Katie Boyd Britt Shows Her Backbone

At the moment, there are four declared candidates running in the May 2022 Republican primary to replace Senator Richard Shelby.

One is Huntsville congressman Mo Brooks who is known more for his loud mouth than any legislative accomplishments.  He is the epitome of a political “gadfly.”  A shining example of “all hat, no cows.”

Another is Montgomery businesswoman Lynda Blanchard who contributed a LOT of money to Donald Trump in 2016 and was rewarded with the ambassadorship to Slovenia.

Another is Jessica Taylor who ran for congress last year in the wiregrass and failed to make the runoff.

The fourth is Katie Boyd Britt, former CEO of the Business Council of Alabama and former chief of staff for Senator Shelby.

At this point, political handicappers think it will come down to a two-person race between Brooks and Britt.  A recent news release from Donald Trump, who has endorsed Brooks, gives credence to this line of thought.

Even though the election is more than nine months away, Trump has already attacked Britt.  Here is the essence of Trump’s statement according to AL.com:

“Former President Donald Trump today reaffirmed his endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the retiring Richard Shelby and attacked Shelby’s former chief of staff, Katie Britt.

Trump, in a statement, said Britt, who formerly served as president of the Business Council of Alabama, is “not what Alabama wants” for the Senate.

“She is not in any way qualified and is certainly not what our country needs,” Trump’s statement continued. “For Mitch McConnell to be wasting money on her campaign is absolutely outrageous. Vote for Mo Brooks!”

Responding to Trump’s statement, Britt said: “I don’t need anyone else to fight my battles, and as Alabama’s next U.S. Senator, I won’t be a rubber stamp for anyone. I am proud that over 90% of the $2.24 million we raised in June came from Alabamians, because that’s who I’ll be going to work for and representing every single day.

“What we’re seeing now is a reaction to the incredible momentum that continues to build for our campaign. My opponent (Brooks) is obviously panicked; he’s been in elected office for 40 years, but the people of Alabama are eager for a real conservative choice and someone who’s going to bring change to D.C. My opponent lost statewide in 2006. He lost again statewide in 2017. And he’s going to lose in 2022, because our Alabama First team is on the road to victory.”

Bully for Katie.

It’s high time we elect people in Alabama who stand on their own two feet and put the people of this state first.  As to “what Alabama wants,” I dare say that Kattie Boyd Britt, knows the needs and challenges of this state far better than Donald Trump does.

 

 

Mo Brooks’ Ever-Changing Jan. 6 Story

Editor’s note: Republican Congressman Mo Brooks from Huntsville desperately wants to replace Senator Richard Shelby in
Washington.  He has had a vary lackluster career as a U.S. Housie member and is known more for his loud mouth than any good works.  The problem for him is that he tells so many lies, he has a hard time keeping trach of them.

Josh Moon, investigative reporter for The Alabama Political Reporter, details below how Brooks has continually changed his tale of what happened on Jan. 6th and his role in it all:

“In a court filing last Friday, Congressman Mo Brooks laid blame, at least partly, on former President Donald Trump for Brooks’ fiery speech at a Jan. 6 rally, at which Brooks told the crowd it was time to “take names and kick ass.” The filing claimed Brooks would not have been speaking at the rally if not for Trump’s invitation and said the content of the speech was cleared by the White House.

That filing came in response to a lawsuit filed by Rep. Eric Swalwell against Brooks and three others, including Trump, for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection that resulted in five deaths — including the death of a Capitol Police officer — and saw lawmakers fleeing for their lives as rioters roamed through the House and Senate chambers and rummaged through lawmakers’ offices.

Thanks to his speech, his involvement in the planning of the Trump rally and his insistence on pushing the “Big Lie” claim of massive voting fraud, Brooks has been a central figure in the national outrage over what was one of the ugliest scenes in the history of the country.

Brooks has run from the heat, offering an ever-changing list of excuses and explanations and blaming an odd assortment of people. Here’s how his story has shifted and changed over the past six months.

