One Of Our Dildocraft Is Missing.
The big political news in New Mexico this week was Tuesday's landslide-isn't-adequate-to-describe-it win by Democratic state Rep. Melanie Stansbury in the special election to fill Interior Secretary Deb Haaland's congressional seat. But while the 60 percent to 36 percent stomping Stansbury delivered to Republican state Sen. Mark Moores will have important long-term implications for New Mexico politics, it was a plain vanilla "plane lands safely" story compared to Tuesday's other, far weirder political news in the Land of Enchantment.
That story, being, of course, the attack of the DONGCOPTER at a rally for Albuquerque mayoral candidate Manuel "Manny" Gonzales III, who currently serves as Bernalillo County Sheriff. As the Albuquerque Journal notes, the rally had started out well enough, with one of the biggest crowds Gonzales has had yet in his campaign to oust "fellow Democrat and incumbent Mayor Tim Keller." (The mayor's race is officially nonpartisan, so party affiliation won't be listed on the ballot. They are indeed Dems, although Gonzales is apparently some kind of law-n-order Trumper. Damned if any of it makes sense.)
Things got weird, in the form of a new kind of SKYPENIS, only this one at a far lower altitude than the others. While Gonzales was answering a question, a quadcopter drone dangling a dildo beneath it flew into the open-air venue, buzzing near the stage. As the audience giggled, an incredulous woman in the audience exclaimed, "Is that a dong on a drone?"
Here's a link to the video, which sadly cannot be embedded. Gonzales, clearly distracted — and who wouldn't be? — commented, "We have a gentleman over here who I guess is trying to be cute."
We pause here to compliment Journal reporter Elise Kaplan for this detailed description of the drone's being disarmed, or disdonged, by the venue's owner. It's the sort of keen-eyed journalism of which Pulitzer Prizes are made.
The owner of Revel Entertainment Center yanked the flying object – [sex] toy first – to the ground.
Things then got weirder, as you might expect in a Wonkette story about a DONGCOPTER.
As soon as the aeropeener was snatched out of the sky, a dude suddenly ran in and tried to wrest it from the owner of Revel Entertainment Center, then all these other dudes piled on him, and what the absolute fuck?
The dude who attempted the DONGCOPTER repatriation was arrested and identified as Kaelan Ashby Dreyer, 20. Dreyer was booked on charges of "misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor resisting, evading or obstructing an officer," and later released on his own recognizance. A complaint written by a sheriff's deputy said that Dreyer had shouted "He's a tyrant!" and was "swinging his balled up fist" at Gonzales.
Gonzales told the Journal he'd noticed Dreyer in the crowd while the DONGCOPTER was flying around, and while he didn't see Dreyer actually using a controller, he was pretty sure Dreyer was flying the remotely piloted tonker.
During the ensuing fracas, Gonzales said, "He tried to take a swing at me and he glanced across my arm [...] He struck me and I just took a step back. It wasn't anything I was very concerned about. I've been in a lot worse situations."
The complaint notes that Dreyer said he hadn't intended to hit Gonzales, but was very angry that Gonzales was "answering a question, from the crowd, in a disrespectful way," so there's your mandatory Rashomon: DONGCOPTER remix.
OK, there's also another bit of weirdness, why not? In a presser on Wednesday, Gonzales suggested the Mission Indongable incident was the work of "political operatives" who he suspected might be working for Mayor Keller. He said the aerial endongening was "a coordinated effort, very intentional, and these people were trained."
"Those people were planted there," Gonzales said. "They went there. They didn't go over there to have a civil discourse, they were there to disrupt. And they did act out that violence. So to me, it's very intentional." [...]
"It became so distracting from the sound and everything I couldn't really get my point across," Gonzales said. "I was trying to answer one of the lady's questions that was with this group of four that were political operatives for somebody, I believe possibly the other campaign. So for me, I was surprised. And it was distracting."
Not surprisingly, Keller's campaign says nah, not us, don't be a flying dick about this. Keller's campaign manager, Neri Holguin, condemned the incident as "disruptive, rude and immature," adding, "We denounce demeaning antics and urge residents to participate in the political process in a respectful manner."
As for the assertion that the Keller campaign was responsible for the winged wang, Holguin said, "To suggest we were behind it is pathetic and the kind of desperation that has marked Manny's troubled campaign," which may be a reference to the fact that Gonzales is still collecting petition signatures to make it onto the ballot. The deadline is June 19.
Dreyer also denied being an operative for Keller.
"Manny Gonzales is trying to associate me with Tim Keller or radical leftist behavior," Dreyer told the Journal. "I'm not a fan of Tim Keller either and identify as libertarian."
