BREAKING: Rush Limbaugh, the Human Megaphone Who Hijacked the GOP, Dead at 70 https://t.co/ZDNNQR9Iul
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 17, 2021
Adam L. Silverman is a consulting national security subject matter expert specializing in low intensity warfare (asymmetric, irregular, and unconventional warfare, revolution, insurgency, terrorism), civil affairs, psychological operations, and cultural considerations for strategy and policy.
He routinely provides operational support to a number of US Army, DOD, and other US Government elements. Dr. Silverman holds a doctorate in political science and criminology from the University of Florida, as well as masters' degrees in comparative religion and international security. Full professional bio available here: https://www.balloon-juice.com/adam-silverman-bio/
Adam Silverman has been a Balloon Juice writer since 2015.
The defense presented today in former President Trump’s second impeachment trial just spent the past two hours inciting more violence. It was designed to make Trump happy by attacking the Democrats, making them the bad guys, and confirming that he is the victim. Therefore, both he and his supporters are right to be aggrieved. The other purpose of this defense is to further incite Trump’s supporters by going all in on victimization through these video clips and montages. Those video clips and video montages were specifically produced to be immediately transmitted through pro-Trump/MAGA and QAnon social media and on the various pro-Trump/MAGA and QAnon boards. I’m sure that if Dan Scavino, who has always been Trump’s conduit to and coordinator for the most extreme pro-Trump/MAGA supporters on social and digital media, was not involved in creating them, he was quickly given them to seed them and disseminate them throughout social and digital media.
The defense presented this afternoon is that Trump didn’t incite violence, his supporters aren’t violent, and we’ll prove it by inciting more violence. This is a defense right out of the techniques and neutralization. Shortly after the 6 January insurrection at the Capitol I produced a threat assessment for what could be expected going forward, this excerpt deals with techniques of neutralization:
This social behavioral pathway for behavior was delineated in the 1950s by Sykes and Matza and is called Techniques of Neutralization. Their intention was to clarify the social behavioral pathway that leads to delinquency, deviance, and crime. They posited that neutralization allows one to drift into crime, deviance, and delinquency. Or in the case of the 6 JAN 2021 insurrection that we are interested in: sedition, rebellion, extremism, terrorism, political violence, and possibly treason.
The techniques of neutralization are divided into five types of neutralization: 1) denial of responsibility; 2) denial of injury; 3) denial of victim; 4) condemnation of the condemners; and the 5) appeal to higher loyalties. The first three justifications all deal with denial. They allow the offender to rationalize his behavior as outside of his control. He or she is not really hurting anyone. And even if someone is hurt, they may have deserved it. The fourth justification allows the offender to invert the knowledge of her wrongdoing back upon those criticizing it by asserting that the condemners are hypocrites, do equally bad things, or are out to get the offender. Finally, the fifth rationalization allows for the justification of behavior on the basis of loyalty to one’s group rather than one’s society.
These five types of neutralization are found in every single one of President Trump’s speeches, off-the-cuff remarks at press gaggles, extemporaneous remarks at his rallies, and the formal responses he makes after he and/or his supporters do something illegal and/or violent. On Wednesday 13 JAN 2021, President Trump once again asserted that not only was there nothing wrong with his remarks at the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the violent insurrectionist attack on the Capitol, but that these remarks have all been formally reviewed and determined to be perfect and appropriate by unnamed third parties (essentially using deception and logical fallacies – appeal to authority, third party credibility and handoff – to exonerate himself and his supporters). As the attack on the Capitol was ongoing on the afternoon of 6 JAN, President Trump released a video asking his supporters to cease their attack, but also told them that the election had been stolen from him and them, thereby justifying their anger and actions.
In these remarks, you can see almost all of the five types of neutralization. President Trump has repeatedly denied responsibility. He denies there was any real injury; he has yet to issue any statement regarding the deaths that resulted from the attack including the murder of a Capitol Police officer. He denies the victims; because they are not his supporters so they do not count. He turns the condemnation of his and his supporters actions back on those making them. The classic Trumpian example of this was after Heather Heyer’s murder at the hands of a white supremacist at the pro-Trump, white supremacist, and neo-NAZI Unite the Right March in Charlottesville, VA. In both his initial attempts to make a presidential statement and his walk back of that statement, he tied himself into rhetorical and logical knots as he insisted that there were good people on both sides. Both sides being the pro-Trump white supremacists and neo-NAZIs and those that came out to counter-protest against them. And in all of his remarks he appeals to higher loyalties: the Make American Great Again movement and concept, an invocation of the Constitution, and invocations of the real America and America First. He invoked the MAGA movement and concept in his remarks in Texas on 13 JAN as an appeal to a higher loyalty.