  • Antifa did it: The day after the Capitol attack, Brooks began pushing the bogus claim that antifa or some other “leftists” were responsible. His claim, which he tweeted, was this: “Evidence growing that fascist ANTIFA orchestrated Capitol attack with clever mob control tactics.” Of course, this fiction has been debunked numerous times, including by the FBI and by many of the rioters who were later arrested. Even right-wing media outlets pushed back on the absurd claim and Brooks soon after stopped saying it.
  • That’s right, I said it: Two days after the antifa lie, on Jan. 9, Brooks tried a new tactic — defiance: “I make no apology for doing my absolute best to inspire patriotic Americans to not give up on our country and to fight back against anti-Christian socialists in the 2022 and 2024 elections,” Brooks wrote to AL.com in a text message. The defiance would be short-lived.
  • I was talking about Democrats: During his defiant period, Brooks also landed on another talking point that he leaned on a few times: Claiming that his reference to an “ass” in his “kick ass” rally comments was referring to Democrats. The Democratic Party’s mascot is a donkey. Brooks claimed in the text to AL.com, and later in a lengthy statement rebutting a Democratic censure resolution, that he meant only that he wanted to beat Democrats — “kick ass” — at the polls. This angle would also be short-lived.
  • Proud Boys did it: In an abrupt 180, a month after proclaiming that he was proud to inspire “patriots” to act, Brooks claimed in a C-SPAN interview that the insurrection really wasn’t that bad — “… if you had 20 or 30 al-Qaeda suicidal types in there, it could have been a horrible scene,” he said — and that good MAGAs had been infiltrated by bad MAGAs. Specifically, Brooks said the Proud Boys, Boogaloo Bois and Oath Keepers were involved and that the attack was planned well in advance. He didn’t mention his reported role in planning the rally, but he did admit that antifa played no role.
  • Those fools did it: Later in March, Brooks told AL.com that the attack wasn’t his fault, but was instead “fools” who stormed the Capitol. Gone were the references to antifa and leftists. Brooks was no longer proud and defiant about his speech. In late March, Brooks said the rioters “hurt the Republican Party” and said “those fools” disrupted a debate about the election results. In reality, a group of people angered by repeated lies fed to them by Brooks and others temporarily disrupted the certification of the Electoral College results.
  • My constituents did it: In a court filing responding to Swalwell’s lawsuit, Brooks said his involvement in the Jan. 6 rally and riot was merely his way of best representing his constituents. Brooks claimed in the filing that he was only doing his job and representing “the will of my constituents” when he spread lies about voter fraud and encouraged the Jan. 6 mob to “kick ass” and be ready to fight and shed blood like our founders.
  • Trump did it: In the same court filing, Brooks also blamed the former president for his fiery speech. Brooks said in the court documents that he never would have been at that rally speaking had it not been for an invitation from the Trump White House. He also said that White House officials reviewed the contents of his speech. So, really, it was their fault for asking him to say what they knew he was going to say.”

A Special Fourth Of July

Editor’s note:  Ken White of California wears a number of hats.  A writer, criminal defense attorney and civil litigator,  As he says, he is “Fascinated by the intersection of law and society.  How does the law work, compared to how it is supposed to work?  How does the law shape culture and vice versa?”

At this season, here is an article he did years ago that is especially fitting.  My writer son, Kevin, brought it to my attention.

“Thirty years ago, in the hot summer of 1992, I was working as an extern for Judge Ronald S.W. Lew, a federal judge in Los Angeles. One day in early July he abruptly walked into my office and said without preamble “Get your coat.” Somewhat concerned that I was about to be shown the door, I grabbed my blazer and followed him out of chambers into the hallway. I saw he had already assembled his two law clerks and his other summer extern there. Exchanging puzzled glances, we followed him into the art-deco judge’s elevator of the old Spring Street Courthouse, then into the cavernous judicial parking garage. He piled us into his spotless Cadillac and drove out of the garage without another word.

