One of the side effects of the clownass, democracy-destroying fraudit in Arizona, which is now spreading across the country, is that we're getting to know state and local GOP officials in ways we never would have, were they not literally trying to destroy American democracy and replace it with an authoritarian white supremacist state. For example, there was Arizona state Senate President Karen Fann. We got to watch that moron on CNN as she huffed at a reporter for suggesting that One America News Network was (oh my stars!) not a real news network. (OAN "reporter" Christina Bobb, the only "journalist" currently allowed inside the Arizona fraudit, is also fundraising on a national scale for the fraudit. Because that's what "reporters" and "journalists" do.)
Let's meet another one. It is Wendy Rogers, and she is a GOP state senator, and she'd like US American Attorney General Merrick Garland to know that she is going to LOCK HIM UP in an Arizona jail if he tries to thwart their plans to make democracy a whites only lunch counter type thing.
You will not touch Arizona ballots or machines unless you want to spend time in an Arizona prison. Maybe you should… https://t.co/TMDUmPcGyf— Wendy Rogers (@Wendy Rogers)1623445014.0
Good heavens, what did Merrick Garland do! (No really, what did he do? Because he doesn't seem like he's been doing much since he's been there, we are just saying.)
Well, as Media Matters explains, the other day, AG Garland said he's about to "double the division's enforcement staff for protecting the right to vote." He said, in so many words, that all these Republicans across the country trying to use Donald Trump's humiliating defeat to destroy democracy are full of shit. Of course, his actual words were much more professional than that:
"Some jurisdictions, based on disinformation, have utilized abnormal post-election audit methodologies that may put the integrity of the voting process at risk and may undermine public confidence in our democracy," he said.
"The Justice Department will do everything in its power to prevent election fraud and to vigorously prosecute it," Garland added. "But many of the justifications proffered in support of these post-election audits and restrictions on voting have relied on assertions of material vote fraud in the 2020 election that have been refuted by law enforcement and intelligence agencies...many of the changes are not even calibrated to address the kinds of voter fraud that are alleged as justification."
In the same remarks, which are included in the video embedded in Rogers's GRRR ARGH BIG TOUGH tweet, Garland said the DOJ would "apply the same scrutiny to post-election audits, to ensure they abide by federal statutory requirements to protect election records and avoid the intimidation of voters."
That was the big declaration that made Wendy Rogers lose her shit. Just the attorney general saying these brainwashed goats are risking our voting system and putting democracy in danger by putting their grubby little meat paws all over actual ballots, based on easily debunked disinformation about "fraud" that didn't happen. What's so offensive about that? It's the absolute truth.
As Media Matters notes, Rogers is a "self-proclaimed member of the militia group the Oath Keepers." (Yeah, the same Oath Keepers who keep getting indicted as alleged January 6 terrorists.) We also met Rogers recently in a post about Chemtrail Kelli Ward, the actual head of the Arizona GOP, who herself was threatening to arrest the 80-percent-Republican Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for failing to take her fraudit seriously. In that post, Rogers was ooh-ing and aah-ing over the very legitimate science process of checking ballot paper for traces of bamboo from China. She's not an intelligent life form.
Media Matters also shares Steve Bannon saying BIG TOUGH GUY words about Rogers's tweet and Garland's announcement the next day. He calls Rogers a "great little tough Air Force pilot," and suggests to Garland that "why don't you book the 3:10 to Yuma right now" because "there's no possibilities, brother, that you're going to stop this." (By "this," he meant America's white supremacist minority's attempt to overthrow American democracy in service of a mad, brainless king.) He said "Merrick Garland, you little wimp" and "they got a jail cell for you."
You can watch that video if you want, if you for some reason want to know what it's like to get hit in the face with ball sweat that smells like hamburger grease through your computer screen. That's the closest analogy we can think of to watching Steve Bannon say words with his mouth.
We sure do hope Attorney General Garland is up to the job of dealing with these people and holding them accountable for any crimes they commit. America's kinda hanging in the balance here.
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So much protecting and serving!
Chicago Police Officer Karol J. Chwiesiuk was arrested Friday for his alleged role in storming the US Capitol on January 6. He's charged with five misdemeanor counts, including "violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and knowingly entering or remaining in a restricted building without lawful authority."