The techniques of neutralization are where the social behavioral rubber meets the road of the social behavioral definitions that drive the extremist, white supremacist, neo-NAZI, and neo-fascist actions of the insurrectionists that stormed the Capitol on Wednesday 6 JAN 2021 in an attempt to overthrow the US Congress, prevent it from certifying the 2020 presidential election results, assassinate Vice President Pence and Speaker Pelosi, and overthrow the American constitutional order. Almost fifty years of purposeful, implicit, and explicit changes in the Republican and conservative definitions promoting, retarding, and neutralizing behavior have borne a bitter destructive fruit in Donald Trump’s techniques of neutralization aided and abetted by the algorithms of social media platforms. The result of that fruit’s perverse blossoming is a uniquely American insider threat composed of the Republican, Republican leading Independent, predominantly white and nominally Christian supporters of President Trump combined with yoga moms worried about the safety of vaccines or processed food or gluten.
Unfortunately, the techniques of neutralization are not limited to just President Trump and his base of supporters who have decided that if they cannot control the United States government then they will tear it apart. Before Wednesday 6 January had given way to Thursday 7 January, and since then, Republican Senators Hawley and Cruz, Republican House Minority Leader McCarthy, Republican Freedom Caucus members like Jim Jordan and Matt Gaetz, and conservative news media personalities like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade, and Rush Limbaugh have all used techniques of neutralization to signal both solidarity with President Trump and his supporters and threaten Democrats and everyone else in America who is not a Trump supporter with more low intensity warfare and political violence. These statements warning Democrats not to hold President Trump responsible or accountable are not only self-serving as it seeks to move responsibility off of their own support for his factually inaccurate claims, disinformation and deception about widespread election fraud in the presidential election, the lie that he won by a landslide, and the lie that the election was stolen from him, Republicans, and his supporters, they are also classic examples of techniques of neutralization. They deny responsibility, they deny real injury, they condemn the condemners, they appeal to higher loyalties, and they contain implicit and explicit threats. They are the basic template of all domestic abusers: “if you don’t forget what happened and let it go, we can’t move on and it will happen again and then it will be your fault, again”.
All of these appeals to not hold President Trump responsible and accountable are threats against Democrats if they do. They are all couched as President Trump’s 70 million plus voters are angry, upset, outraged, and feel cheated, so if the Democrats hold President Trump accountable those angry 70 million Trump voters and supporters might just do something violent again. Explicit threats have been made to Republican members of the House and the Senate regarding their and their families’ safety if they vote to impeach or convict President Trump. A Republican member of the House from Utah, who voted against impeaching President Trump for the second time on Wednesday 13 January 2021, revealed to MNBCS that a death threat, referring to him as a traitor, had been taped to his office door at the Capitol the following day. Given the newly increased security measures at the Capitol, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic public health measures, which have further reduced who can be and is in the Capitol at any one time, the only person who could have left him the threat is another member of either the House or Senate, a member of their staffs, a member of committee staffs, a member of the Capitol Police, a member of the staff that maintains the Capitol, or someone who was escorted in by a member of the House or the Senate. This is the ultimate insider threat. And it, like the similar threats issued – including by members of Congress themselves, it is: nice Congress and Republic you got there, be a shame if something were to happen to it…
You can see this dynamic in American Conservative Union President Matt Schlapp’s tweets:
If they continue w sham impeachment and very real SDNY and NYAG investigations of Pres Trump. They will make him stronger and push him to run again in 2024 as it will be the only way to make it all stop. If they want rid of Trump stop pursuing and persecuting him.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 12, 2021
You guys won. If you spend the next year w these politicized prosecutions you will rile us up unify us and lose the Congress. And for Trump if he has no legal rest he will come back hard either as a candidate or a force. My advice is leave us alone and govern. Miss you! https://t.co/YdLeW11jRo
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 12, 2021
There’s a reason they went heavy into Democratic elected women, women of color, and people of color calling to fight back or resist or protest. It was to clearly show that these angry black and brown men and women are the real threat to America and the real Americans, not Trump and his supporters who are overwhelmingly white while also appealing to the 1st Amendment. They were denying injury and victim, while condemning the condemners, and appealing to a higher loyalty. This is impeachment defense by incitement and the real point of it wasn’t to give the Republican Senators a fig leaf of cover to vote to acquit, which they were going to do regardless of what was said over the past three days. The real point of it was to further threaten, terrorize, and incite to domestic terrorism, insurrection, and revolt Trump’s extremist supporters. Democratic senators and representatives, other Democratic and liberal movement leaders, as well as news media figures like Chris Cuomo and Nicole Wallace will be targeted as a result of the defense presented today. It was yet again another expression of the real Trump Doctrine: “I, Donald J. Trump, will be treated fairly…. or else!”