Within ten awkward, quiet minutes we arrived at one of the largest VFW posts in Los Angeles. Great throngs of people, dressed in Sunday best, were filing into the building. It was clear that they were families — babes in arms, small children running about, young and middle-aged parents. And in each family group there was a man — an elderly man, dressed in a military uniform, many stooped with age but all with the bearing of men who belonged in that VFW hall. They were all, I would learn later, Filipinos. Their children and grandchildren were Filipino-American; they were not. Yet.

Judge Lew — the first Chinese-American district court judge in the continental United States — grabbed his robe from the trunk and walked briskly into the VFW hall with his externs and clerks trailing behind him. We paused in the foyer and he introduced us to some of the VFW officers, who greeted him warmly. He donned his robe and peered through a window in a door to see hundreds of people sitting in the main hall, talking excitedly, the children waving small American flags and streamers about. One of the VFW officers whispered in his ear, and he nodded and said “I’ll see them first.” The clerks and my fellow extern were chatting to some immigration officials, and so he beckoned me. I followed him through a doorway to a small anteroom.

There, in a dark and baroquely decorated room, we found eight elderly men. These were too infirm to stand. Three were on stretchers, several were in wheelchairs, two had oxygen tanks. One had no right arm. A few relatives, beaming, stood near each one. One by one, Judge Lew administered the naturalization oath to them — closely, sometimes touching their hands, speaking loudly so they could hear him, like a priest administering extreme unction. They smiled, grasped his hand, spoke the oath as loudly as they could with evident pride. Some wept. I may have as well. One said, not with anger but with the tone of a dream finally realized, “We’ve waited so long for this.”

And oh, how they had waited. These men, born Filipinos, answered America’s call in World War II and fought for us. President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked the men of the Philippines to fight, promising them United States citizenship and veterans benefits in return. 200,000 fought. Tens of thousands died. They weathered the brutal conditions under Japanese occupation, fought a valiant guerrilla war, and in some cases survived the Bataan death march.

In 1946, Congress reneged on FDR’s promise. Filipino solders who fought for us and their families were not given their promised citizenship, let alone benefits. Many came here anyway, had children who were born U.S. citizens, and some even became citizens through the process available to any immigrant. But many others, remembering the promise, asked that it be kept. And they waited.

They waited 54 years, until after most of them were dead. It was not until 1990 that Congress finally addressed this particular stain on our honor and granted them citizenship. (Their promised benefits were not even brought to a vote until 2008, when most of the happy men I saw that day were dead.)

Hence this July naturalization ceremony. After Judge Lew naturalized the veterans who were too infirm to stand in the main ceremony, he quickly took the stage in the main room. A frantic, joyous hush descended, and the dozens of veterans stood up and took the oath. Many wept. I kept getting something in my eye. And when Judge Lew declared them citizens, the families whooped and hugged their fathers and grandfathers and the children waved the little flags like maniacs.

I had the opportunity to congratulate a number of families and hear them greet Judge Lew. I heard expressions of great satisfaction. I heard more comments about how long they had waited. But I did not hear bitterness on this day. These men and their children had good cause to be bitter, and perhaps on other days they indulged in it. On this day they were proud to be Americans at last. Without forgetting the wrongs that had been done to them, they believed in an America that was more of the sum of its wrongs. Without forgetting 54 years of injustice, they believed in an America that had the potential to transcend its injustices. I don’t know if these men forgave the Congress that betrayed them and dishonored their service in 1946, or the subsequent Congresses and administrations too weak or indifferent to remedy that wrong. I don’t think that I could expect them to do so. But whether or not they forgave the sins of America, they loved the sinner, and were obviously enormously proud to become her citizens.

