trump appears unwilling to stop them, the responsibility falls to the Republican state legislators who have reliably embraced and enabled Trump for the last four years. The protesters who stormed the U.S. Capitol hunting for Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will not be dissuaded from further violence by additional calls from Democratic leaders. They believe, incorrectly, that Democrats stole an election. Some even wish us harm. There is no message of unity from President-elect Joe Biden and no olive branch from Democratic leaders in Congress that can stop this storm. At this point, we need Republicans to act to prevent any further loss of life. more...

If any members of Congress are proven to have colluded with the rioters, their position likely won't save them from criminal liability.
By JOSH GERSTEIN

Lawmakers who interacted with the pro-Trump protesters who rioted at the Capitol last week could face criminal charges and will almost certainly come under close scrutiny in the burgeoning federal investigation into the assault, former prosecutors said. “This is incredibly serious,” said Ron Machen, a former U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C. “Although you would need compelling evidence before charging a member of Congress with anything related to the breach of the Capitol that day, this has to be investigated.” more...

By Lexi Lonas

Former Oklahoma GOP Congressman Mickey Edwards said that he is leaving his party because it has become a “cult” led by President Trump.  Edwards was critical of Republicans questioning the results of the presidential election, and of Republicans who voted to throw out Electoral College votes of two battleground states after a mob invaded the Capitol building last week to stop their work. “This has become a cult. It’s no longer a political party. It’s a cult,” Edwards told Oklahoma's News 4 on Thursday. "It’s the kind of a cult that when the leader of the cult does anything, no matter what it is, or how awful it is, they voted. “They voted to question the election results even after people came into the Capitol, tried to kill them and killed a police officer who was trying to protect them. And they did that.” more...

*** More bulls*** from the rabbit Republicans Biden is not even in office so he could not have abused his power. ***

By Keith Griffith For Dailymail.com

Newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has said she plans to file articles of impeachment against Joe Biden on the first full day of his presidency, alleging 'abuse of power.' Greene - a conspiracy theorist who follows QAnon and who was a 9/11 truther - announced the provocative move in an interview with Newsmax on Wednesday night, insisting it was not merely symbolic, despite the futility of her plan with Democrats controlling the House. 'We cannot have a president of the United States that is willing to abuse the power of the office of the presidency and be easily bought off by foreign governments, foreign Chinese energy companies, Ukrainian energy companies,' Greene said. 'So on January 21 I will be filing articles of impeachment on Joe Biden,' added Greene, a Georgia Republican with a history of touting conspiracy theories, and an ardent Trump loyalist. She and Lauren Boebert, who has also previously spouted QAnon claims are being nicknamed the Qaucus by critics. more...

*** Republicans are defending Trump after Trump's multiple coup attempts that lead to insurrection what does that say about the Republican Party they are traitors to our country. ***

Jaclyn Diaz

Some Republicans who broke from the GOP to back the Democrats' historic second impeachment resolution for President Trump are facing heat from their local Republican parties for how they voted. More than a year ago, all House Republicans voted against the president's first impeachment. On Wednesday, 10 GOP members joined with every Democrat to impeach Trump, some of whom were the sole representative from their state's delegation to vote that way. Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, Jaime Herrera Beutler Washington, John Katko of New York, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Peter Meijer of Michigan, Dan Newhouse of Washington, Tom Rice of South Carolina, Fred Upton of Michigan and David Valadao of California voted to impeach. The choice to split from the party's majority comes with a risk that those members could face political blowback for their votes and lose support altogether from their state's Republican Party come the next election. Cheney, the No. 3 in the House Republican leadership as the GOP conference chair, is getting flak from the Wyoming Republican Party and her congressional colleagues. more...

By Ben Mathis-Lilley

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Capitol was overrun by a mob of Donald Trump supporters. Some of them were armed; some carried flex cuffs, as if planning to restrain hostages; some reportedly attacked a police officer, who later died, with a fire extinguisher. A number of far-right Republican representatives have, in the past, celebrated the extremist groups (the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and so forth) whose members were among those who occupied the building. Two members, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks and North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthorn, spoke at the “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House that directly preceded the attack. It is, incredibly, not completely out of the question at the moment to wonder whether there are members of the House who might want to participate in violent action against Democrats, should it occur again. It is in this context that Capitol police are now asking representatives to walk through metal detectors before entering the House floor. more...

Domenico Montanaro

Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy added his name to a shortlist of Republicans in Congress who unequivocally blamed President Trump for the insurrection at the Capitol last week. But with seven days to go in the Trump presidency, he said he will not be voting for impeachment and said he might instead be in favor of a fact-finding commission and possibly censure, items with even less teeth than impeaching but not removing a president. "The president bears responsibility for Wednesday's attack on Congress by mob rioters," said McCarthy, who, during the riot, publicly and privately urged Trump to call for calm. more...

By Sabrina Eaton, cleveland.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Champaign County Republican Rep. Jim Jordan on Tuesday clashed with Democrats on the House Rules Committee over GOP claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen.” The confrontation occurred as Jordan argued against bringing a measure to the House floor that would urge Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the Constitution’s 25th Amendment to assume the presidency on the grounds that President Donald Trump is unfit to serve. Horrified that a mob of Trump supporters marched on the Capitol last week and rioted as Congress attempted to tally electoral votes that showed Democrat Joe Biden won the election, Democrats who control the House are bringing a measure to the floor that would urge Pence to displace Trump. Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the melee. If Pence doesn’t act, Democrats will bring up a measure to impeach Trump. more...

*** Voter suppression is how the GOP stays in power. ***

Analysis by Ronald Brownstein

(CNN) Even after President Donald Trump's disproven allegations of voter fraud fueled last week's deadly assault on the US Capitol, Republicans across an array of swing states are still touting his baseless allegations to advance measures that would make it tougher to vote. When Congress voted last week, in the immediate aftermath of the Trump-fueled riot, to finalize the Electoral College results declaring Joe Biden the winner of November's election, bipartisan majorities in both the House and Senate joined dozens of courts around the country in concluding that there was not meaningful fraud in the election. But despite those findings, Republicans in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas and likely other states including Michigan and Wisconsin are moving to roll back access to mail balloting, eliminate drop boxes, toughen voter identification laws and erect other barriers to the ballot in the name of improving voter security and restoring "faith" in the outcome. "We are seeing a continued use of the voter fraud lie and thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories over the integrity of this election to drive a vote suppression agenda," says Wendy Weiser, who directs the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. more...