Hmm, maybe, but wouldn't a libertarian have used a flying copy of Atlas Shrugged? Eh, anyone who loves that is already a dick.
Regardless, I think we can all agree that the attempt to recreate the most iconic scene of Acockalypse Now would have been more impressive if the copter had been an actual dong, like when a 2008 press conference by Gary Kasparov was interrupted by a far more literal DONGCOPTER. Vladimir Putin's people are evil, but they don't go off half-cocked.
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Yeah, they were gonna make it illegal to give people rides to go vote.
I'd like to believe that late Sunday night, on some cosmic plane, Ann Richards and Molly Ivins were high-fiving each other when Democrats walked out of the Texas House chamber shortly before midnight, temporarily killing Republicans' terrible voter-suppression bill. Yes, of course it's going to come back and pass in a special session some time later this summer, but the point is that, for a while at least, we won't be seeing Greg Abbott smugly signing the bill into law and lying about how he's protecting the "integrity" of the vote.
And who knows, there's even the slimmest of chances that the US Senate might pass the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, although for that to happen, our secular prayers for the enlightenment of Joe Manchin would have to be answered. After Republicans shafted Manchin's bipartisan fantasy on the January 6 Commission, we'd like to hope he may yet realize that saving democracy and saving the filibuster are in fact two different things.
Texas Senate Bill 7, which was written behind closed doors by Republican state senators, aimed to prevent a repeat of 2020's record voter turnout, even though Donald Trump won the state and John Cornyn (R) held his US Senate seat. It would have prohibited a number of measures that increased turnout among Black and Latino voters, particularly in Harris County, the state's largest county and home to Houston. It would have banned after-hours voting, drive-through voting, absentee ballot drop boxes, and the 24-hour voting centers that Harris County set up. Partisan poll watchers would be granted more power to nose around at voting sites, although the bill still generously allowed voters to mark their ballots privately.
It also took aim at "Souls to the Polls" voting drives that have been popular with Black churches, in which people would take buses or car pool to the polls right after church services, by banning voting before 1 p.m. on Sundays and requiring that anyone who drove more than two non-relatives to a polling place would have to sign a form explaining why they were giving other people a ride. (Hey, at least the current version of the law didn't require those reasons to be approved by state officials, oh shit, I've given them ideas.)
And despite the lack of any widespread fraud, the bill would have required people voting by mail to provide a driver's license or Social Security number, as well as made it a felony for voting officials to send out absentee ballot request forms to anyone who hadn't asked for one. It would even have imposed more stringent standards for someone to request an absentee ballot because of a disability.
No, Texas Republicans were not brimming with examples of people committing fraud by not being quite disabled enough. Assuming that provision survives into the special session, you can expect disability rights groups to join in on the lawsuits once this dog's breakfast passes in a special session. (Today would be a nice day to send a check, if you can, to the ACLU of Texas, Common Cause Texas, or NAACP Legal Defense Fund.)
Oh, yes, and on top of all that, SB 7 would have made it easier for elections to be overturned in court, just in case a Democrat accidentally got more votes anyway.
The Texas Senate rushed the bill through on Saturday, and it headed for easy passage in the House Sunday night. But with an hour left before a final voting deadline and all their parliamentary delaying tactics used up, House Democrats headed for the exits, leaving the 150-member body without the two-thirds needed for a quorum.
"Leave the chamber discreetly. Do not go to the gallery. Leave the building," Grand Prairie state Rep. Chris Turner, the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said in a text message to other Democrats obtained by The Texas Tribune.
About 30 Democratic House members met at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in East Austin for a press conference, while Republicans started crying about what a shame it was that the Democrats had refused to do the people's business by letting Republicans do their business all over voting rights.
In a Sunday-night tweet, Abbott promised a special session for the "voter integrity" bill, as well as for a similarly awful "bail reform" measure that would make it substantially harder for people to bond out of jail. It too was left unfinished when the Democrats walked out. Monday, Abbott escalated his hissy fit, insisting he would defund the state legislature via line-item veto. In a tweet, he said, "No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities. Stay tuned."
So that's real mature, and sure to be welcome news to the Republican majority in the Lege. The pay for Texas legislators is $600 a month, for $7,200 a year, plus a $221 per diem while the Lege is in session.
Oh, and the budget line Abbott plans to veto only applies to the coming fiscal year, beginning September 1. He showed them! We suspect that once the Republicans steamroll the voter suppression and bail-"reform" bills, they'll also restore funding for the next legislative session, too. Especially if they can figure out how to only fund Republican members' pay.
And we'll leave you with a thought from Saint Molly:
"The thing about democracy, beloveds, is that it is not neat, orderly, or quiet. It requires a certain relish for confusion."