One of the groups that we have been dealing with in Iraq for the past sixteen years or so is a militia or militant group that goes by the acronym JAM. JAM stands for Jaish al Mahdi, which in turn translates from Iraqi Arabic to the Mahdi Army. JAM was the name for the militant/militia wing of the Sadrist movement led by Muqtada al Sadr and named for his father who is believed to have been assassinated or extrajudicially executed by Saddam Hussein. The Sadrist movement, modeled on how Hezbollah is organized, has two parts with three separate missions. The first part – the Office of the Martyr Sadr (or whatever it is being called today)- runs candidates for office at the local, provincial, and national level in Iraq and provides what we would think of as social welfare activities. Specifically, providing housing or housing assistance, food or food assistance, some education, and other social services that the Iraqi state, both working with the Coalition Provisional Authority and ultimately on its own, could not. The second part – Jaish al Mahdi – conducted the third mission: armed resistance against Sunni insurgents, as well as the US led military coalition.
The New York Times has taken a deep dive into how the Republican Party, driven farther and farther to the right as a revanchist insurgent outlier within American politics, has basically reorganized itself into an American version of what we see with the Sadrists, Hezbollah, and other political and social movements in less stable parts of the world that also have armed wings. From the NY Times‘ reporting: (emphasis mine):
Dozens of heavily armed militiamen crowded into the Michigan Statehouse last April to protest a stay-at-home order by the Democratic governor to slow the pandemic. Chanting and stomping their feet, they halted legislative business, tried to force their way onto the floor and brandished rifles from the gallery over lawmakers below.
Initially, Republican leaders had some misgivings about their new allies. “The optics weren’t good. Next time tell them not to bring guns,” complained Mike Shirkey, the State Senate majority leader, according to one of the protest organizers. But Michigan’s highest-ranking Republican came around after the planners threatened to return with weapons and “militia guys signing autographs and passing out blow-up AR-15s to the kiddies on the Capitol lawn.”
“To his credit,” Jason Howland, the organizer, wrote in a social media post, Mr. Shirkey agreed to help the cause and “spoke at our next event.”
Following signals from President Donald J. Trump — who had tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” after an earlier show of force in Lansing — Michigan’s Republican Party last year welcomed the support of newly emboldened paramilitary groups and other vigilantes. Prominent party members formed bonds with militias or gave tacit approval to armed activists using intimidation in a series of rallies and confrontations around the state. That intrusion into the Statehouse now looks like a portent of the assault halfway across the country months later at the United States Capitol.
Six Trump supporters from Michigan have been arrested in connection with the storming of the Capitol. One, a former Marine accused of beating a Capitol Police officer with a hockey stick, had previously joined armed militiamen in a protest organized by Michigan Republicans to try to disrupt ballot counting in Detroit.
The chief organizer of that protest, Meshawn Maddock, on Saturday was elected co-chair of the state Republican Party — one of four die-hard Trump loyalists who won top posts.
Ms. Maddock helped fill 19 buses to Washington for the Jan. 6 rally and defended the April armed intrusion into the Michigan Capitol. When Representative Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, suggested at the time that Black demonstrators would never be allowed to threaten legislators like that, Ms. Maddock
“Oh that’s right you think anyone armed is threatening,” she continued. “It’s a right for a reason and the reason is YOU.”
