Saturday Report 12/23/23 - Republicans want to replace Pride Month and Black History Month with a celebration of oil!
The Best of the Rest of the News
— The six Republicans on the Supreme Court are either in the bag for Trump or terrified of him — or both. The cardinal characteristic of fascist leaders is that they inspire fear in people in their own governments; they intimidate officials, judges, and would-be witnesses against them. We’re seeing that on display right now with Donald Trump (and Vladimir Putin in Russia, and Viktor Orbán in Hungary). There have been multiple occasions in the last few years where the Republican majority on the Supreme Court has taken cases directly out of district courts to rule on when Trump was president and wanted them to, and they could’ve easily done that with the criminal case against Trump for trying to overthrow our government that’s now in Judge Tanya Chutkan’s DC court. He’s claiming he has immunity from prosecution for any crimes because he was president; this should be a slam-dunk if we really believe we’re a nation of laws and “no man is above the law.” Instead, they gave Trump the multi-month delay that he wants by turning down Jack Smith’s appeal and pushing the case down through the appeals court first. This way, if the appeals court rules against Trump the Supreme Court can simply refuse to take the case, leaving that ruling intact without having to write a word that might piss off the orange menace. If the appeals court rules for Trump, which is extremely unlikely, then SCOTUS’ choices become more complicated. But apparently that’s a bet at least five of them are willing to make (it takes 4 votes to hear a case, and Jack Smith didn’t get that). I believe this fear of Donald Trump, or more specifically fear of violence from his followers like what happened to Paul Pelosi and the police officers in the Capitol on January 6th, is what has motivated multiple judges in several states to rule in Trump’s favor on 14th Amendment challenges and other cases. Consider it: would you be willing to have people try to kill you and your family just to do your job right? Keep an eye on this; replacement of duty with fear is how democratic governments fall.
— Racism is a feature, not a bug, for Republicans in the 2024 campaign, as Axios notes in a new article titled “It's not just Trump: How racism shadows the GOP campaign.” Ramaswamy and DeSantis have taken to calling Nikki Haley “Nimarata Randhawa” (her birth/maiden name, shortened to Nikki) to emphasize her “foreignness.” Trump is referring to Letisha James as “Peekaboo James,” a barely veiled reference to the old “Jigab*o” slur against Blacks that was in common usage when Trump was a child. Multiple GOP-controlled states have racially gerrymandered their electoral maps in defiance of both state courts, federal courts, and the Supreme Court. Some have gone so far as to create police forces that specifically look for people of color who are voting when they’ve been convicted of a crime (in those old Confederate states where this is still against the law). Hating on immigrants has become a primary Republican theme, and only Chris Christie — out of all the candidates running for the GOP’s presidential slot — has condemned Trump for his repeatedly quoting Hitler about immigrants “poisoning the blood” of our nation. Ever since the Democratic Party abandoned racism as a political tool in 1964 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the GOP has explicitly reached out for the white racist vote — and won it in election after election. No Democrat running for president has carried the white vote, for example, since LBJ signed that law. Since that time, GOP campaigns featuring Nixon’s reference to a white “silent majority” and his “war on crime,” Reagan speaking to white supremacists in Mississippi to kick off his 1980 campaign, Willie Horton in GHW Bush’s ads, and anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric across the board have become the norm. Sadly, this is all just fine with a slim majority of white people.
— “Lordy, there’s another recording of Trump criming!” Everybody’s heard the tape of Trump pressuring Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” eleven thousand more votes for him. But he made a similar call to Republicans in Michigan on November 17, 2020, explicitly demanding they refuse to certify the big Biden win in majority-Black Detroit, and the tape has broken the internet. RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel was also on the call, and promised the Detroit election workers the RNC would hire attorneys to defend them if they were challenged for refusing to certify the Biden votes, which more than one legal expert has suggested constitutes attempted criminal bribery by McDaniel. As Brian Stelter noted, “Three years later, we’re STILL learning more about Trump’s 2020 election plot. How much is still concealed?” Where’s the grand jury? Inquiring minds want to know…
— A hospital in Seattle is suing Texas because that state’s attorney general, the oft-indicted, unfaithful-to-his-wife, and massively corrupt Ken Paxton, is demanding that they turn over all their records for treatment of trans patients from Texas to him. You may recall that the first group Hitler went after, within weeks of his ascent to power, wasn’t the communists or socialists or even the Jews: it was trans people. Being one of the smallest minority groups in America, trans people make the perfect scapegoat for bigots who aspire to demagoguery. Paxton — and the GOP more generally — are following an old script that always leads to tragedy. It’s both sad and infuriating that the Republican Party has chosen to leap into this sort of gutter/sewer politics.
— President Biden is looking at seized Russian assets to fund the Ukraine war if Republicans in Congress continue to support Putin over America. Ever since Trump informed his party that they must go along with Putin’s desire to expand Russia and recover the lost empire of Catherine the Great, US aid to Ukraine has been stalled by the Speaker in the House and a GOP filibuster in the Senate. Now the Biden administration is looking into doing what President George HW Bush did in 1992 when, after Iraq attacked Kuwait and the US invaded, the Bush administration sold $50 billion worth of Iraqi oil and gave the money to the UN to pay for humanitarian aid. Russia is threatening that if Biden takes this course of seizing their assets and