The Orlando Sentinel reports:
After a group wearing Nazi symbols was seen demonstrating — and yelling antisemitic slurs — in the Orlando area over the weekend, local and statewide officials issued statements condemning their actions as hateful and disturbing. However, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did not immediately add to the bipartisan denunciations — and his top spokesperson sparked controversy by questioning whether the swastika-clad demonstrators were actually Nazis.
“Do we even know they’re Nazis?” Christina Pushaw posted in a since-deleted tweet, according to FloridaPolitics.com. “I trust Florida law enforcement to investigate and am awaiting their conclusions.” Despite having deleted her tweet, Pushaw has since retweeted several posts defending her skepticism of the Orlando demonstrations and criticizing those asking for the governor to weigh in on them, while also adding “we have always condemned antisemitism and hate.”
Read the full article. The Nazi group is based in Kissimmee, which about 30 miles south of Orlando near Disney World. They are well known to the SPLC and Jewish organizations.
The Fulton County, Georgia, district attorney is asking for the FBI’s help in providing security for buildings and staff one day after former President Donald Trump called prosecutors investigating him “racists” and said his supporters should hold “the biggest protests we have ever had” in cities like Atlanta if the prosecutors “do anything wrong or illegal.”DA Fani Willis and her office are investigating Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia. A special grand jury will be seated as part of that investigation on May 2.At a rally in Conroe, Texas, Saturday night, Trump, without naming them, railed against Willis plus New York Attorney General Letitia James and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr., who are investigating his business empire, calling them “racists.” The three are Black. Trump provided no evidence of racial discrimination.“These prosecutors are vicious, horrible people. They’re racists and they’re very sick — they’re mentally sick,” he said. “They’re going after me without any protection of my rights from the Supreme Court or most other courts. In reality, they’re not after me, they’re after you.”In a letter to J.C. Hacker, FBI special agent in charge of the Atlanta field office, Willis asked for a risk assessment of buildings surrounding her office and the courthouse where the grand jury will sit. She also asked for FBI agents to provide security, saying “security concerns were escalated this weekend” by Trump’s rhetoric. Willis said her office had already received communications from people unhappy with the investigation before Trump’s rally.“I am asking that you immediately conduct a risk assessment of the Fulton County Courthouse and Government Center, and that you provide protective resources to include intelligence and federal agents,” Willis said in the letter, obtained by CNN. “It is imperative that these resources are in place well in advance of the convening of the Special Purpose Grand Jury.”CNN has reached out to the FBI in Atlanta for comment.Willis, a Democrat, compared potential violence associated with her investigation to the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Trump said Saturday night that he would consider pardoning those who were charged in connection with the deadly attack if he wins the White House again. Several high-profile Republicans, including New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, quickly dismissed Trump’s suggestion.“We must work together to keep the public safe and ensure that we do not have a tragedy in Atlanta similar to what happened at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Willis said.
A federal judge rejected a plea agreement Monday that would have averted a hate crimes trial for the man convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.
BRUNSWICK, Ga. — A federal judge rejected a plea agreement Monday that would have averted a hate crimes trial for the man convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery.
Arbery’s parents denounced the proposed deal for Travis McMichael, with mother Wanda Cooper-Jones and father Marcus Arbery emotionally asking the judge to reject agreements filed for McMichael and his father, Greg McMichael.
In rejecting the deal, U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood said it would have locked her into specific terms — including 30 years in federal prison — at sentencing. Wood said that in this case it would only be appropriate to consider the family’s wishes at sentencing, which the proposed deal wouldn’t allow.
Travis and his lawyer asked for a 10 minute break to discuss whether he moves ahead with pleading guilty. The judge had yet to rule on his father’s proposed deal.
Marcus Arbery told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Brunswick that he’s “mad as hell” over the deal, which lawyer Lee Merritt said could enable Travis and Greg McMichael to spend the first 30 years of their life sentences in federal prison, rather than state prison where conditions are tougher.
“Ahmaud is a kid you cannot replace,” Arbery said. “He was killed racially and we want 100% justice, not no half justice.”
Cooper-Jones described the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to propose the plea deal despite her objections as “disrespectful.”
“I fought so hard to get these guys in the state prison,” she said. “I told them very, very adamantly that I wanted them to go to state prison and do their time. … Then I got up this morning and found out they had accepted this ridiculous plea.”