The FBI reportedly obtained text messages Chwiesiuk sent to an acquaintance detailing his coup-related activities. On January 3, he texted, “Going to DC." The acquaintance responded, “When and for what?" and you can almost hear the weariness in those words.
"To save the nation. Leaving tomorrow or the fifth," Chwiseiuk wrote.
The acquaintance urged Chwiseiuk not to go, writing, "Fat man lost. Give it up," referring to [Donald] Trump's electoral defeat.
The acquaintance tried explaining to Chwiseiuk, as if he was a small, dumb child, that Donald Trump had lost the election, fairly and irrevocably, but Chwiseiuk was unmoved by logic or the law.
"Didn't read," he replied. "Busy planning how to fuck up commies."
Chwiseiuk picked up the text conversation on the evening of January 6, when he bragged that the "knocked out a commie last night." (Yet authorities don't appear to have charged him with assault.) He also texted a selfie of himself at the rally wearing a Chicago PD sweatshirt and standing next to a Black man in a MAGA hat. Chwiseiuk expressed astonishment that he'd encountered actual Black Trump supporters in the wild.
"There's so many blacks here I'm actually in disbelief," Chwiseiuk wrote.
He also shared a photo of himself chilling inside Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley's office. It's an interesting contrast to last summer, when Minneapolis cops were terrified protesters would breach their precinct and beat them to to death. Cops across the nation felt for their “brothers" in blue, but apparently not all their empathy extended to members of Congress.
Later that night, Chwiseiuk sent his lucky acquaintance another text: “N---a don't snitch." It's a gangster-style warning but also possible evidence that the acquaintance wasn't a fellow officer. FBI agents confirmed Chwiesiuk's location on January 6 with geolocation data that revealed a device connected to one of his Google accounts was present inside the Capitol. Chwiesiuk's a cop, so he probably should've known not to bring his iPhone to a crime scene, but he also seemed unaware that "N---a don't snitch" isn't legally binding.
Chwiesiuk was relieved of his police powers on June 2 and is currently on desk duty. He was released on an unsecured $15,000 bond. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown both condemned Chwiesiuk after his appearance in federal court.
"This isn't about one police officer charged with a heinous assault on our democracy," [Lightfoot] said. It's about sending a "clear and unequivocal message" that "we will have no tolerance for hate. Period."
Brown echoed Lightfoot's sentiments. He sounds as if he's only encountered police officers on TV shows.
"We have a zero tolerance for hate or extremism of any kind," Brown said. " ... If you harbor such ignorance, you should take off your star now and find another line of work. Or I will do it for you."
He promised not to "leave any rock unturned" in his quest to find officers with "like-minded beliefs" and "root them out of this department." It's adorable that he thinks he'd have to work that hard to find insurrection-friendly, MAGA-supporting cops. They're not exactly hiding under rocks. According to the Washington Post, Chwiesiuk is the 18th law enforcement officer charged with taking part in Trump's insurrection.
The CPD hired Chwiesiuk in 2018, as part of a "hiring push" by former Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He was previously a deputy with the Cook County sheriff's office. Brown said there were no misconduct allegations against Chwiesiuk. However, court records show that Chwiesiuk was sued in January by two Uber passengers who claim they were injured when he struck their rideshare car while driving a police vehicle in October.
Although Brown claims "It's better to go slower and vet" police recruits, the department named Chwiesiuk an "Officer of the Month" in 2019, so they must've thought he was doing a good job. He also received a "crime reduction award" the same year, in addition to other "honorable mentions." He's on the list for another commendation, as well, according to his attorney, Tim Grace, a lawyer for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 7 that represents rank-and-file CPD officers. Presumably, they'll withdraw that commendation. It's just awkward right now.
It's also weird that a lawyer for the FOP is defending an accused insurrectionist, who should've been fired already. Don't make us protest over this one. We've got a full dance card.
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Hope he gets 'detention,' too.
The Oregon House of Representatives voted almost unanimously yesterday to expel state Rep. Mike Nearman, the Republican lawmaker who allowed violent "protesters" into the state Capitol building last December while the building was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was the first time any member of the state Lege has been expelled.
