The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

Today’s News Bits

First: Norman Lear (1922-2023) died yesterday.

Second:  It seems Kevin McCarthy is retiring from the House. Just as well. I understand he’s leaving at the end of this year.

Third: Republicans in both the Senate and the House are blocking Ukraine funding.

The White House is seeking nearly $106 billion, but the bill has gotten bogged down in negotiations over border security and because of increasing reluctance from Republican lawmakers to approve significant spending on the Ukraine war. GOP lawmakers are insisting on policy changes to halt the flow of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border as a condition for the assistance.

The latest weapons package will be provided through presidential drawdown authority, or PDA, which pulls weapons from existing U.S. stockpiles and sends them quickly to the war front, said U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the aid has not yet been publicly announced.

Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder, the Pentagon press secretary, said Tuesday there is about $1.1 billion left in funding to replenish U.S. military stockpiles for weapons and equipment sent to Ukraine. And he said there is roughly $4.8 billion in drawdown authority still available.

The entire immigration system needs to be overhauled and streamlined, but that’s something Congress has to do. And Republicans don’t want to do that. This is what Senate Republicans want:

Senate Republicans have released a sweeping set of U.S. border security proposals as a condition for sending more aid to Ukraine, laying out a draft plan to resume construction on parts of the U.S.-Mexico border wall, curtail humanitarian parole for people who cross into the United States and make it more difficult for migrants to qualify for asylum.

As I understand it, the flood of migrants at the southern border is likely to just keep getting bigger and bigger unless conditions in Central America change a lot.

Fourth: About three weeks ago, Speaker Mike Johnson announced he was releasing all of the security footage of January 6. Some of it was released fairly quickly. But yesterday Johnson apologized for not releasing more, saying that faces had to be blurred first so the feds couldn’t identify people.

This is odd, to say the least. One, part of the reason for this exercise was so that Marjorie Taylor Greene could go through the videos and identify all the people who she imagines are federal agents or Antifa or other not-MAGAs who caused all the violence, because the MAGAs were just having a peaceful demonstration.. Two, the feds have had access to these tapes all along. Three, Johnson seems to be aiding and abetting criminal activity here. Hmm. He’s taken it back since, I understand.

But I’m also wondering if his delaying might have to do with videos that show a whole lot more violence than he realized was there, and that it’s obvious it’s MAGAs who are the perpetrators?

Fifth: In case you haven’t heard, Tuberville has mostly ended his block on military propmotions.

Sixth: Jack Smith is preparing to hoist Trump by his own petard.

Seventh: Interesting read — “This Is the Final Compromise”: Donald Trump and the Implosion of the American Evangelical Movement

18 thoughts on “Today’s News Bits

  1. What? the last of the young guns is hanging up his guns? Yeah, Matt Gaetz ran him out of town.

  2. He's blurring the faces so that Gym J. can say "See?!! See?!! All those perpetrators are Antifa!!!"


  3. "the entire immigration system needs to be overhauled and streamlined, but that’s something Congress has to do. And Republicans don’t want to do that. This is what Senate Republicans want"

    Senate republicans are in congress aren't they? Biden's big issue here is that when it comes to immigration he has been sitting on his hands since day one. Seems like he could at least have a speech where he explains that he is enforcing the laws as written. Tell Americans that if we want to change the immigration laws then congress (lawmakers) need to get that done, maybe he could lay out a proposal? But he hasn't done jack and migrants are being shipped all over the country, States don't have the resources to deal with them humanely. Our local news here in Chicago has stories every night on angry residents asking what are we doing with these people, they are sleeping on the streets, where is the money coming from. These people are not magats they are democrats, Biden voters but they are getting pissed off. Biden has his ass hanging out here, it's past time to deal with it.

  4. According to Heather Cox Richardson, Rachel's interview of Liz Cheney was the most watched show on cable, a couple nights ago, logging 3.15 million viewers, Hannity's show came in at just under 2 million.

    Cheney is wondering why Tuberville is sandbagging the 11 most senior positions – so Trump can fill them?

    Heard that Cheney's book is completely sold out on Amazon, they have to get more printed.