By Aila Slisco

A freshman Republican congresswoman said that she may support efforts to censure all 147 of her GOP colleagues who voted in favor of objections to President-elect Joe Biden's election win hours after an angry mob of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, who was sworn in alongside other House members on January 3, made the remarks during in interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday. Mace insisted that she would be "looking at all of the options that are on the table" for punishing a large number of her GOP colleagues who supported efforts to overturn the will of voters, including censuring them.

"We had a constitutional crisis on Wednesday," Mace said. "I am barely a week into the job and I am looking at all of the options that are on the table. Censure should be on the table. We have to hold ourselves accountable, we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. I am extremely disappointed with some members in my own party over their behavior and over their words." more...

By Jason Lemon

More than 8,000 lawyers and law students have signed a petition seeking the disbarring of Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley for what it calls their efforts to disenfranchise millions of American voters and overturn the results of a free and fair election. Cruz, a Texas Republican, and Hawley, a Missouri Republican, led the effort in the Senate to object to President-elect Joe Biden's wins in Arizona and Pennsylvania when Congress counted the states' electoral votes last week. They based their objections on President Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud, which lack evidence and have been thoroughly litigated and rejected more than 50 times in state and federal courts. Launched by students at Yale Law School, the petition calls on the bar associations of Texas, Missouri and Washington, D.C., to disbar the two senators. Over 1,900 of the signees are members of the bar associations in the two states and the nation's capitol. The petition cites the violent insurrection of Trump supporters who attacked the nation's Capitol last week, saying that Cruz's and Hawley's actions incited the mob. more...

Adam Piper stepped down amid backlash over a decision to send out robocalls urging people to march to the U.S. Capitol.
By Laura Strickler

The executive director of the Republican Attorneys General Association has resigned amid backlash over a decision to send out robocalls urging people to march to the U.S. Capitol. Adam Piper stepped down from his post after spending four years with the organization, a national group that represents the top law enforcement officials in their states. The organization and a fundraising arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, came under fire after it was reported by NBC News and other outlets that they paid for robocalls to go out the day before a pro-Trump mob invaded the Capitol last Wednesday. “Every decision Adam made on behalf of RLDF was with the best of intentions and with the organization’s best interests in mind,” Steve Marshall, the board chairman of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, said in a statement. Piper said serving Republican attorneys general has been “the honor of a lifetime and honestly a dream.” He did not respond to a request for comment. more...

By Andrea Salcedo

The day before a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, an arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association sent out robocalls urging supporters to come to D.C. to “fight” Congress over President Trump’s baseless election fraud claims. “At 1 p.m. we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the message first reported by the watchdog group Documented. “We’re hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections.” After the attempted insurrection on Wednesday left a police officer and four others dead, several GOP attorneys general have distanced themselves from the robocalls, insisting they didn’t know about the campaign. Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, the chairman of the Rule of Law Defense Fund, the nonprofit that sent out the calls, blamed the group’s staffers. more...

CNN

Already under scrutiny for a viral video released the day she was sworn in, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) is facing calls to resign after making inflammatory remarks ahead of the riot at the US Capitol. CNN's Sunlen Serfaty reports. more...

Daniel Bice Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Don't assume the events from the MAGA insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last week led Republicans around the country to tone down their political rhetoric. Just visit the homepage for the St. Croix Republican Party. Scrawled across the top of the page is the Latin phrase "Si vis pacem, para bellum," which is followed by its translation: "If you want peace, prepare for war." Political patriots are then encouraged to join the "digital battlefield." "It's time to stand and be counted as a conservative warrior in the on-going fight to preserve our Constitutional Republic," the homepage says.  "We need to start local by removing leftist tyrants from all local and County positions in the future April elections." The website had called for "eliminating" local tyrants as of late last week, according to online archives. more...

Republicans, including Sen. Josh Hawley, have condemned violence but haven't backed down from baseless claims of fraud and irregularities.
By Jane C. Timm

After a mob stormed the Capitol based on President Donald Trump's election fraud lie, some top Republican allies have called for peace while still leveling the same baseless claims of widespread voter fraud that fanned the flames of violence. In almost the same breath as he condemned the rioters who temporarily disrupted Congress from its normal process of affirming President-elect Joe Biden's win, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., the first Republican to announce his intent to object to the certification, suggested Biden's victory was illegitimate.

“We do need an investigation into irregularities, fraud,” Hawley said, before staring directly into the camera in a video his office would promptly upload to YouTube and saying, “We do need a way forward together. We need election security reforms.” In a statement, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, condemned the violence, too. Still, he said, his calls for an investigation into voter fraud were the “right thing to do," before adding, “I very much wish Congress had not set aside these concerns.”

Allegations of voter fraud and irregularities have been used by Republicans to sow distrust in the American electoral system for decades, experts said, laying the groundwork for Trump's sweeping claim that widespread fraud denied him a second term and priming the party's base to believe him despite his inability to prove it. These same falsehoods, the experts said, will be used to restrict ballot-box access in the future.

"The same lies that drove the insurrections were also being repeated on the floor of the Congress by the people trying to upend the people’s votes," said Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law. "And those are the same lies we’re going to hear in state capitols by people trying to restrict the vote." Hawley and Cruz, who are widely believed to be eyeing bids for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, have been fiercely criticized for their roles in stoking the unrest that led to the deadly clashes in the nation's capital. more...