The expulsion came less than a week after Oregon Public Broadcasting posted video showing Nearman telling an audience in December that if demonstrators called his cell phone number, maybe a door might be opened for them, somehow. Nearman called the plan "Operation Hall Pass," because if there's one thing these dipshits love more than ignoring laws they don't like, it's making cute jokes about how clever they are.
Nearman was tossed out of the legislature on a 59-1 vote, and yes, dear readers, he did indeed vote to keep him in his seat, not because he wanted to remain in the state House, but as a matter of principle. The principle that he should remain in the House, in particular.
When Nearman ran his amusing little operation to let protesters swarm into the state Capitol on December 21, Oregon was in the middle of one of its worst outbreaks of the virus, with upwards of 1,100 new cases being diagnosed daily. Although the Capitol was closed, the special legislative session on dealing with the pandemic was broadcast on TV. Witnesses could testify via video or telephone.
But Nearman contended that the Capitol shutdown was illegal, and to prove it, he let some protesters into the building so they could have a dialogue with state troopers guarding the legislature. There was a frank exchange of views as police attempted to push the mob back and the patriotic citizens retorted with bear spray, and the protesters also expressed their love of the First Amendment by assaulting some journalists.
The video, which was livestreamed the week before the Capitol breach, showed Nearman cleverly saying that he didn't know anything about this "Operation Hall Pass," then giving out a cell number which he described as just some random numbers with no particular significance. See how he wasn't doing anything wrong? Oh, what a wag!
There might be some person's number which might be [his cell phone number], but that is just random numbers... that's not anybody's actual cell phone. And if you say, 'I'm at the West entrance' during the session and text to that number there, that somebody might exit that door while you're standing there.
Mind you, that's just a possibility, it's not like he was telling people how they could infiltrate the building, because that would be wrong. The best denials are always the ones you make while you're doing the conspiracy on video.
The Oregonian reports that on Monday, Nearman told a conservative radio host that his audience for that speech had consisted mostly of "blue-haired old ladies," but the paper goes on to point out that "That did not accurately describe the group that showed up at the Capitol and entered the door Nearman opened." Why, it's almost as if those journalists didn't take Nearman at his word!
Rather, the demonstrators included the right-wing, Vancouver-based group Patriot Prayer known for street brawls, people wearing clothing with Three Percenters militia logos and a Confederate flag hat and people armed with rifles and wearing military gear.
They were no doubt looking for some nice blue-haired old ladies to escort to the House gallery to do citizenship things.
Nearman was given unlimited time to make his case for not being expelled, but kept his remarks short, insisting that "the citizens of Oregon should be able to instruct their legislators."
And indeed, Democratic Rep. Julie Fahey confirmed that the mob outside the Capitol had some instructions for her, which included chanting up at her office window such exhortations as "enemies of the state," "traitors" and "we hate you." Technically, none of those is an instruction since they're not phrased as an imperative, but They the People's wishes seemed fairly clear.
Rep. Anna Williams, also a Democrat, didn't speak during the debate yesterday, but did tweet a description of the nice allies of Mr. Nearman who dropped by to petition for redress of nearly endless grievances:
On December 21st, a man with a bullhorn was standing below my office window shouting, "We're coming for you!" as a group of people carrying semi-automatic weapons was looking into my and my colleagues' office windows. Rep. Mike Nearman invited them into the Capitol.
Also too, in a committee meeting prior to the vote on expulsion, Republican state Rep. Daniel Bonham said that Nearman had shown "terrible judgement" in opening the door for the mob, but added, bizarrely, that "When Mike Nearman says that he wanted to let people into the building to engage in the process, I believe that's what he wanted to do." We suppose lynching state legislators as traitors could be seen as a "process," since it would have to be done in a particular order.
Bonham also said he was very disappointed that people who condemned Nearman hadn't also spoken out against anarchist rioters who had destroyed property in Portland last year, although strictly speaking, those folks hadn't actually tried to invade the state Capitol in Salem, a whole different city. Nonetheless, Bonham did join his colleagues in voting to expel Nearman.
During the expulsion vote, Willamette Week reports, a small crowd of about 40 demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol and shouted "Traitors! Traitors! Traitors!" while watching the proceedings on video. Mr. Nearman, however, was a bit busy, and was unable to meet them to let them into the building.
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