The lead organizer of the April 30 armed protest, Ryan Kelley, a local Republican official, last week announced a bid for governor. “Becoming too closely aligned with militias — is that a bad thing?” he said in an interview. Londa Gatt, a pro-Trump activist close to him was named last month to a leadership position in a statewide Republican women’s group. She welcomed militias and Proud Boys at protests, posting on the social media site Parler: “While BLM destroy/murder people the Proud Boys are true patriots.” Prosecutors have accused members of the Proud Boys of playing a leading role in the Jan. 6 assault.
Two weeks after the Statehouse protest, Mr. Shirkey, the Republican leader, appeared at a rally by the same organizers, onstage with a militia member who would later be accused of conspiring to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
“Stand up and test that assertion of authority by the government,” Mr. Shirkey told the militiamen. “We need you now more than ever.”
After the riot in Washington, some argue such endorsements endanger the future of the party. “It is like the Republican Party has its own domestic army,” said Jeff Timmer, a former executive director of the Michigan party and a vocal Trump critic.
It’s worth giving the whole thing a read, even though it focuses largely on Michigan and the Michigan Republican Party. Especially as all the reporting, as well as other indicators such as what Federal, state, and municipal Republican officials say or tweet or post themselves, over the past several months clearly indicates that this problem is not limited to Michigan. Whether it is the Wyoming state Republican Party moving to censure Congresswoman Cheney, more members of the House GOP caucus voting to remove Congresswoman Cheney from her leadership post than voted to discipline Congresswoman Greene, the Arizona state Republican Party censuring Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake, and Doug Ducey for betraying Trump, Allen West in his new role as Texas GOP Party Chair supporting both secession, to Nebraska Republicans preparing to censure Senator Sasse for betraying Trump and thereby Republicans, what the NY Times reported about the Michigan Republican Party is happening with the Republican Party throughout the US.
I’ve seen several recent attempts to make a comparison between the Republican Party and Sinn Féin, especially in the immediate aftermath of the 6 January insurrection at the Capitol. I don’t think that’s the right comparison. The Irish Troubles was inextricably tied into the Catholic/republican and Protestant/loyalist dispute in Northern Ireland. While there are some similarities, that’s not what is going on with the Republican Party right now or what the Republican Party has been building too over the past several decades that got them to where they are today.
As I wrote here back in January 2019, the real political, social, economic, and religious disputes in America and among Americans for the better part of the past decade have not really been about nominal tax rates, the Defense budget, or the size of the safety net. Rather they have been much more like the disputes between Iraq’s Sunni and Shia, Arabs and Kurds, which is an often bloody fight over who gets to actually be an Iraqi and claim the full rights and privileges that come with doing so. The American dispute is similar. It is a fight over what American really means, what America really is, and who is and can be and who is not and cannot be an American citizen. This dispute is a long simmering low intensity war for America, which has comparatively been non-violent with only occasional violent spikes. It is related to the much more violent dispute throughout America over these same issues that were institutionalized in Jim Crow and segregation where the violence was targeted against Blacks.
The Republican Party at all levels from national to municipal has decided it wants this fight. It wants to have a sharp, permanent determination and delineation over just what American means, just what America is, and just who actually gets to be an American. The Republican Party is the political wing. The conservative movement organizations, including conservative Christian and traditionalist Catholic churches and organizations, as well as some orthodox and ultra-orthodox Jewish groups, the Church of Latter Day Saints, and some religiously conservative members and organizations of other religious and ethnic minorities* serve as the social welfare/social services wing. And the cosplay patriot (cosplatriot), militia, and other violent, armed paramilitary groups orbiting the Republican Party and the conservative movement are the militant armed wing.
Last Friday someone was able to access the Oldsmar, Florida water treatment facility computer system and adjust the levels of sodium hydroxide, aka lye, that would be added to the water. The Tampa Bay Times has the details:
Local and federal authorities are investigating after an attempt Friday to poison the city of Oldsmar’s water supply, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said.
Someone remotely accessed a computer for the city’s water treatment system and briefly increased the amount of sodium hydroxide, also known as lye, by a factor of more than 100, Gualtieri said at a news conference Monday. The chemical is used in small amounts to control the acidity of water but it’s also a corrosive compound commonly found in household cleaning supplies such as liquid drain cleaners.
The city’s water supply was not affected. A supervisor working remotely saw the concentration being changed on his computer screen and immediately reverted it, Gualtieri said. City officials on Monday emphasized that several other safeguards are in place to prevent contaminated water from entering the water supply and said they’ve disabled the remote-access system used in the attack.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating, along with the FBI and the Secret Service, Gualtieri said.