By Olivia Nuzzi

On Friday afternoon, 48 hours after the U.S. Capitol was stormed by violent insurrectionists encouraged by Donald Trump in an attempt to overthrow the government in protest of his election loss, a senior member of his administration spoke to me while he was driving to work. “This is confirmation of so much that everyone has said for years now — things that a lot of us thought were hyperbolic. We’d say, ‘Trump’s not a fascist,’ or ‘He’s not a wannabe dictator.’ Now, it’s like, ‘Well, what do you even say in response to that now?’”

For four years, people like this official — lifelong Republican operatives — have convinced themselves that Trump’s obvious faults were worth tolerating if it meant implementing a conservative policy agenda. These officials believed the benefits of remaking the courts with conservative justices, or passing tax reform, outweighed the risks that a Trump presidency posed to democracy and to the reputation of the country in the world. Now, at the 11th hour, with 12 days left before Joe Biden is sworn into office, it’s clear to some that it was always a delusion. “This is like a plot straight out of the later, sucky seasons of House of Cards where they just go full evil and say, ‘Let’s spark mass protests and start wars and whatever,’” the senior administration official said. more...

*** The GOP is full of shit they have no problem when they don’t want to provide service to someone who they do not agree with but if you don’t service them because of your beliefs they are up in arms screaming about how unfair that is, the just plain bull shit. Free speech does not give you the right to yell fire in crowed theater nor the right to threaten someone life you do not agree with and does not give you the right to incite violence against people who do not agree with you. ***

Less than 24 hours after Trump’s ban from Twitter, Republicans seized on the issue for the midterm elections and beyond.
By DAVID SIDERS

Republicans are fuming, but the timing of Donald Trump’s Twitter ban couldn't have been better for the party. Fractured in the aftermath of Trump’s defeat and a riot the president helped incite at the Capitol, the GOP found a unifying foil in the social media platform’s erasure of the president — elevating Big Tech‘s status in the culture wars from an annoying foe to archvillain.

For institutionalist Republicans weary of litigating Trump’s role in the insurrection, the ban — and the sudden silencing of Trump’s bullhorn — served as a diversion. And for the base of the party, it offered a rallying point for broader grievances about “cancel culture” and perceived attempts to censor conservative viewpoints. Less than 24 hours after the ban, Republicans were preparing to seize on the issue for the midterm elections and in 2024.

“A level of censorship that would make China proud,” James Dickey, the former chair of the Texas Republican Party, said Saturday, describing the ban as a “wake-up call for everyday Americans.” Dickey predicted Republicans “100 percent” will campaign on the unrestrained power of social media and other technology firms in the midterms — and some GOP strategists were planning to capitalize on the controversy surrounding Twitter even sooner. more...

In the House, a shockingly large number of first-time lawmakers opposed the Electoral College vote, including Georgia's Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
By Seth Masket, director of the Center on American Politics at the University of Denver

This week’s biggest political story was undoubtedly the violent attempted coup perpetrated by President Donald Trump’s supporters at the U.S. Capitol. But we should not forget the legislative event that this long-planned insurrection coincided with, and indeed was largely motivated by. Some eight Republican senators and 139 Republican House members objected to the Electoral College vote confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory. As has been written previously and exhaustively, these objections were always doomed to fail.

But the objections did their job of providing a public spectacle and a rallying cry for insurrectionists. It prolonged and drew attention to a process that, for nearly every presidential election, has served as a rubber stamp. It served as a chance for Republican members to signal their fealty to Donald Trump above all else. It gave them an opportunity to say that they would rather lose American democracy than see Trump lose an election.

Importantly, some members protested the presidential election results in their own states. That is, they objected to the electoral systems that put them in office. Others objected to the elections that put their new colleagues in office. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., was sworn in on Sunday as Doug Jones’ replacement — one of his first acts as a senator was to object to a free and fair election. Indeed, he did so after Wednesday’s violent events. He was one of three newly minted senators to register such objections. more...


*** It is not the left we need to worry about it is right wing media and the radical right that we need to worry about before they destroy our country. ***

Brian Schwartz

A web of pro-Trump dark money groups helped organize the rally that led to a deadly riot on Capitol Hill. During the rally on Wednesday, President Donald Trump encouraged his supporters to march to the steps of Congress to protest the results of the Electoral College vote that certified Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators and congressmen and women and we’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them,” Trump said at the rally just in front of the White House before the riot started. After the rally, Trump supporters marched to the steps of Congress and broke into the U.S. Capitol building.

At least five people have been pronounced dead, including a police officer. Though the Justice Department has said Trump himself is not expected to be charged, acting D.C. U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin had previously acknowledged he’s “looking at all actors” that had a role in Wednesday’s attack. Trump is currently embroiled in yet another potential impeachment inquiry following the riot. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said that unless the president resigns, the House will move ahead with a motion for impeachment. more...

By The Kansas City Star Editorial Board

No one other than President Donald Trump himself is more responsible for Wednesday’s coup attempt at the U.S. Capitol than one Joshua David Hawley, the 41-year-old junior senator from Missouri, who put out a fundraising appeal while the siege was underway. This, Sen. Hawley, is what law-breaking and destruction look like. This is not a protest, but a riot. One woman who was apparently part of the pro-Trump mob was fatally shot by Capitol Police as lawmakers took cover. Some of those whose actions Trump encouraged and later condoned brought along their Confederate flags. And no longer can it be asked, as George Will did recently of Hawley, “Has there ever been such a high ratio of ambition to accomplishment?” Hawley’s actions in the last week had such impact that he deserves an impressive share of the blame for the blood that’s been shed. more..

By Nancy Ognanovich

Josh Hawley, first-term Republican senator and former state attorney general from Missouri, has faced unrelenting blowback for his role in challenging Joe Biden’s defeat of President Donald Trump, as violent riots erupted at the Capitol. Hawley, along with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, led the ultimately doomed effort to upend Biden’s electoral wins in key states, and both attempted to raise campaign funds off their efforts.

That push, including an image of Hawley saluting protesters with a fist pump before they stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, triggered criticism from fellow senators, the two largest newspapers in his state, a major donor, and a former Republican senator who aided his rapid political rise. It also led Simon & Schuster to cancel a contract for Hawley’s upcoming book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech.” The publishing company said it “cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to our democracy and freedom.” more...