    It's truly scary that Trump says he only wants to be dictator for Day 1. It says to me he and his flunkies have a clear action plan, which will be rolled out in lightening speed. Lucian Truscott writes that it's like the game kids play when they're granted 3 wishes – their first wish is to have an infinite number of wishes.

    Cheney says that Jim Jordan is hiding something. I am looking forward to Smith's tightly focused trial of Trump to conclude by mid year, and then for Smith to go after the rest of the Republican leadership.

  5. Norman Lear did a lot to change perceptions in the US by playing a liberal daughter and son-in-law against a narrow-minded bigot. This was, after the Vietnam war, the two Americas siding off. RIP Norman Lear.

    McCarthy is joined by McCormick, who was acting speaker after McCarthy. My personal opinion is that they are cashing in their chips while they can. Jobs on K Street pay better than being a member of Congress. The former speaker will have zero influence on the Republican party in the House. Being in the minority in the House is no fun anyway and they see the handwriting on the wall.

    Ukraine may be in a world of ship. Biden will NOT allow support for Keiv to be held hostage over building Trump's wall. Or any other ransom. Cave to negotiation by ultimatum, that becomes the norm. Biden will negotiate but the GOP is signaling, has signaled, that they are not going to bend. The tail will wag the dog – or else. I think Biden can win on the issue of supporting a small country from the aggression of a superpower. Stop Russia at Ukraine and the rest of Europe is safe. Pull support from Ukraine and pull out of NATO, Russia has a green light. We've seen this play before – the ending wasn't pretty. 

    WHY is the GOP so fired up about the border? It's the demographic final nail in the GOP coffin if the US holds elections. If/when non-voting people of dark skin have babies in the US, a future dark-skin voter is added to the rolls. The abuse the parents endure at the hands of racist GOP policies all-but-guarantee a Democrat is added. This shift happens while baby boomers die off. (If the GOP embraced fair immigration policies, they'd have a shot at the Hispanic vote.)

    I think Mike Johnson has painted himself into a corner. Maybe there was never a way out, given the make-up of the House, thin majority, and crackpots in charge. He's a nut case himself but he could not navigate the GOP into a disciplined consensus by compromise if he wanted to. It remains to be seen if the GOP House can unite to impeach, given that there's no evidence. Johnson wants to but only a few GOP members need to defect. They might, in those districts that will be close in 2024 – a vote to impeach Biden with no evidence can turn a House election.

    Tuberville may have affected the attitude of the senior military AGAINST Trumpist authoritarianism. The Joint Chiefs may have to decide where they stand on being used to quell demonstrations. Tuberville is Team Trump and he stabbed a lot of people some of whom may decide the future of the county. (I seem to remember a US general named McArthur who decided not to overthrow democracy.) The integrity of individual officers can make the difference.

    Trump made the argument (and lost in two jurisdictions) that POTUS is above the law for his whole lifetime. Nobody is predicting it's a close call for the appellate court. There's no grounds I can see for the USSC to hear the case. But this was the ONLY defense that might have prevented the J6 case in DC from going to trial on schedule (March). I'm biased but the case looks pretty tight – lawyers I hear say Trump can nibble at the edges of the case and try to claim that minor defects constitute "reasonable doubt" but the jury is unlikely to buy much of it. A conviction, even under appeal, is a conviction. It will be devastating to Trump according to polls in the swing states. 

    Trump was (is) up to something in the final day of testimony in NY on Monday. It will be Don the Con on the stand. The gag order is back in place. Trump's lawyers tried to get a judge (any judge) to lift the gag order before Monday. No way. They tried to get Trump's day on the stand moved. No way. So watch for fireworks on Monday. There won't be a final decision until January. Trump will get his clock cleaned. IMO, Trump will be shut down in NY (likewise his sons) and the financial penalties will be severe (but less than the A/G is asking for.)

    Next trial is NY criminal – Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen litigate the sex habits of Donald J. Trump. Things may get chilly in FL as the details of Trump's infidelity re two different women in two different affairs while Trump was with Melania. She doesn't take humiliation well. It was common knowledge that Trump cheated on ALL his previous wives – she had no reason to expect she'd be treated as anything other than breeding stock. 

