Tag Archives: Authoritarianism

The Trump Shutdown: he’s dreaming of a white nationalist Christmas

Just in time for Christmas, our white nationalist racist-in-chief got the government shutdown over his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border that he wanted after calling for it at least 25 times.

This is the third government shutdown in two years under unified Republican control of the government. Republicans are an abject failure at governance.

Someone just give Trump a MAGA building blocks set for Christmas to occupy his infantile mind (yes, this is a real thing) and let’s get on with the serious adult business of running the federal government.

On Wednesday, Senate and House leadership believed they had an agreement with the White House on a spending bill which did not include the$5 billion Trump had demanded for his “big beautiful wall” on the Mexico border — a vanity monument to himself. The Senate went ahead with a vote and passed it nearly unanimously by a voice vote. The House was expected to follow suit, and everyone could then head home for Christmas. Senate Passes Stopgap Spending Bill That Would Avert Shutdown.

But then the white nationalists of the GOP House Freedom Caucus led by Representatives Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said Mr. Trump was doing himself “major” political damage with his political base of “deplorables” by relenting in the wall fight.

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The GOP has weaponized the courts in undermining our democratic institutions

20 GOP attorneys general hand-picked a conservative activist judge known for his political activism from the bench to conspire to overturn the Affordable Care Act. One can fairly say that the process was “rigged” to produce the desired result. Judge Reed O’Connor should be impeached, and the 20 GOP attorneys general held to account for their unethical professional misconduct.

The New York Times reports, In Weaponized Courts, Judge Who Halted Affordable Care Act Is a Conservative Favorite:

In the 11 years Judge Reed O’Connor has been on the federal bench, he has become a favorite of Republican leaders in Texas, reliably tossing out Democratic policies they have challenged.

The state’s Republican attorney general appears to strategically file key lawsuits in Judge O’Connor’s jurisdiction, the Northern District of Texas, so that he will hear them. And on Friday, the judge handed Republicans another victory by striking down the Affordable Care Act, the signature health law of the Obama era.

Judge O’Connor, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, has been at the center of some of the most contentious and partisan cases involving federal power and states’ rights, and has sided with conservative leaders in previous challenges to the health law and against efforts to expand transgender rights.

No one questions his expertise on the law. But his rulings illustrate the ways in which the federal district courts have become politically weaponized, as Republicans and Democrats alike try to handpick judges they see as ideologically friendly to their cases.

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GOP authoritarians are engaged in a coup against democracy (Updated)

Two years ago after authoritarian Tea-Publicans in North Carolina lost the governorship, we witnessed outrageous Tea-Publican tyranny: a GOP legislative coup against democracy in North Carolina (excerpt):

Daily Kos reports, North Carolina Republicans execute legislative coup against democracy itself:

Last month, Democrat Roy Cooper unseated Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, while Democrats also gained a majority on the state Supreme Court, breaking the Republican stranglehold on North Carolina’s state government. Now, though, Republicans have used the pretext of a lame-duck special legislative session—ostensibly convened for disaster relief—to advance a slew of measures that radically curtail the authority of the governor and even the high court itself. This nakedly partisan plot is unprecedented in modern state history. Indeed, you have to go back to the 1890s to find a parallel, when reactionaries violently introduced Jim Crowafter a multiracial coalition of progressives briefly won power.

The scope of the GOP’s war on democracy is stunning. In this special session, Republicans enacted a new law that removes the governor’s party’s control over all the state and county boards of election. That same measure also makes previously nonpartisan state Supreme Court races into partisan contests and requires state constitutional challenges to first go before the Republican-dominated state Court of Appeals. The legislature has passed another bill awaiting McCrory’s signature that would require state Senate approval for the governor’s cabinet appointees. This bill would also slash the governor’s number of executive branch appointees from 1,500 to 425 and eliminate the governor’s ability to appoint members of the state Board of Education and the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees.

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Trump lets the Saudis get away with the murder of a U.S. resident and one of the Arab world’s most prominent journalists

After weeks of charges and denials between autocratic regimes Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the assassination of permanent U.S. resident and Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, last week the CIA concluded Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi’s assassination:

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, contradicting the Saudi government’s claims that he was not involved in the killing, according to people familiar with the matter.

The CIA’s assessment, in which officials have said they have high confidence, is the most definitive to date linking Mohammed to the operation[.]

In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence.

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The Department of Justice bows before the madness of King Donald

It appears that Assistant Attorney General Steven Engel is willing to sacrifice his integrity and his career in service to King Donald and undermining the independence of the Department of Justice. His Justice Department memorandum, dated Wednesday, attempts to argue that Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker (right) as acting Attorney General — who has never been confirmed as a principal officer by the U.S. Senate in his previous position as chief of staff to Jeff Sessions — does not violate the Constitution.

This runs counter to the overwhelming weight of expert legal opinion from lawyers on both the left and right, as I have previously posted. Obstruction of justice in plain sight: appointment of Whitaker is unconstitutional and illegal.

The state of Maryland is taking the lead in filing a lawsuit to challenge Whitaker’s unconstitutional and illegal appointment. Whitaker’s Appointment as Acting Attorney General Faces Court Challenge:

Now, Mr. Whitaker’s appointment is facing a court challenge. The State of Maryland asked a federal judge on Tuesday for an injunction declaring that Mr. Whitaker is not the legitimate acting attorney general as a matter of law, and that the position — and all its powers — instead rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.

Mr. Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office,” the state said in a court filing.

[Read Maryland’s court filings.]

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