“At 1:00 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the voice on the recording, which was obtained by NBC News.
By Laura Strickler and Lisa Cavazuti

An arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, a national group representing the top law enforcement officers in their states, sent out robocalls encouraging people to march to the U.S. Capitol the day before the building was stormed by a pro-Trump mob. “At 1:00 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” said the voice on the recording, which was obtained by NBC News.

The calls, which did not advocate violence or suggest the building should be breached, was sent out by the Rule of Law Defense Fund, a fundraising arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association. The groups share funding, staff and office space in Washington, D.C. In a statement to NBC News, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who runs the fund, said the calls were sent out without his knowledge.

“I was unaware of unauthorized decisions made by RLDF staff with regard to this week’s rally,” said Marshall, who assumed his role Nov. 10. “Despite currently transitioning into my role as the newly elected chairman of RLDF, it is unacceptable that I was neither consulted about nor informed of those decisions. I have directed an internal review of this matter.” A website set up to promote the rally that preceded the Capitol incursion lists the Rule of Law Defense Fund as one of the participating organizations. The site has since been taken down. more...

*** Trump’s coup attempt has failed but the damage he has done will last for years. ***

Rioters encouraged and praised by Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol Building on Wednesday, leaving the halls of Congress vandalized and strewn with debris.
By Wilson Wong

Hundreds of President Donald Trump's supporters swarmed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, leaving the halls of Congress with broken windows, vandalized walls and ransacked offices. Among the wreckage were pieces of broken furniture, battered doors and heaps of trash littering the hallway floors. A thick film of dust and tear gas residue remained throughout the building that contains the Senate and the House of Representatives. Stolen and damaged items were reported in elected officials' offices, including the wood and gold placard above House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office. Staff spent the night cleaning up the debris of the chaotic and at times violent riot that left four people dead — three who died of "medical emergencies" and one woman who was fatally shot by a U.S. Capitol Police officer. In one photo, four bullet holes can be seen in the glass of the House doors. Stickers on the glass contained phrases like, "F--- antifa!" and "Not my president" under a photo of Biden. more...

Aaron Sanderford

Hours before a political mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, potential Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Charles Herbster was in the crowd Wednesday as President Donald Trump rallied supporters near the White House to keep fighting to overturn the election results. Herbster, a Republican who owns a Falls City, Nebraska, ranch and a Kansas City-area business, also met Tuesday in Trump’s private residence in his Washington, D.C., hotel with Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, and other campaign advisers. They discussed how to pressure more members of Congress to object to the Electoral College results that made Joe Biden the winner. more...

Jason Owens

Following a violent attack by supporters of President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr had a message for Republican senators who stoked the election conspiracy theories that sparked Wednesday’s insurrection. Speaking with media ahead of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday, Kerr suggested that Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley do the same before meeting at the Capitol.

“I wish that people like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Josh Hawley had to do pregame media before they met in Congress,” Kerr said. “It would be great for them to answer the question: ‘Are you happy now? Do you keep moving the line back? Does this change anything? Are you going to continue to enable?’”

Why did Kerr single out senators? Hawley, a Trump loyalist representing Missouri, was the first senator to announce that he would object to the counting of electoral college votes that confirm President-elect Joe Biden as Trump’s successor. Hawley cited baseless election theories spouted by Trump that votes in some states that went for Biden were invalid. more...

By Jenny Gross and Luke Broadwater

Even after a mob of Trump supporters swarmed and entered the Capitol on Wednesday, a handful of Republican senators and more than 100 Republican representatives stood by their decisions to vote against certifying the results of the presidential election. Congress certified the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr. early Thursday, ending attempts to overturn the results in two states. Senators Josh Hawley of Missouri, Ted Cruz of Texas, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama, Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, Roger Marshall of Kansas and John Kennedy of Louisiana voted to overturn the results in Arizona, while 93 senators voted against. Mr. Hawley, Mr. Cruz, Mr. Tuberville, Ms. Hyde-Smith, Mr. Marshall and Senators Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Rick Scott of Florida voted to overturn the results in Pennsylvania, while 92 voted against it. The House rejected the Arizona challenge by a vote of 303 to 121 and rejected the Pennsylvania challenge by a vote of 282 to 138. more...

by Solomon Jones

I felt a growing sadness as I listened to a recording of Donald Trump begging, bullying, cajoling and threatening Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in an attempt to make him do something he can’t—overturn Trump’s loss in the presidential race, via the state now poised to send a historic rebuke to the GOP’s exclusionary politics. Others, including former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig, have said the president’s roughly hourlong call to Raffensperger, published by the Washington Post, could expose the president to state and federal charges of election fraud. In listening to what Trump said, I thought Bharara and others were right. “But they are shredding ballots, in my opinion, based on what I’ve heard,” Trump told Raffensperger as lawyers and staffers listened in. “And they are removing machinery, and they’re moving it as fast as they can, both of which are criminal finds. And you can’t let it happen, and you are letting it happen. You know, I mean, I’m notifying you that you’re letting it happen. So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.” more...

The events of the past few weeks suggest the principles animating modern conservative constitutionalism are merely arguments of convenience.
By Steve Vladeck, professor at the University of Texas School of Law

There are any number of reasons to criticize the dozens of congressional Republicans who have vowed to object to duly certified slates of presidential electors Wednesday, when Congress meets to ratify President-Elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory. Among other things, there remains no substantiated evidence that the results in any states were inaccurate. Nor is that for lack of trying; in some states (including Georgia) there have been multiple audits of the final tallies using paper receipts, each of which has confirmed the results. As with any election, there have been infinitesimal discrepancies at the margins, but none of them come close to overcoming Biden's margins of victories in the tipping-point states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and some have only increased his margins.