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HE WUZ FRAAAAAAAAMED!
Doesn't the Uniform Code of Military Justice have something to say about fired, disgraced LIEUTENANT GENERALS saying things like this?
Avowed QAnon disciple and confessed felon retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has called for a Myanmar-like military coup in America.
"It should happen," Donald Trump's former national security adviser said in an astonishing declaration at a QAnon conference Sunday.
It happened at the "For God And Country" gathering of QAnon Trump idiots at the Omni in Dallas. (No, not the Omni Total Landscape, the actual Omni.) Sidney Powell was at this event. So was Texas GOP Chair Allen West. Louie Gohmert.
As HuffPost explains for Americans who aren't currently up on their Myanmar news, its military pulled off a violent coup back in January, the same month Donald Trump was trying to get his followers to pull off a violent coup in America. They arrested the leader and other top politicians, and they've been killing hundreds and hundreds of protesters. As HuffPost notes, they've been doing this because "election fraud." Apparently QAnon types in America are really stoked about what's happening in Myanmar.
Or "Minnimar," as it were. You know how QAnon Trump idiots are about keeping up with the current news in "Minnimar."
Flynn presented his dark vision of a military coup and dictatorship in the U.S. in response to a question from the audience at the conference.
"I wanna know why what happened in Myanmar can't happen here?" an unidentified member of the audience asked Flynn, though he pronounced the nation as "Minnimar."
"No reason," Flynn responded to wild screams of approval. "It should happen."
Well then. Again, Uniform Code of Military Justice? We are just curious.
Of course there's video.
Not too surprising for a guy who was fired by Barack Obama as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) for incompetence and general batshittery; who was national security advisor for 20-some-odd days before Donald Trump reluctantly quit-fired him after he lied to Vice President Mike Pence and the feds about his back channel dealings with the Kremlin; who pleaded guilty to those crimes TWICE before hiring nutbag Sidney Powell and trying to un-plead guilty, claiming he WUZ FRAAAAAAAMED; who was pardoned by the crime-boss Trump; he descended into hell; and on the third day rose again from the ... oh wait, we got lost; and who after America's free and fair election in 2020 was grinning ear to ear about Trump invoking martial law to overthrow the election.
A patriot, this man is not. (And how did YOU spend Memorial Day weekend? Didn't advocate for the overthrow of the American government, we bet.)
More scenes from the event:
Flynn insisted that he's "not a conspiracy theorist," but then declared: "Trump won! He won! He won the popular vote, and he won the Electoral College vote." (He didn't.)
Here's video of that.
After video of Flynn's comments started going around this weekend, the denials of the thing we all saw in the video started.
As JoeMyGod reports, nutbag Sidney Powell used her own speaking time at the conference of fellow nutbags on Monday to debunk the "fake news" about the thing we all saw in the video. (No video on this one, we are guessing Joe transcribed it, but it matches excerpts reported by CNN.)
POWELL: The fake news has grossly distorted what General Flynn said yesterday in response to a question about Myanmar. There are no circumstances under which he urged the military to take any action to unseat the president.
POWELL: We all know our that in our government, the military serves under our commander-in-chief and General Flynn in no way encouraged any act of violence or any military insurrection. It's very important that be clear.
For legal covering-of-ass purposes?
POWELL: The clip that has been put on Twitter and which has gone viral and has become a story in every newspaper is simply not a fair or accurate representation of the conversation.
It appears to have been a simple Q & A. What are we missing? Was the segment called "Let's Say Things We Definitely Don't Believe"?
Just FYI, but Powell wore a biker vest at the conference and also told people that Donald Trump should be merely "reinstated" as president. All very lawyerly and very sane.
And of course Flynn is now denying saying the thing we all heard him say. Here's his Telegram post about that:
TEXT: Let me be VERY CLEAR -- There is NO reason whatsoever for any coup in America, and I do not and have not at any time called for any action of that sort.
Any reporting of any other belief by me is a boldface fabrication based on twisted reporting at a lively panel at a conference of Patriotic Americans who love this country, just as I do.
I am no stranger to media manipulating my words and therefore let me repeat my response to a question asked at the conference: There is no reason it (a coup) should happen here (in America).
Hahahahaha, OK. He's trying to act like this is all a matter of us being confused by the punctuation of his sentences.
In the video, he says "No reason. [...] It should happen." But Flynn says no, that's not how that statement was punctuated, what he said was "No reason it should happen here." Which could be valid except for how if you watch the full clip, what he actually said was, "No reason. I mean, it should happen here." For brevity, a lot of news outlets are eliding the "I mean" (SEE ABOVE), but apparently we need those words, so Michael Flynn can't lie about what he literally said with his seditious mouthface.
