Secrets of the Cyber Ninja and Other News

I have been listening to the January 6 hearings, which have concluded for the day. The law enforcement officers giving testimony today have been impressive, and I am thankful they were spared being ridiculed and abused by Jim Jordan. And it’s such a relief for hearings to be informative and dignified and not overrun with yammering idiots. This will all be especially juicy when Trump officials testify.

I think Kevin McCarthy is definitely the big loser today. The hearings went on without his hand-picked members, including the ones Pelosi didn’t bounce. He is trying to stir up a controversy about Nancy Pelosi’s alleged “power grab,” The Right is even trying to blame Pelosi for the Capitol’s security failures. But as the hearings continue, and attention is focused on Trump’s role in the insurrection, the Malignancy of Mar-a-Lago is likely to be displeased no one on the committee is taking his side.

In other news, there have been warnings the bipartisan infrastructure talks are falling apart, after all. And we’d been told it was going so well. But the talks aren’t over yet. Exactly what the sticking points are I’m not sure, but I get the impression it’s mostly about the “pay fors.”

The Arizona-Cyber Ninjas “fraudit” also appears to be falling apart. Today we read that the person appointed to be a liaison between the Arizona Republicans who commissioned the audit and the auditors was locked out of the audit. That’s right; the Republican state government’s own representative, who was supposed to be there to keep tabs on the procedings, is not being allowed into the procedings. And now this guy, Ken Bennett, is saying that he’s not been allowed to see a lot of whatever is going on, even when he’s been there. The “auditors” were told by the Cyber Ninja to not share information with Bennett. Again, this is the Republicans’ guy on the scene.

Bennett is a former Arizona Secretary of State who was chosen to oversee the audit because of his experience with elections. And until this week he has been defending whatever is going on and blaming the media for spreading falsehoods about it. But something must have happened, and now Bennett is locked out and changing his tune.

Now, exactly one week later, Bennett is saying he is “very concerned” there will be inaccuracy in the count and that throughout the audit he has been very confused as to what procedures were being used to validate the numbers. On Monday, the Republic’s Jen Fifield reported that Bennett had been permanently banned from the audit site by Pullen—allegedly at the Arizona Senate’s behest—but that he would somehow be remaining on to manage the audit without having access to the building. (Bennett did not comment to Fifield.)

As Maricopa County’s Republican supervisors realized weeks ago, it’s long past time to shut down this sham, which Bennett is now forbidden from even attending. Perhaps he should take a hint?

My guess is that the Cyber Ninja is just trying to milk this gig for every penny he can get. I hope when this ever ends, Maricopa County will sue to be reimbursed for the $3 million it will cost to replace voting machines.

Here in “covid country,” aka the Fool Me State, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt did indeed file a lawsuit against St. Louis city and county to stop their implementation of new indoor mask mandates. The new mask mandates call for everyone age five and older in St. Louis city and county to wear a mask in indoor public places and on public transportation regardless of vaccination status. And Schmitt steps in to be the voice of the coronavirus.

As mask mandates in St. Louis City and County went into place Monday, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt was quick to file a lawsuit against the elected leaders and health directors of both municipalities, accusing them of ignoring federal guidelines.

“This is completely arbitrary and capricious,” Schmitt said. “By the way, that’s not even what the CDC recommends.”

Right on cue, the CDC announced it is changing its masking recommendations. The CDC now says everyone should wear a mask indoors in public places regardless of vaccination status, especially in hot spots.

The most recent data report an average of 295 cases new per day in St. Louis County, which is a 155 percent increase from the average two weeks ago.

From my favorite source of St. Louis snark, The Riverfront Times:

Schmitt’s Vanity Suit: It’s hard to know who to root for in Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s lawsuit against St. Louis and St. Louis County over a return to mask mandates. Should you side with the health departments hoping to usher people away from shore as a tidal wave approaches, or should you cheer the use of tax dollars spent to both boost Senate-hopeful Schmitt’s name recognition and, at the local level, defend against a frivolous litigation? Hmm. Maybe we should look at it from another angle: Is it better to support city and county officials tasked with cleaning up the failures of state and national Republicans who’ve undone the sacrifices made by responsible people for more than a year, or an AG who has made losing splashy lawsuits his primary job? Honestly, does it even matter? Taxpayers are paying the attorneys on both sides. But no one wants to be a fence-sitter, so maybe it’s best to err on the side of those making hard decisions for the masses and not Schmitt’s nakedly self-serving fight for Fox News air time.

Click on the link and scroll down for some excellent snark on our do-nothing governor.

7 thoughts on “Secrets of the Cyber Ninja and Other News

  1. WOW!

    Did "tRUMP's Puppet: Charlie*" McCarthy, and non-puppet Moscow Mitch McConnell F*CK UP!!!!!

    Now, on that critical committee, there are no tRUMP-defending GQP voices at all to try to spin that which, spun well or not, should never be spun: A coup attempt by the outgoing presiDUNCE, and his willing accomplices.