Rather, the goal seems to be to try to appease and appeal to the president's supporters — to whom no amount of contrary evidence and/or rejections of these claims in court have sufficiently established that 81 million Americans voted for the other guy. In the process, these objections will serve only to perpetuate conspiracy theories and delegitimize the clearly legitimate election of our country's 46th president. Worse still, they may also set the stage for similar machinations four years from now — when they might be sufficient to overturn narrower election results.

Wednesday's antics aren't just dangerous political theater; they are also a betrayal of two of the foundational legal principles conservative Republicans have pushed for decades: The first of these is "originalism" — the theory that any debate over the meaning of specific constitutional provisions should be conclusively resolved by how those provisions would have been understood when they were adopted. The second, related principle is a particular understanding of "federalism" — the division of power between state and federal governments — through which our founding charter preserves the regulatory primacy of states over most topics, including federal elections. more...

By Dominick Mastrangelo

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh took a dismissive tone to those calling for an end to violence after the ugly scenes of a mob insurrection at the Capitol, comparing the rioters to the colonists who sparked the American Revolution. "We're supposed to be horrified by the protesters," Limbaugh said on his program on Thursday. "There's a lot of people out there calling for the end of violence ... lot of conservatives, social media, who say that any violence or aggression at all is unacceptable regardless of the circumstances." Limbaugh added: "I am glad Sam Adams ... Thomas Paine ... the actual tea party guys ... the men at Lexington and Concord, didn't feel that way.”

Limbaugh said Wednesday's unrest was a result of months of American citizens being "fed up" with left-leaning political activism in the country. “Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people — Americans who have gotten tired of being ignored and lied about and smeared as racists by these very Democrats in the media and the popular culture,” Limbaugh said. “Americans who have gotten fed up with having elections stolen from them by the Democrats, including the White House. Now they think two more Senate seats have been stolen, and they thought they were going to be stolen even before the election.” Other conservative voices were highly critical of the mob, unlike Limbaugh. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who many critics have blamed for the chaos because he was one of the lawmakers to object to the election certification process, called the rioters "domestic terrorists." more...

Utah members report they are safe amid melee.
By Lee Davidson

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney was furious after protesters — fired up by President Donald Trump at a rally saying he was robbed in the elction — stormed the U.S. Capitol and managed to stop the official count of the Electoral College vote,. “This is what the president has caused today, this insurrection,” he told New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin after senators arrived at a secure location. Reporter David Freedlander with Politico tweeted that Romney earlier yelled in the Senate chamber, “This is what you’ve gotten” to Ted Cruz and his colleagues who raised objections to the electoral vote counts.

Protesters managed to gain entrance eventually into the Senate chamber, and even pose in senators’ chairs. Television pictures showed protesters firing tear gas, and carrying weapons. Members of Congress were evacuated by police reportedly to secure locations. Sen. Mike Lee urged the Senate to continue the electoral count, and not let protesters stop it. “Congress was elected to govern. We need to get back on the floor and gavel in the Senate as soon as possible,” he tweeted. Lee added, “Whether we get back in the chamber or convene in a different location, the Senate should continue the work of the American people immediately. This outrage cannot be allowed to disrupt that work for a minute longer.” more...

By Benjamin Fearnow

President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said any Republican who is against overturning the November election results should be removed from the party, labeling several GOP lawmakers in Pennsylvania and Arizona "liars" and a "disgrace." Giuliani told Arizona Governor Doug Ducey he "should join another political party" alongside any Republican state legislators who have failed to assist Trump's legal team in overturning President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Giuliani explained Trump and Vice President Mike Pence's final legal options to remain in office included their submission of "two sets of state electors" for Congress to count this week. Giuliani said one outcome that allows Trump to remain in office is if "you can't determine a winner, but you can determine the election was illegal."

Giuliani laid out the legal options for Pence to refuse to count at least six states where "confusing" results were contested by Trump. Making several demands for party loyalty on conservative Charlie Kirk's podcast, Giuliani said the GOP should be taking down the names of anyone "not supporting us." Giuliani railed against the "coward" Senate Republicans who are not joining the 12 "sedition caucus" members who plan to disrupt Wednesday's Electoral College vote count. The former New York City mayor said Pennsylvania's election officials are a "disgrace," and he called Georgia GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger "a liar." more...

The GOP must stop Americans from believing elections are rigged
By John Farmer Jr.

President Trump and his allies have been singularly unsuccessful in persuading governors, state elections officials, or state and federal judges that the 2020 election was “stolen.” As Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State explained this past weekend in refusing to help the president “find” enough votes to win, “Respectfully, President Trump, what you’re saying is not true.” The president’s efforts have been wildly successful, however, in two respects: persuading potentially millions of Americans that our election process is illegitimate, and raising hundreds of millions of dollars since Nov. 3 from those same Americans. The threat this effort poses to the future of American institutions is clear. If nearly half of the electorate continues to believe that our presidential elections are “rigged,” every election cycle will verge on civil war. more...

Senators decline to defend electoral college ploy on TV
Martin Pengelly

All 12 Republican senators who have pledged not to ratify the electoral college results on Wednesday, and thereby refuse to confirm Joe Biden’s resounding victory over Donald Trump in the presidential election, declined on television to defend their move, a CNN host said on Sunday. “It all recalls what Ulysses S Grant once wrote in 1861,” Jake Tapper said on State of the Union, before quoting a letter the union general wrote at the outset of a civil war he won before becoming president himself: ‘There are [but] two parties now: traitors and patriots.’ “How would you describe the parties today?” Tapper asked.

The attempt to overturn Trump’s defeat seems doomed, a piece of political theatre mounted by party grandees eager to court supporters loyal to the president before, in some cases, mounting their own runs for the White House. Nonetheless on Saturday Ted Cruz of Texas and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin led 11 senators and senators-elect in calling for “an emergency 10-day audit” of results in states where the president claims electoral fraud, despite failing to provide evidence and repeatedly losing in court. The senators followed Josh Hawley of Missouri – like Cruz thought likely to run for president in 2024 – in pledging to object to the electoral college result. A majority of House Republicans are also expected to object, after staging a Saturday call with Trump to plan their own moves. Democrats control the House and senior Senate Republicans are opposed to the attempt to disenfranchise millions – many of them African Americans in swing states – seemingly guaranteeing the attempt will fail. Nonetheless, Vice-President Mike Pence, who will preside over the ratification, welcomed the move by Cruz and others. more...