See what we are saying? How there is a big huge treason difference between "No reason it should happen here" and "No reason. I mean, it should happen here"?
Now we know what those FBI agents interviewing Flynn about his fucked up back alley talks with the Russian ambassador must've felt like, listening to this mediocre shitweasel lie to their faces.
With these seditious remarks Comrade Flynn may have crossed the line for recall to active duty and court-martial. A… https://t.co/lMfkEiFBbS— Yevgeny (Eugene) Vindman (@Yevgeny (Eugene) Vindman)1622465394.0
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It's a very popular lawsplainer these days.
Arizona Republicans are currently hanging their heads in shame after hiring a company called "Cyber Ninjas" to look for bamboo ballots to prove that China stole the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden. Or, something? Honestly, who the hell even knows. Anyway, they've turned the state into a national laughingstock, so naturally Georgia Gippers want in on some of that action.
Honestly, look at this lede from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Aided by a treasure hunter, the tea party and an unshakable belief that the presidential election was rigged, a group of skeptics may soon inspect Georgia absentee ballots in an attempt to find counterfeits.
Yeah, baby! Only this time instead of bamboo fibers the new hotness is folds. Specifically, the pack of geniuses bringing this suit believe that ballots without folds are inherently SUSPICIOUS and FRAUD, so they're going to, uh, read the ballots' palms and see if their lifelines are fake. Never mind that all military and overseas ballots have to be duplicated so the machines can read them, as do any ballots that got too folded in the mail, so plenty of ballots come off the copier smooth as a baby's bottom.
Look, this ain't a brains operation.
One of [lead plaintiff Garland] Favorito's consultants reviewing ballot images is Jovan Pulitzer, an inventor and former lost treasure hunter who searched for the Ark of the Covenant. Along with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Pulitzer spread election fraud conspiracies during a state Senate hearing at the Georgia Capitol in December. Pulitzer's ballot inspection technology is being used in Arizona's ballot audit as well.
And Favorito's lawyers are a special bunch, too.
This complaint was drafted by a crew of personal injury attorneys who specialize in slip-and-falls? Well, that explains a lot. It's just a heaping pile of vote dilution/equal protection/water main leak conspiracy nonsense, and it's already been thoroughly rejected by state and federal courts. In fact, as the AJC article notes, these very same PI lawyers worked on some of those earlier garbage cases.
The plaintiffs did score an early victory when they persuaded Henry County Judge Brian Amero to let them see digital copies of the ballots in question, but that is on hold until at least June 21 because of one or two little oopsies in the plaintiffs' briefs. To wit:
- They failed to sue the right parties;
- Some of the parties they substituted are also not the right parties, since neither Fulton County nor the Fulton County Court Clerk controls election administration;
- They failed to serve the parties, so the court has no jurisdiction to order anyone to do anything;
- They then lied to the court about having effected service of process, submitting a false affidavit to the court, at least according to this brief;
- The county has sovereign immunity, which it has not waived;
- There is a legal process to challenge election results, and this ain't it. And styling this as a civil rights case (insert Kathryn Hahn wink meme) ain't it either;
- And, to top it all off, their legal arguments are garbage.
But other than that, bang up job, fellas!
If you care about Georgia election fuckery, Georgia Public Broadcasting reporter Stephen Fowler is a must-follow.
And it looks like somebody realized they might need to actually serve the defendants… A wild amended summons appea… https://t.co/v9G88j7bLg— stephen fowler (@stephen fowler)1622140369.0
And speaking of lawyers who really ought to know better, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger gave an absolutely appalling interview to the New York Times in which he gave his blessing to this ridiculous endeavor as just the antidote the country needs after Democrats — DEMOCRATS! — destroyed voters' faith in the integrity of our elections.
Unfortunately, the No. 1 issue that we're facing right now in elections nationwide is voter confidence. Now, in Georgia, it goes back to the 2018 governor's race, when Stacey Abrams did not concede, and then in 2016, days after President Trump won, the other camp talks about Russian collusion. And so we had those aspersions cast on Trump's victory.
But what happens each time is that voter confidence takes a hit. So whenever we can restore, or have a process that will help restore, voter confidence, I think that's a good thing — if you have an open and transparent process in which everyone can objectively agree that this is due process that they're doing, that they're making sure they're following the law.
Yes, why are Democrats objecting to a game of Calvinball with referees who have already publicly declared that the Blue Team cheated and the Red Team is the winner? If we have nothing to hide, why do we object to turning ballots over to some treasure hunting loon to wave his magic wand over and declare all Biden ballots void under the principles of phrenology, or Sinology, or Scientology, or whatever bullshit theory the wingers have latched onto this week?
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