Nobody has been arrested, Gualtieri said, though investigators have some leads. They do not know why Oldsmar was targeted, he said.
Though some cities obtain water through Pinellas County, Oldsmar provides water directly to its businesses and roughly 15,000 residents, Gualtieri said. The computer system at the water treatment plant was set up to allow authorized users to remotely access it for troubleshooting.
A plant operator was monitoring the system at about 8 a.m. Friday and noticed that someone briefly accessed it. He didn’t find this unusual, Gualtieri said, because his supervisor remotely accessed the system regularly.
But at about 1:30 p.m. the same day, Gualtieri said, someone accessed the system again. This time, he said, the operator watched as someone took control of the mouse, directed it to the software that controls water treatment, worked inside it for three to five minutes and increased the amount of sodium hydroxide from 100 parts per million to 11,100 parts per million.
The attacker left the system, Gualtieri said, and the operator immediately changed the concentration back to 100 parts per million.
“At no time was there a significant adverse effect on the water being treated,” the sheriff said. “Importantly, the public was never in danger.”
Even if the operator hadn’t caught it, he said, it would have taken more than a day for the water to enter the water supply.
“The protocols that we have in place, monitoring protocols, they work — that’s the good news,” said Oldsmar Mayor Eric Seidel. “Even had they not caught them, there’s redundancies in the system that would have caught the change in the pH level.
“The important thing is to put everyone on notice,” he said. “There’s a bad actor out there.”
Much more at the link, including a profound statement by Florida’s senior senator Micro Rubio.
Malcolm Nance immediately jumped to conclusions:
WARNING: A Remote access hack occurred Friday at a water treatment plant in Florida were someone remotely operated the computer controls, while staff watched and attempted to raise the amount of LYE chemicals in the water 1,000%. Both Russia & Iran have tried this before. https://t.co/D11RMlrwGL
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) February 8, 2021
ALWAYS BET ON BLACK: Predicted? No, but I did write several warnings on Russian remote seizure attacks that seem almost identical to the Florida incident in @hackamericabook Page 102 … in 2016. Also see @TAPSTRIMEDIA & my 2015 book #HackingISIS. #GoRead https://t.co/Y8QnzYf3MO pic.twitter.com/lxXIociBME
— Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) February 8, 2021
These conclusions were then picked up and broadcast to everyone by Rachel Maddow on her show this evening.
I know a little something about Oldsmar, Florida. Largely because the Balloon Juice Bunker compound in the cypress scrub is adjacent to Oldsmar. For lack of a better geographic locator, since the post office refuses to recognize Balloon Juice Bunker Compound, Cypress Scrub, FL, USA as a legitimate address*, I ACTUALLY FUCKING LIVE IN OLDSMAR!!!! And I can honestly say NO ONE WHO DOESN’T LIVE IN OLDSMAR OR NORTH PINELLAS COUNTY OR WESTERN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY OR SOUTHERN PASCO COUNTY OR KNOWS SOMEONE WHO DOES EVEN KNOWS THERE IS AN OLDSMAR, FL!!!!!!
You can sneeze across Oldsmar if the wind is blowing the right way. Oldsmar is about a dozen stoplights running north-south and east-west at the northwestern most point of Tampa Bay. It got its name because RE Olds and his family had their winter home here, which they named Oldsmar. As in Olds by the sea. Or the sea of the Olds. And given the amount of venerable elders, Olds by the sea is an appropriate name!
I could be wrong, but I would be highly surprised if this was the Russians. I’ve been working on the Russian active measures, hybrid warfare, and political warfare problem set since January 2014 when I was assigned, under temporary assigned control, as the Cultural Advisor/Senior Civilian Advisor to the Commanding General of US Army Europe. I have published, in Special Warfare**, which is the professional journal of the Special Warfare community***, about how the Russians have probed for vulnerabilities and weaknesses in order to target a variety of utilities and the systems that control them. Three years before my article was published, in May of 2016, I included this strategic concern in a briefing I gave at FT Bragg to a room full of American and allied general officers and senior staff that partially dealt with Russia and its geo-strategic and regional strategic ambitions. My professional assessment, given what we know now, is that it is highly unlikely that this is the Russians. I have also published, just last July, on political warfare, which included this concern. This isn’t something I’ve just started thinking about today, I’ve been considering the problem off and on for over seven years as part of my professional work.