Lloyd Green

Never mind sedition – for the secession caucus, defeat by Barack Obama’s successor and a black woman is just too much to bear. On Wednesday, the Republicans’ transition to the party of the Confederacy will be complete. A day after Georgia’s runoff elections, at least a dozen lawmakers in the Senate and more than half of the party’s House membership will seek to overturn the results of the 2020 election and disenfranchise the majority of US voters. A coup attempt in all but name, this is how democracy dies. Sadly, a statement issued on Saturday by seven sitting senators and four senators-elect dispelled any doubts about the nexus between the end of the US civil war, more than 150 years ago, and Donald Trump’s desperate attempt to cling to power. Predictably, America’s racial divide again stands front and center.

After regurgitating for the umpteenth time unproven and unsubstantiated charges of electoral fraud, the senators invoked the election of 1876. Back then, the Democrats contested the outcome, conceding after the Republicans agreed to halt Reconstruction. As framed by Ted Cruz and his posse, “the most direct precedent” for their actions “arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race”. In their telling, “elections in three states” were “alleged to have been conducted illegally”. Left unsaid is that after the end of Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the toxic legacy of “separate but equal” followed. more...

Georgia Republican facing Senate runoff bought significant shares in US bank after meeting with financial policy makers
Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Washington

David Perdue, the Georgia Republican facing a Senate runoff election on Tuesday, has twice bought a significant number of shares in a US bank shortly after meeting with financial policy makers, raising more questions about his prolific stock trading while in office. In one case, in May 2015, Perdue bought between $15,000 and $50,000 worth of shares in Regions Financial Corporation two days after a 10-minute phone call with then treasury secretary Jack Lew. Perdue bought additional shares in the bank two years later, on 18 May 2017, two days after a half-hour meeting with then Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen.

It is not clear in either case if Perdue discussed relevant financial regulation or other market-sensitive issues with Lew or Yellen or whether the discussions influenced his decision to buy the stock. At the time of the call with Lew, members of the Senate banking committee, on which Perdue sits, were engaged in close talks over a potential trade deal. But the purchase of more Regions stock in the wake of Perdue’s meeting with Yellen – who will be nominated to serve as treasury secretary by Joe Biden once the president-elect takes office – is possibly significant, because it came about two months before Yellen publicly discussed her support for raising the $50bn asset threshold for systemically important institutions, a change that meant Regions bank could see an easing of important financial regulations. more...

By Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) Many conservative House Republicans defended President Donald Trump in the aftermath of his phone call demanding Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger "find" the votes needed for him to win the elections in his state -- as Democrats began drafting a resolution seeking to censure Trump over the matter. After House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy downplayed Trump's stunning demand, other Republicans rushed to his defense -- and some refused to take issue with the President's actions. "I wasn't involved in the call," said Minnesota Rep. Tom Emmer, who chairs the House GOP's campaign arm. Rep. Paul Gosar, a conservative Arizona Republican who is joining his colleagues' effort to overturn the election results on Wednesday, contended that Trump's call was a simple expression of "enormous frustration."

"Politically correct speech doesn't run well," Gosar said when asked about Trump. Trump's call with Georgia's secretary of state, audio of which was reported by CNN, the Washington Post and others on Sunday, comes ahead of a Republican effort to object to President-elect Joe Biden's victory when Congress counted the Electoral College votes on Wednesday. At least 140 House Republicans and a dozen Senate Republicans are preparing to vote against Biden's victory in a push to overturn the election results despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud, though the effort has divided Republicans, with some Republicans openly criticizing their colleagues for an effort they charge is dangerous to democracy. Trump has attacked those Republicans not joining with his push to overturn the election results, tweeting Monday at Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, one of Trump's typical Senate GOP allies, after Cotton announced he wouldn't support the objections. more...

Trump’s effort to interfere with the Electoral College count will fail — this time. But it's dangerous because it provides a blueprint for next time.
Chris Truax

You’ve got to give credit where credit is due. President Donald Trump is sparking the biggest reexamination of the nuts and bolts of our democracy since the Constitutional Convention in 1787. How many of us had contemplated the ins and outs of the Vacancies Act or the proper scope of presidential power during a national emergency before Trump came along? Unfortunately, all this is missing some of the dignity of the original discussion, and we’ve ended up with a sort of tabloid version of The Federalist Papers in which those of us concerned about American institutions don’t so much engage in learned debate as in frantically attempting to head off the next pending scandal.

Which brings us to the Electoral Count Act of 1887. Until a few weeks ago, this was one of the most obscure pieces of legislation on the books. The ECA governs how Electoral College votes are counted. In short, during a joint session of Congress, the vice president opens the envelopes containing each state’s Electoral College votes and hands them to two tellers from the House and two tellers from the Senate who read the votes aloud. Once all the votes have been read, the tellers add them up and announce the result. In 2013, the entire process took 23 minutes. more...


To the editor: Let’s call this what it is — voter suppression. (“Mike Pence: Your loyalty should be to the Constitution, not Trump,” editorial, Dec. 31) The foundation for contesting the 2020 electoral college results, pure and simple, is voter suppression under the guise of voter fraud. And, whose votes are being suppressed? Can there be any doubt that it is those of the marginalized residents of large cities who have been impeded by racism and poverty in exercising the right to vote?

The entire compendium of challenges is directed at disenfranchising citizens more at risk, suffering greater income loss, and less able to reach polling places due to a pandemic. The disingenuous claim by far-right Republicans in Congress that they will object the electoral vote on Jan. 6 because of constitutional concerns is an insult to anyone who actually believes in the right of every citizen to have their vote count. As the announcement by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) so clearly displays, we have moved to where political theater “trumps” any concept of justice. more...