    Not that I or anyone wants that, but they could have had at least two other non tRUMP cult members on it.  But they decided to take their mic and go hide instead.

    You can run, Kev and Mith, but you can't hide!

    maha, if it's any consolation, your Gov. Parsnip is not the absolute worst governor.  FloriDUH's Gov.  DUH-Santis is up – make that "down" – there too.

    * Boy, am I showing my age!!!!!  Anyone remember Edgar Bergen?

    Oh, and Jim Jordan is Mortimer Snerd.

  2. I watched one of the cops testify today. Salt of the earth guy, Latino, and powerful words. A great start, which I fear will be squandered when this committee breaks for August.

    Pretty amazing to read Alexandra Petri, over at the Wapo drop her comic face and give it to us straight:

    What they [the Republicans] are asking us to believe is palpably absurd. And that’s the point.

    At the very end of “The Taming of the Shrew,” Petruchio has worn down Katherine to the point that he decides to have a little fun and start obliging her to state that she does not see what she sees….

    The point is not that the Unified Trump GOP Canon for What Truly Happened on Jan. 6 is being continually and contradictorily rewritten. The point is not that what we are being told is absurd, inconsistent and downright goofy. The point is that the specifics don’t matter; what matters is that we are being told, blatantly, repeatedly and without shame, that we simply did not see what we saw, and we are expected to go along with it. This is an exercise in power, to see how malleable our reality really is.

  3. Great Ruth Ben-Ghiat article, Authoritarian Cults: Disengagement, Denial, and Saving Face

    …Yet the powerful leader-follower dynamics that sustain authoritarian cults also transcend context to some extent, as do the dynamics of cults’ dissolution. Like radicalization, disengagement is a process. Whether in a Fascist state, or another setting, it often resembles a “slow deflation,” as historian of Nazism Ian Kershaw terms it in “The Hitler Myth”, rather than a “swift puncture.”

    …It…reflects the nature and needs of authoritarians’ followers, who may remain in denial or stay in the cult in the hope that their creeping doubts will be vanquished. The behavior of many cult members is dictated by aversion to loss. The more an individual has invested in the cult world, the more they are reluctant to admit to others, and to themselves, that they have misjudged the situation and have misplaced their trust and love….

  4. You're welcome to suggest I'm an alarmist and exaggerating – maybe it's true. I'm afraid we will find out.

    You have two district clans. Those who 'doubt' the vaccine, and those who have gotten it already. At the moment, those who got the shot are (statistically) safe relative to the risk before the vax was available. And the Q crowd, who would rather go to war with the police, guns blazing, than submit to a mask mandate. 

    I'm in Florida and when a mall cop tells an open-carry, stand-your-ground, Covid denier that he has to wear a mask or leave, some of these clowns will open fire. My policy in FL is to wear a mask where it's requested, and not wear a mask anyplace it's NOT requested. Because statistically, I'm safe and only half the population in FL is fully vaccinated. ALL the non-vaxed are at greater risk of contracting and spreading Covid and ALL of them are not masked. And most will refuse to do so – as a matter of religious conviction. 

    So I'm supposed to wear a mask in the midst of clowns putting on a statewide super-spreader event that's not a danger to me? It feels like handing out towels to people on the Titanic. There will be no place to dry off – a towel is the last thing you need. In normal times, the vast majority would comply with an order in the interests of public health, but these people – just under half the state population – are certifiably insane. 

    The result, if the doubling rate in FL continues a few weeks, will be that the health care system will be overwhelmed. Like Italy. (Look it up if you've forgotten.) If you get in a car accident or have a stroke, your odds of getting care are not good. So I know I'm at the foot of a volcano. I may be consumed but the odds for the idiots are much worse than mine. And entirely their fault. And there's nothing I can do except hope the catastrophe is brutal enough to wake up enough voters to usher real change.

    History supports me. The Republican Party ran high for two terms of Cooledge and one term of Hoover. The Great Depression changed a lot of minds – pain is like that. FDR was elected president with a majority in Congress and held power for 11 years. That's what can happen when there's enough pain. 

    I'm not causing the plague. I'm hoping Karma has the upper hand here and can smite the idiots who refuse to end the Covid plague and wake up those who are complacent (and not voting.) It won't be pretty and Karma isn't properly selective. There will be collateral damage. It's on the way. Maybe enough pain will bring this nation to her senses.

  5. Doug,

    I just finished watching Dr. Fauci on Chris Hayes' great show, and based on new information from him, I'm going to continue wearing a mask in public.

    Fauci said that the Delta variant has itself changed in the last 2 months. 

    Earlier, if you had the vaccine (like I did, with 2 Pfizer pokes), even if you got Covid, you didn't carry enough of a viral load to get others infected.

    But now, according to "Da Fauc," vaccinated folks can carry a large enough load of the Delta version in their nasal passages to infect others.

    And so, because I don't want to infect others in case I get the tRUMP Plague, I'll continue wearing a mask.


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