There are several reasons why I doubt this was the Russians. The first is that right now Putin does not want to do anything to further stress Russian relations with the US. President Biden and his team are not Trump and his team. And President Biden has already made it clear to Putin that he is not going to tolerate Putin’s actions the way Trump did. The second is that since almost no one in most of Florida, let alone the rest of the US knows that Oldsmar existed, at least before today, that it is a very strange place for Putin’s merry band of mischief makers to target a water treatment facility.
I think it is far more likely that either a disgruntled current or former employee of the City of Oldsmar or of Pinellas County who knew that this point of access existed and exploited it for their own purposes. Or that a local mischief maker went probing for an access point, found one, and decided it was party time. We do have a small, but sizable white supremacist, neo-NAZI, and domestic right wing extremist presence in the area, so it is also possible one fo them did it. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out that an actual authorized user who was teleworking and on the system stepped away from their computer for a few minutes without logging out to get something to drink or use the facilities and their cat walking across the computer desk or their toddler wanting to help daddy or mommy work unintentionally reset the levels. I think the Russians attacking Oldsmar, Florida through a water treatment facility that only supplies Oldsmar is, in my professional opinion, a big stretch. Is it possible it was the Russians? Sure. Is it probable and plausible? I think it likely improbable and implausible.
We’ll know more when we know more. And I know enough about what I don’t know to state that I could be wrong.
* I personally blame Louis DeJoy.
** I apologize for the random capitalizations, I’m pretty sure whoever copyedited this decided these were operational terms of art and capitalized them.
*** It was nice of them to hide their professional journal in plain sight.
It is because while Senator McConnell agreed last week to the language of the organizing resolution for the Senate – currently doing business as the “rules package” – it has not actually been voted on. Which led to this embarrassing exchange by Senator Durbin, who is supposed to be both the Senate Majority Whip and the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senator Graham who is still the Senate Judiciary Chair.
There is no excuse for Senate Judiciary Republicans to delay Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to be the next Attorney General.
I’m calling on Sen. Graham—who is still Chair of the Committee even though his party is in the minority—to end this delay & schedule this hearing now. pic.twitter.com/k0Txqir4ri
— Senator Dick Durbin (@SenatorDurbin) February 1, 2021
Justice Barrett wasn’t given a free pass on a routine 4-day hearing during her Supreme Court confirmation, and Judge Garland shouldn’t get one either on his nomination for Attorney General.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) February 2, 2021
Why exactly is the Senate still in bizarro world? Me not allowed to explain*:
We’re in this mess because while Senator McConnell stopped objecting to the language in the organizing resolution because, according to him, both Senators Manchin and Sinema personally assured him they’d never vote to get rid of the filibuster for legislation. That all signs good. Manchin and Sinema personally assured him, he no longer objects to the language for the organizing resolution, the Democrats actually get to take control as the majority. And that’s also how it was reported. In every major news outlet and by every political reporter and by every commentator. But that’s not actually what is happening.
In order for the organizing resolution to pass one of two things has to happen. Either it is adopted by unanimous consent or it has to first pass the 60 vote threshold for cloture (the modern filibuster) and then pass the 51 vote simple majority to take effect. I’m sure by now you’ve all figured out that it was not adopted by unanimous consent. Which means it has to be calendared for a cloture vote and if, and only if, it gets 60 or more votes will it then be allowed to be calendared for a 51 vote simple majority vote. Until or unless that happens, Senator Schumer and the Democrats control the Senate floor and the calendar, but that’s it. All the committees maintain their Republican chairs and their Republican majorities under the previous and still in effect organizing resolution.
I’ve seen some reporting indicating that the organizing resolution for the now ongoing current Senate is supposed to be brought up on the floor of the Senate tomorrow. I’ve also seen other reporting that no agreement has been reached on when it will be brought up for a vote. Anyone want to put down money that whenever it does come up for a vote, at least 10 Republicans will vote with the 50 Democrats for cloture? I didn’t think so. If McConnell can keep the organizational resolution in limbo by refusing unanimous consent for it and then not freeing up 10 of his Republican senators to overcome the 60 vote cloture threshold, he’ll maintain defacto status as majority leader through the Republican committee chairs and Republican committee majorities through January 2023. Which is exactly what he wants to do. His strategy now, just as it was beginning in January 2009 in regard to President Obama, is to grind the Senate to a halt; allowing nothing to pass with Republican votes. His objective is too once again retake the Senate majority by making it impossible for the Democratic majority to accomplish anything and thereby make it impossible for President Biden to accomplish anything. And he knows he has a very good chance because the media would far prefer to cover anything other than process, which is boring, or McConnell, because he makes himself boring.