    But Biden can go on the stump and call Trump a rapist, a business cheat, a cheat on all his wives, the first president who tried to cheat his way into retaining the office of the presidency through insurrection… and never stray from objective proven-in-court fact. I do not think Trump will debate Biden because these accusations can be made and will become the center of discussion after. 


  6. I gather republicans reached an important decision at last night's debate.  In a near unanimous decision, they decided that they despise Ramaswamy.  Other than that, not too much party harmony.  

    Since the elephant was not in the room, we might conclude the debate was poorly covered by the media.  I was among the vast majority of the population who did not watch.  I have seen school yard argumentation in the past, and to call such a debate is disrespectful of the term.  What sound bites I heard seemed to fit the school yard argumentation category.  Only the presence of the elephant could have made it more so. 

    I have read the Lord of the Rings and understand the message.  Without adult guidance, even prep school level students digress into savages over time.  It is a work of fiction, but its thesis appears supported by the behavior of today's republican adults.  This could suggest that the absentee elephant may not qualify as adult leadership.  Like we need another glove to fit to provide evidence of that fact

    • "In a near unanimous decision, they decided that they despise Ramaswamy"

      The first time I heard him utter one sentence (about four months ago) I decided he was an asshole and a complete fraud! Those GOP'ers are a bit slow on the uptake!

      • You would get an A if you noticed I failed when I said I read the Lord of the Rings.  I did not.  I tried but I found I was not destined to be a literary person.  Lord of the Flies was what I read.  I want an editor for what-ever the people that stole the pagan solstice. holiday call it.  Monotheists are just God poor or god Rich. Either way they have a bigger problem than me.  I wish they would fix a few of them. That would be my ideal gift. 

  7. Things that are blurred: faces of Jan6 rioters in Capitol security videos.

    Things that are not blurred: Hunter Biden's private photos, GOP/MAGAts' motives.

    • Lawrence got it right, Mike Johnson is an accessory after the fact.

      Johnson was speaking to an audience of Christians, and was caught off mic saying he sees himself as Moses. The self-righteousness of this guy, and the magnitude of his deluded and myopic biblical bubble view is staggering. He literally doesn’t know up from down, left from right, and he thinks he’s Moses.

      • The self-righteousness of this guy, and the magnitude of his deluded and myopic biblical bubble view is staggering.

         That's what happens when you go off the deep end!  

    • Very good point, Moonbat.

      You mentioned the criminal charges for participating in the insurrection, the fake electors here. Look also at Doc Johnson – I mean Mike Johnson – getting my big fake dicks confused – and the clear announcement from the Speaker that the GOP will protect past insurrectionists.

      Why? Does Mike know there will be a future insurrection which he wants to succeed? Puts Doc Johnson in a different light.

      If so, we have a race underway to sway the shock troops for Trump if/when he loses the election. The indictments of J6 insurrectionists, severe sentences for the not-so Proud Boys, the fake electors, the fall of Mayor Bug Eyes, the indictment and admission of guilt from Trump's lawyers (who will testify against Trump), and Bannon's incarceration all tend to discourage the Army Trump will need to overturn the 2024 election.

      The cultists want to, and they will,  but only if they are confident they will escape prosecution. The volume of violent rhetoric coupled with the LACK of actual acts of domestic terrorism makes me think the arrests have turned the bullies into loud, cowardly wimps. Keep it up at the state and federal level.

  8. Mike Johnson sees himself as Moses when he's talking candidly with his Christian friends. Moses freed his people, and helped establish God's kingdom on earth. This is what Johnson is saying his God-given mission is.

    Trump is just a vehicle for this. Johnson will do anything for Trump, in order to garner power for himself. Anything, including lying, throwing out the Constitution, hurting people, whatever. Because ultimately Trump will die or go to jail, and Mike Johnson is still a young man on a mission. Trump is just a step along the way toward fulfilling it.

    Johnson is a first-class religious zealot, of the kind we're used to seeing overseas or in medieval history books. Johnson's up-is-down view of the world, where the J6 insurrectionists are really the patriots, is Moses freeing his people.

    At the end of the day, he's nothing more than a power-mad politician, almost as grandiose as Trump, whose guidance system is 180 degrees off. Satan is the father of lies and that's what Mike Johnson's bible says.


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