Wood continued preparations to summon summoning the first 50 potential jurors to the courthouse on Feb. 7 for questioning.
The proposed plea agreements were filed with the court late Sunday. There was no mention of a deal with their co-defendant, William “Roddie” Bryan. No details were disclosed in court Monday morning. Federal prosecutors didn’t mention the deals in the court’s morning session.
Federal deals would not affect state murder convictions in Arbery’s killing. All three men were sentenced to life in prison on Jan. 7 after a trial last fall.
The hate crime charges accuse McMichaels and Bryan of violating the 25-year-old Black man’s civil rights by chasing him through their neighborhood in coastal Georgia on Feb. 23, 2020. The McMichaels armed themselves and pursued Arbery in one pickup truck while Bryan joined the chase in another and recorded video of Travis McMichael blasting Arbery with a shotgun.
A national outcry erupted when the graphic video leaked online two months later. Georgia was one of just four U.S. states without a hate crimes law at the time. Legislators quickly approved one, but it came too late for state hate crime charges in Arbery’s killing.
During the state trial in Glynn County Superior Court, the defense argued that the white men had authority to chase Arbery because they reasonably suspected he had been committing crimes in their neighborhood. Travis McMichael testified he opened fire only after Arbery attacked him with fists and tried to grab his shotgun.
The federal judge ordered that a jury pool be chosen from throughout the Southern District of Georgia, which covers 43 counties, to improve odds of seating a fair and unbiased jury.
In 2017, Matt Gaetz was the only member of Congress to vote against a law boosting the government’s human trafficking investigatory powers, saying he was sent to Congress to reduce the reach of government. Matt Gaetz voted against the government coming after him for reaching for teenage girls. Matt Gaetz is all about protecting terrorists and pedophiles.
There’s a year-long federal investigation into whether Matt Gaetz paid to have sex with a minor he took across state lines. This would be sex trafficking.
Gaetz’s former party buddy, Joel Greenberg, is a convicted sex trafficker. Greenberg is now cooperating with federal investigators and now a grand jury has been convened looking into the allegations against Gaetz. Those testifying include Matt Gaetz’s ex-girlfriends. I’m as shocked as you. Matt Gaetz had girlfriends, plural?
Joseph Elliccot, another friend of Matt Gaetz, just pleaded guilty this week to drug and fraud charges. Like Donald…
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Scottie’s world today
This is how I feel when responding to right wing cult members in the comments sections of the right wing media cartoons.
If Washington DC, Guam, The Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico were states….
…nobody would care what Manchin & Sinema do.
Get rid of this Jim Crow stain.
You can no longer be neutral on this issue. You are either against white supremacy and the negation of black history, or, you identify with white supremacy and you require an anti-black agenda to exist.
Your exposure to humanity should make you curious. Tell your parents to open a book.
The media wants clicks. The media covers Trump with a different set of ethics/morals.
Trump enablers degrade themselves rather than admit he is a loser. Their denial is pure poison.
MAGA can’t think. FOX will tell them how to feel.
All treasonous and traitorous roads lead back to Trump and his MAGA swamp.
All who worked in Trump Administration are complicit.
The way Russia see sanctions so far.
Misleading right wing media cartoons / memes
People can still travel by air, they just have to follow the rules as they always have had to follow the rules. The rules now include wearing masks and having the Covid vaccines.
My comment on the above cartoon was deleted as spam. I suspect that the cult followers of the right simply flag any comment that contradicts what they spew. The person writing the comment that was removed doesn’t get notified and has no way to know why it was flagged or who flagged it. There is a request for review and I hit them, but I have never seen the review have any effect. I have had comments on review for over two months with no resolution. So it scam to block non-right wing misleading comments. Below is the comment that was marked spam.
There are limits and rules to every right in the US. How is it freedom to push misinformation that is responsible for killing many people and holding back the recovery from a pandemic? It is not anti-freedom to make sure that the public has the correct true information and that misinformation distribution is curbed or labeled as such. Spotify has begun labeling all misleading misinformation about Covid and says they will include links to the correct information. It also is a free market decision for those who disagree with the company to remove their music. Again no violation of freedom.
And now some for fun
Thousands of protesters gathered in Canada’s capital on Saturday to protest vaccine mandates, masks and lockdowns.
