It's called stochastic terrorism, but you know that by now.
Rightwing thugs or domestic terrorists or whatever you want to call them as long as you don't use the word “militia" planned to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and put her on trial for, presumably, trying to keep their dumb asses alive during a pandemic. The FBI foiled their deranged plot, but it turns out that these loons also discussed abducting Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam — and though the FBI told Northam's security team, nobody considered he might "need to know." Maybe they were setting the stage for a potential romantic comedy/political thriller starring the Rock and Bebe Neuwirth (go make your own movie if you don't like my casting).
FBI Special Agent Richard Trask revealed this plot twist during a hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
From the Washington Post:
"At this meeting they discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically issues with the governors of Michigan and Virginia, based upon the lockdown orders," Trask told the court, referring to state-mandated restrictions implemented to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Where did this band of Travis Bickles get the idea to go after Northam?
LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1587137145.0
What was she wearing?
Now that 13 members of a militia group have been charged in a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and put her on trial for "treason" — and maybe execute her, who can say — wingnuts are scrambling to explain that the plot miraculously had nothing to do with Donald Trump's call to "LIBERATE MICHIGAN" or his frequent rhetorical attacks on Whitmer and other Democratic governors during the coronavirus pandemic. The Dear Leader himself took to Twitter to say he's never encouraged extremist violence, and to accuse Whitmer of being insufficiently grateful that Trump's very own Justice Department and FBI saved her from the plot. And then he went right back to accusing her and all Democrats of being in cahoots with dangerous radicals. We'll just transcribe his three-tweet rant here:
Governor Whitmer of Michigan has done a terrible job. She locked down her state for everyone, except her husband's boating activities. The Federal Government provided tremendous help to the Great People of Michigan. My Justice Department and Federal Law Enforcement announced...
...today that they foiled a dangerous plot against the Governor of Michigan. Rather than say thank you, she calls me a White Supremacist—while Biden and Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities...
...I do not tolerate ANY extreme violence. Defending ALL Americans, even those who oppose and attack me, is what I will always do as your President! Governor Whitmer—open up your state, open up your schools, and open up your churches!
Thoughts and prayers! Remember, when armed militia guys — including some of those arrested yesterday — were protesting Whitmer's coronavirus lockdown and calling her a Nazi, Trump was supporting them, calling them excellent folks, and urging Whitmer to compromise with them.
Can Latin sue for defamation?
One of the men featured in James O'Keefe's latest rightwing fantasia on a theme of "massive voter fraud" says he was "set up" by a Minneapolis community activist working with O'Keefe, and that video he appeared in was deceptively edited to make it look like he was admitting to election fraud. TV station KMSP reports that Liban Osman, the brother of a recently elected Minneapolis City Council member, had indeed been recorded collecting absentee ballots from ill and elderly voters, but he was doing so legally, for his brother's campaign, and not as part of a shadowy vote-buying plot by Rep. Ilhan Omar, as the video alleges. What's more, Osman says Omar Jamal, the activist who appears to be the main source for the dubious "voter fraud" videos, told him that Project Veritas (Latin for "caught lying again") would pay Osman $10,000 if he said on camera he was collecting ballots for Omar.
KMSP says it has obtained the raw video, which makes it clear Osman was working for his brother's campaign, not Ilhan Omar. Let's get our nitrile gloves and N-95 masks on and untangle this latest load of O'Keefe crap!
You people want to vote, go someplace where it's allowed.
In an astonishing display of naked assholery (like even worse than the yodeling vegan baby kind), Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered yesterday that each county in the state can have only one drop-off point for absentee ballots, effective today. Several large (and surprise! heavily Democratic) counties had already set up multiple ballot collection locations, to make voting easier during the pandemic. Those sites will be shuttered today, even though the counties have already begun collecting ballots, and had announced the locations to voters, so that's going to lead to all sorts of confusion. As intended.
Abbott's order will be especially tough on Harris County, Texas's most populous with 4.7 million people, and home to Houston, which had opened 11 absentee ballot collection offices. We're not talking drop-off boxes like many states have; these are staffed locations where people must show photo ID to drop off a ballot. And Travis County (Austin) has four sites, too. Despite that, Abbot's office claimed the restrictions were absolutely necessary to ensure "ballot security," even though voting fraud is extremely rare for both in-person and absentee voting.
And this is fun! In addition to limiting the number of ballot collection points, Abbott ordered that county clerks "allow poll watchers to observe any activity conducted at the early voting clerk's office location," including observing voters showing their ID to the poll workers. At this time, people dropping off their ballots will not yet be required to take a DNA test to prove they are who they claim to be.
Democratic groups may file a lawsuit as early as today to get the sites opened again.