*** The election is over Biden won but some in the Republican Party are trying to help Trump steal the election, Trump and those Republicans are attempting a coup. Americans need to remember those Republicans who help Trump with his coup attempt and vote them out of office. ****

By Jordain Carney

Eleven Senate Republicans on Saturday announced that they will vote for objections to the Electoral College results Wednesday, when Congress convenes in a joint session to formally count the vote. GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Ron Johnson (Wis.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Daines (Mont.), John Kennedy (La.), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.) and Mike Braun (Ind.) and Sens.-elect Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Roger Marshall (Kan.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.) and Tommy Tuberville (Ala.) said in a joint statement that they will vote against accepting the election results until there is a 10-day audit.

"Congress should immediately appoint an Electoral Commission, with full investigatory and fact-finding authority, to conduct an emergency 10-day audit of the election returns in the disputed states," they said. "Once completed, individual states would evaluate the Commission’s findings and could convene a special legislative session to certify a change in their vote, if needed. "Accordingly, we intend to vote on Jan. 6 to reject the electors from disputed states as not 'regularly given' and 'lawfully certified' (the statutory requisite), unless and until that emergency 10-day audit is completed," they added.

The senators didn't say in their joint statement if they plan to object to the results from specific states, how they would divvy up those objections or if they would just vote in support of challenges to the Electoral College results if they reach the Senate. The group's announcement means that at least a dozen GOP senators, or almost a quarter of the caucus, will challenge the election results Wednesday. GOP Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.) was the first senator to announce he would be joining a band of House conservatives to force a debate and vote on the Electoral College results. more...

*** The election is over Biden won but some in the Republican Party are trying to help Trump steal the election, Trump and those Republicans are attempting a coup. Americans need to remember those Republicans who help Trump with his coup attempt and vote them out of office. ****

Matthew S. Schwartz

With just days until Congress is scheduled to formalize the results of the 2020 presidential election, legal challenges to President-elect Joe Biden's win are still coming in. The January certification of states' electoral votes, overseen by the vice president, is usually seen as a formality. But a lawsuit filed last week by Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, seeks to upend the process.

In some key battleground states, groups of Republicans have baselessly declared themselves to be "alternate electors," claiming to represent the true wishes of the voters. Gohmert and the other plaintiffs — including a group of self-proclaimed electors from Arizona — argue that when confronted with competing slates of electors, the Constitution gives Vice President Mike Pence the power to choose which electors to certify. The legal challenge, which reflects the longstanding refusal of certain Republicans to acknowledge Biden's victory, is widely seen as a long shot.

In their suit, which names the vice president as the defendant, the Republican plaintiffs argue that a 19th century law spelling out how Congress should handle the count is unconstitutional, because it directs Pence to tally the electoral votes as they've been reported by the states. These Republicans argue that the 12th Amendment gives Pence, not the states, sole discretion to determine which among competing slates of electors may be counted. But in response, Pence told the court that he was the wrong person to sue. The Republicans' beef isn't with the vice president, he said, but with Congress. more...

By Sun Sentinel Editorial Board

There is no reasonable doubt that Congress will confirm the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris when it meets Wednesday to count their electoral votes for president and vice-president. What remains to be seen is how much decency and patriotism remain in the Republican Party. Under Abraham Lincoln, the GOP stood for government of, by and for the people.

But now, does it stand for anything other than Donald Trump? “This is Donald Trump’s party and I am a Donald Trump Republican,” says Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida’s enfant terrible, one of the Congress members who plan to challenge the Democratic electoral votes from up to five key states. If you want to understand how democracies die, that’s how. An entire party turns into a personality cult.

No political party ever had a more noble purpose or a more glorious beginning. It was founded in 1854 to stop the expansion of slavery to the western territories. To the South, confining slavery to where it existed would result in abolishing slavery, and so it fell to Lincoln, the party’s first president, to save the Union and abolish the evil institution that had spawned secession and civil war. more...

Tracy Connor

A federal judge took a rhetorical blowtorch to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, saying in a ruling this week that the state has done “little, if anything” to stop COVID-19 from ravaging the state. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports that U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann ordered a state court to stop using the pandemic as an excuse to delay a defendant’s trial. Then he went after the state’s response to the crisis itself. more...

By Alexandra Garrett

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger called out President Donald Trump's campaign fundraiser emails on Wednesday. "Where I feel really bad is just the people that are, you know, struggling during the pandemic are giving President Trump's campaign money for this recount because they believe him, said Kinzinger during an interview with CNN's New Day. "And it's just a scam it's a big grift," Kinzinger added. "Hard-working taxpayers are giving their money to this because they are convinced because the president's telling them that they can win." The Trump campaign sent out over 500 emails since the presidential election on November 3. More than 400 of those emails contained fundraising solicitations. A large number of the emails focused on unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud in the presidential election although most of the lawsuits filed from Trump's campaign turned out unsuccessful in proving any voting irregularities contributed to President-elect Joe Biden's win. more...

By Jeremy Herb, Phil Mattingly and Lauren Fox, CNN

(CNN) Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said Wednesday he will object when Congress counts the Electoral College votes next week, which will force lawmakers in both the House and Senate to vote on whether to accept the results of President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Hawley is the first senator to announce plans to object to the results, which is significant because both a House member and senator are required to mount an objection when Congress counts the Electoral College votes on January 6. The objection will not change the outcome of the election, only delaying the inevitable affirmation of Biden's victory in November over President Donald Trump. Democrats will reject any objections in the House, and multiple Republican senators have argued against an objection that will provide a platform for Trump's baseless conspiracy theories claiming the election was stolen from him.