Some parked on the grounds of the National War Memorial and danced on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, others carried signs and flags with swastikas and some used the statue of Canadian hero Terry Fox to display an anti-vaccine statement, sparking widespread condemnation.
“I am sickened to see protesters dance on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and desecrate the National War Memorial. Generations of Canadians have fought and died for our rights, including free speech, but not this. Those involved should hang their heads in shame,” tweeted Gen. Wayne Eyre, Canada’s Defense Staff chief.
Protestors compared vaccine mandates to fascism, one truck carried a Confederate flag and many carried expletive-laden signs targeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The statue of Fox, a national hero who lost a leg to bone cancer as a youngster, then set off in 1980 on a fundraising trek across Canada, was draped with a upside down Canadian flag with a sign that said “mandate freedom.”
Trudeau retweeted a statement from The Terry Fox Foundation that said “Terry believed in science and gave his life to help others.”
Eric Simmons, from Oshawa, Ontario, said all vaccine mandates should be ended.
“They’re not effective, they’re not working. It’s not changing anything. We can’t keep living like this. People are losing their jobs because they don’t want to get the vaccine,” Simmons said.
The convoy of truckers and others prompted police to prepare for the possibility of violence and warn residents to avoid downtown. A top Parliament security official advised lawmakers to lock their doors amid reports their private homes may be targeted.
Trudeau has said Canadians are not represented by this “very troubling, small but very vocal minority of Canadians who are lashing out at science, at government, at society, at mandates and public health advice.″
The prime minister’s itinerary for the day usually says he is in Ottawa if he’s at home, but on Saturday it said “National Capital Region” amid a report he’s been moved to an undisclosed location. One of Trudeau’s kids has COVID-19 and the prime minister has been isolating and working remotely.
Canada has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and the premier of the province of Quebec who is proposing to tax the unvaccinated is popular.
Some are, in part, protesting a new rule that took effect Jan. 15 requiring truckers entering Canada be fully immunized against the coronavirus. The United States has imposed the same requirement on truckers entering that country.
The Canadian Trucking Alliance said a great number of the protesters have no connection to the trucking industry, adding they have a separate agenda to push. The alliance notes the vast majority of drivers are vaccinated.
The organizers of the protest have called for the forceful elimination of all COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates and some called for the removal of Trudeau.
The Shepherds of Good Hope, which has a soup kitchen for the homeless in Ottawa, reported staff and volunteers “experienced harassment from convoy protestors seeking meals from our soup kitchen. The individuals were given means to defuse the conflict.”
Some opposition Canadian Conservative lawmakers served coffee to the protesters. Conservative party leader Erin O’Toole met with some truckers. The protest has also attracted support from former U.S. President Donald Trump and some Fox News personalities.
“We want those great Canadian truckers to know that we are with them all the way,” Trump said at a rally in Conroe, Texas. “They are doing more to defend American freedom than our leaders by far.”
Former U.S. Ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman said the threat against democracy isn’t only happening in America.
“Both the use of the swastika and the confederate flag are symbols of hate. So very sad to see these symbols anywhere and especially in Canada,” said Heyman, who was the U.S. envoy under former President Barack Obama.
The Parliamentary Protective Service expects as many as 10,000 protesters as part of a weekend-long rally.
“I’m locked into my own country right now,” said Tom Pappin, an unvaccinated man who came from just outside Ottawa. “I can’t go on a holiday. I can’t go to a restaurant, I can’t go bowling. I can’t go to a movie. You know, these are things that it’s just gotten out of control.”
The 52-year-old said attendees are likely to stay parked by Parliament until vaccine mandates are lifted.
“Lindsey Graham has done nothing about J6. He doesn’t care about our justice system being completely violated by Democrats in their political war against Republicans and President Trump.
“I guess Lindsey Graham doesn’t care about being presumed innocent until proven guilty. Americans are being treated worst than Islamic terrorists at Gitmo and Lindsey Graham doesn’t care.
“He doesn’t care about their due process rights. He doesn’t care that they haven’t seen their families and are denied seeing their attorneys most of the time.
“He doesn’t care that these pretrial J6 defendants are denied hair cuts, shaving, chapel, and the most basic of human rights.
“He doesn’t care that they are abused in the DC jail because they are white, male, and voted for the very President that he supposedly supports.