* For those who are not fans of Superman and his defective clone Bizarro, that’s Bizarro speak for “allow me to explain”.
Give this thread a look if you can stomach it:
I had a GREAT call with my all time favorite POTUS, President Trump!
I’m so grateful for his support and more importantly the people of this country are absolutely 100% loyal to him because he is 100% loyal to the people and America First.
— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) January 30, 2021
A lot can happen over the next three years, but you can go ahead and note that I’m saying this now: Marjorie Taylor Greene will run for the Republican nomination for president in 2024. And I think it is highly likely that unless something significantly changes within American politics in general and the Republican Party and the conservative movement in specific, she is likely to be the nominee.
Now I know what you’re all going to say in the comments, starting with “what do you know, you just have a PhD in political science and you can’t spell properly”, but stick with me for a couple of minutes. While I don’t believe that Josh Hawley’s announcement that he’s not running for president in 2024 is worth the breath he expended to make it, Hawley is a piker compared to Greene. He’s been all over the map the past several weeks because he is self aware enough to know what he’s done and is still doing, but he’s not capable of brazening it out without giving the game away. Ted Cruz is. Unfortunately for Ted, and fortunately for us, no one likes Ted Cruz.
While there are two far more experienced Republican women who are already positioning themselves for a 2024 run – Nikki Haley and Kristi Noem – they too don’t have what Greene has. In Nikki Haley’s case, despite spending several years trying to position herself as the heir apparent to Trump and Trumpism, specifically as a pleasant, civil, polite version of it, she’s NOT WHITE!!!!! No matter how hard she tries, she isn’t. And that’s going to become more and more of a liability over the next three years as the racist attacks by Republicans and conservatives focused on VP Harris’s Indian heritage increase. Kristi Noem is white. She’s also conventionally attractive and all in on the oppositional-defiance disorder and aggrieved victimhood part of Trumpism, MAGA, and America First. Unfortunately for her she’s the governor of South Dakota, which is not a very large platform. Greene has her tied on the conventionally attractive, one ups her because she’s blonde and Noem isn’t, and as a member of Congress, rather than a governor who is incompetently dealing with an uncontrolled spread pandemic, has far more time on her hands and a far more national platform to drown Noem out.
Sure, sure there are going to be a bunch of Republican senators contesting this thing too. Rick Scott, Tom Cotton, Micro Rubio again most likely, Rand Paul to maintain the family grift. And there will be some Republican governors running like Ron DeStupid and Noem. But all of them have the same problems that Hawley, Cruz, and/or Noem have: they can’t beat Greene at this game. They’re either not capable of brazening things out like Trump or Cruz are or they’re completely unlikeably weird like Cruz and Scott are or they’re just not going to out tickle the pleasure spots of aging white Fox News viewers like Greene can.
Unless something significant happens to change American politics in general and Republican and conservative politics in specific, and provided Greene is able to maintain her scary-crazy, but conventionally attractive farm girl appearance while continuing to effortlessly pump the uncut and unfiltered Trumpism, MAGA, and American First herrenvolk victimhood directly into Republicans and conservatives veins, she’ll be the one to beat.
The only question now is which adult film star they cast in the parodies…
ETA: Allow me to add one important caveat. If Trump runs, he’ll be the nominee. If he doesn’t then the above holds.
Qongresswoman Greene has some thoughts on how forest fires are started. Apparently they’re started by space lasers owned by the Rothschild’s.
On behalf of the Elders, it is always nice to see the classic Rothschild edition of the global Jewish conspiracy. It’s a refreshing break from Soros is funding this and Soros is responsible for that. Though she does still work Soros in to her conspiracy crazy too!
At this time the Elders have not authorized me to confirm or deny anything. However, I am authorized to include this obligatory video, which we’re sure Qongresswoman Greene will think is a documentary.
Full Disclosure: Theodore Maiman, who is credited with inventing the laser, was my cousin (3rd cousin or so…). I never met him.