Hawley's objection, which other senators may still join, will also put many of his Senate Republican colleagues in a difficult political position, forcing them to vote on whether to side with Trump or with the popular will of the voters. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately urged Senate Republicans not to join the group of House members who are planning to object. Senate Majority Whip John Thune argued against it publicly, prompting a rebuke from Trump on Twitter and the threat of a primary challenge. Trump has been pushing for Congress to try to overturn the election result as his campaign's attempts to overturn the election through the courts have been repeatedly rejected. more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) Boy, I did not see this one coming! On Monday, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert sued Vice President Mike Pence in federal court in a, um, wacky attempt to transform the vice president's purely ceremonial role in presiding over the announcement of the Electoral College results in Congress into a power broker position in which the VP could effectively hand the election to President Donald Trump. "We continue to hold out hope that there is a federal judge who understands that the fraud that stole this election will mean the end of our republic, and this suit would insure that the Vice-President will only accept electors legitimately and legally elected," Gohmert said in a statement on Monday. "There must be an opportunity for a day in court when fraud was this prevalent."

It's probably worth noting here that there has yet to be any proof of the widespread fraud that Gohmert, Trump and the President's most ardent backers continue to allege. In fact, as The New York Times noted over the weekend, the Trump forces have lost all but one of the 60 (!) lawsuits they have brought attempting to prove voter fraud. There have been zero documented instances of widespread malfeasance -- be it dead people voting or non-citizens casting votes. There's just no "there" there. Like, none. Unbowed by that absence, Gohmert has plowed onward. And while the legal case is a joke -- and that is putting it nicely -- it's worth examining what would happen if Gohmert's fantasy actually came true, and how distinctly un-conservative it would all be. more...

*** Some Republicans are trying to help Trump with his failed coup attempt. This is not some third world country, but some on the right think it or are trying make it so. All Americans should remember all the republicans who helped Trump try to steal the election and vote them out of office. ***

By Jordain Carney

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said on Wednesday that he will object during Congress's counting of the Electoral College vote on Jan. 6, becoming the first GOP senator to back the effort by House conservatives. The decision by Hawley would ensure a debate and vote in the House and Senate on the Electoral College results. “I cannot vote to certify the electoral college results on January 6 without raising the fact that some states, particularly Pennsylvania, failed to follow their own state election laws," Hawley said in a statement. "And I cannot vote to certify without pointing out the unprecedented effort of mega corporations, including Facebook and Twitter, to interfere in this election, in support of Joe Biden. At the very least, Congress should investigate allegations of voter fraud and adopt measures to secure the integrity of our elections. But Congress has so far failed to act," Hawley added. His office didn't immediately respond to a question about which states he will object to next week. more...

By Zack Budryk

Republican-leaning pollster Rasmussen invoked a quote attributed to Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in a Twitter thread Sunday suggesting Vice President Pence could attempt to overturn the results of the presidential election. “Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything. – Stalin,” the pollster tweeted, before going on to outline a scenario in which Pence refuses to certify the results in swing states.

Supporters of President Trump have made similar arguments that Pence, as president of the Senate, has the power to reject Electoral College results. However, the theory is based on a misreading of U.S. code that simply authorizes the vice president to call on states to submit their electoral votes if they do not do so by the fourth Wednesday in December, according to The Washington Post. “The Vice President is not supposed to control the outcome of the process for counting the electoral votes from the states. That’s true from the perspective of the Constitution as well as the Electoral Count Act," Edward Foley, a law professor at the Ohio State University, told The Hill in an email. more...

*** Trickle-down economics is Republican BS it does not work, never has, never will. ***

Data spanning 50 years and 18 countries shows lowering rates for the wealthy increases inequality
By Christopher Ingraham

President Trump sold his 2017 tax cuts as “rocket fuel” for the economy, arguing that freeing up money for the wealthy would allow them to hire more workers, pay better wages and invest more. The tax savings, in other words, would trickle down from the rich to everyone else.

But, just as many economists predicted, slashing individual, corporate and estate tax rates was mostly a windfall for big corporations and wealthy Americans. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act did not pay for itself, failed to stimulate long-term growth and did not lead to sustained business investments.

According to one of the most comprehensive studies to date on tax cuts for the rich, this should come as no surprise. A London School of Economics report by David Hope and Julian Limberg examined five decades of tax cuts in 18 wealthy nations and found they consistently benefited the wealthy but had no meaningful effect on unemployment or economic growth. more...

by: The Associated Press and Nexstar Media Wire

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump hosted several House Republican lawmakers at the White House on Monday to discuss an effort to block Congress from affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election. The meeting underscored Trump’s refusal to accept the reality of his loss and his willingness to entertain undemocratic efforts to overturn the will of the majority of American voters. Biden will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

With no credible legal options remaining and the Electoral College having confirmed Biden’s victory earlier this month, Trump is turning his attention to Jan. 6. That’s when Congress participates in a count of the electoral votes, which Biden won 306-232. The count, required by the Constitution, is generally a formality. But members can use the event to object to a state’s votes. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Ala., said he organized Monday’s session with about a dozen House Republicans who are willing to challenge the results.

“President Trump is very supportive of our effort,” Brooks said in an interview late Monday. With Democrats holding the House majority and several Republican senators now acknowledging Biden’s victory, any effort to block congressional approval of the election appears sure to fail. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned his members against taking such a step.

Sen. John Thune, the No. 2 Senate Republican, urged lawmakers to remember that an effort to block the election results in Congress was “just not going anywhere.” “I mean, in the Senate, it would go down like a shot dog,” Thune told CNN. “I just don’t think that it makes a lot of sense to put everybody through this when you know what the ultimate outcome is gonna be.” more...

Kevin Stankiewicz

Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., on Monday defended his opposition to extending emergency Federal Reserve lending programs, which had emerged as a last-minute sticking point in coronavirus stimulus negotiations. A deal over the weekend was eventually reached around the Fed’s lending powers, paving the way for an agreement on the larger, $900 billion relief package. Congress was set to vote on the bill Monday.

Democrats had worried Toomey’s original proposal would prevent the Fed from adequately responding to future crises. In an interview on “Squawk Box,” Toomey said he fully supported the wide-ranging credit programs launched by the central bank in March in response to the burgeoning pandemic. But the Pennsylvania Republican contended that they should be wound down at the end of December and Congressional approval must be required again before restarting them. more...

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