“Instead of actually doing something about the great injustice happening to pretrial Americans awaiting their day in court, Lindsey Graham turns his head to their abuse, votes for Joe Biden’s nominees, votes for Joe Biden’s Infrastructure bill, and then pretends to be a friend to President Trump.
“Aren’t we all sick and tired of those kind of ‘friends’?” – Marjorie Taylor Greene, posting to her Telegram account.
In theory, Pennsylvania could be spending billions more to update aging roads and bridges.
But instead, the money is being rerouted to help fund State Police operations. The convoluted funding scheme has long been criticized by Harrisburg. But a new audit has given a more detailed picture of where the money is going.
Pennsylvania has almost 3,000 bridges classified as structurally deficient, though state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Thursday that tally has actually been halved since 2008.
Over six years, $4.2 billion that could have helped fix those bridges has instead gone to State Police, he said.
The money mostly comes from the commonwealth’s fuel tax; at 57.6 cents, it’s the highest in the nation.
“There’s an inherent deal,” DePasquale said. “You’re going to have this high gas tax, but it’s going to go to fund roads and bridges. And now when they find out it’s not happening, I think that gets people upset.”
According to state Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards, Pennsylvania has fifth-largest state-maintained road system in the nation, and the third-largest state-maintained bridge system.
The department’s overall budget is $10.2 billion, and it allocates $2.5 billion to construction projects annually. Richards said, last year, $802 million went to state police.
In recent years, state lawmakers have been calling for another way to get police funding.
Gov. Tom Wolf has unsuccessfully pitched a few options, such as a per-person fee for communities that rely on State Police coverage.
In his latest budget proposal, he suggested a sliding-scale fee that would be higher for bigger cities that don’t have their own police forces than it would for smaller ones in the same position.
So far, those proposals have had a difficult time gaining purchase in the state Legislature.
Stop and think of this. This is money over the money budgeted for the police. It is extra slush fund money. Again why do the police need this much hidden cash? What the heck is going on with the policing in this country?
Thank you Nan for the link to this article. There are three more videos at the link but I am unable to post them here. I went to CNN YouTube channel and while they had clips dealing with tRump I couldn’t see the ones here in the article. I suggest going to the article to view them.
Former President Donald Trump on Saturday teased a 2024 presidential candidacy and said he would consider pardoning those who were charged in connection with the deadly January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol if he wins the White House again.Trump’s comments came during a campaign-style rally in Texas in which he complained about the criminal prosecutions that Capitol rioters have faced as a result of their attempt to interrupt the counting of Electoral College votes after he lost the 2020 election. He said the rioters are being treated “so unfairly.”
“If I run and if I win, we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly,” Trump said. “And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons. Because they are being treated so unfairly.”His comments reflect the growing sentiment among Republicans that the Capitol rioters should be forgiven and the events of that day forgotten — as the House select committee investigating January 6 has issued scores of subpoenas to individuals and organizations as part of its probe and is expected to release an interim report on its findings this summer. Some of Trump’s allies in Congress have pleaded for pardons for rioters. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 Republican presidential contender, recently called one-year commemorations of the Capitol riot an effort to “smear” Trump’s supporters.“It’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said of the prosecutions and prison sentences rioters have faced.The Department of Justice has charged more than 700 in connection with the attack on the Capitol.Trump raised the prospect of pardons after a speech repeating his lies about widespread voter fraud causing his loss to President Joe Biden in 2020. Republicans in statehouses across the country have seized on Trump’s lies to enact new laws that would make voting more difficult for some, and to pursue ongoing reviews of the 2020 election results.Trump did not explicitly say he will run for president in 2024. Doing so would trigger a series of legal and campaign finance requirements.But he said, in 2024, “We are going to take back the White House.”Trump also used the speech to rail against New York prosecutors’ investigations into his business empire, calling for “the biggest protests we have ever had” if the prosecutors “do anything wrong or illegal.”New York Attorney General Letitia James earlier this month laid out details of what her office believes to be “misleading or fraudulent” financial statements. And Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. has vowed to personally focus on a probe into Trump’s business practices. Both prosecutors — who Trump called “racists” — are Black, and neither has faced credible accusations of misconduct.“These prosecutors are vicious, horrible people. They’re racists and they’re very sick — they’re mentally sick,” he said. “They’re going after me without any protection of my rights from the Supreme Court or most other courts. In reality, they’re not after me, they’re after you.”