I am grateful to Judge Lew for taking me to that ceremony, and count myself privileged to have seen it. I think about it every Fourth of July, and more often than that. It reminds me that people have experienced far greater injustice than I ever will at this country’s hands, and yet are proud of it and determined to be part of it. They are moved by what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature to believe in the shared idea of what America should be without abandoning the struggle to right its wrongs. I want to be one of them”

Kevin McCarthy Is Still The Worst Person In Congress.

California GOP congressman Kevin McCarthy is the minority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives. On May 19 we made the case that he is the worst person in Congress.

Nothing has changed since for him to lose this title.

McCarthy is strongly opposed to a complete and thorough investigation of the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.  As pointed out in the earlier post, McCarthy had no reluctance to double cross one of his own members (Rep. John Katko) when the member did exactly what McCarty instructed him to do.

And because of GOP opposition, the effort to create a commission to study Jan. 6 failed.  As a last resort. the Democrat majority in the House is moving forward to create a select committee to investigate what took place..

According to the resolution to create the select committee eight of the members will be appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and five by McCarthy.  McCarthy has yet to say if he will make appointments.  However, it has come to light that McCarthy told all freshmen GOP House members that if they accept appointment to this committee, they will be striped of any of their committee assignments.

One of Pelosi’s appointments to the committee is Rep. Liz Cheney of Worming, whose removal from a GOP leadership position was orchestrated by McCarthy.  It is apparent McCarthy and Cheney are not bosom buddies.

Why is McCarthy so opposed to looking closer at Jan. 6?  According to GOP sources, the minority leader feels threatened by what an investigation might find how his own reputation might be harmed.

Editor’s note:  While McCarthy and most Republicans are now opposing an investigation into Jan. 6, none of them seem to remember when GOP Speaker John Boehner set up the same kind of committee on May 2, 2014 to look into the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi.  Some 225 Republicans voted in favor of this measure.  In fact, this was only one of six investigations conducted by Republican-controlled House committees about Benghazi.

Editor’s note I:  While the GOP controlled the House at this point, Democrats controlled the Senate.  Lindsey Graham of South Carolina wanted a special commission, such as the 9/11 commission, created to look into Benghazi.  He stated, Congressional oversight is crucial to understanding what happened before, during, and after the attacks, so we can be sure we do everything in our power to prevent future attacks.” 

Graham was opposed to taking the same approach to Jan. 6.

Summary:  This is leadership?  It is all a joke and the citizens of this nation are paying the price.  And would some one explain the logic of re-electing any of these people?

When Seeing Is Not Believing

When God invented college football he had a day like Nov. 16, 2013 in mind.  It was another game in the South’s oldest rivalry between Auburn University and the University of Georgia.  By the time the clock hit 0:00 at the end of the game, 87,451 fans had witnessed one of the more improbable games in the series history..

One that soon came to be known as the “prayer at Jordan Hare.”:

It was a glorious day with the temperature 70 degrees at the 2:30 p.m. kickoff.. Auburn was rated number 7 in the nation, Georgia number 25.  My son and I were in the north end zone, decked out in orange and blue.

Georgia scored late to take a 38 to 37 lead. And with 30 seconds on the clock, Auburn faced 4th down and 18 yards to go.  All seemed lost for the home team.

Then AU quarterback Nick Marshall threw in the direction of Ricardo Louis far down the field.  Two Georgia defenders waited to bat the pass away.  But instead of the ball falling harmlessly to the turf, it fell into the arms of Louis who scored.  The play covered 73 yards,

All hell broke loose. About 10,000 Georgia fans were in disbelief, as were the Auburn fans.  But for totally different reasons.  Suddenly what seemed like a 38-37 upset win for the Bulldogs was a 43-37 win for the good guys,

I share this memory because this country is caught up in a time when nearly half its citizens refuse to acknowledge the truth about the results of the November 2020 election for president.  Former president Donald Trump set this scenario into motion last summer when he began claiming this if he lost to Joe Biden, it would be because the election was rigged.  With Trump trailing in the polls,  he began a bogus defense.

Since then he has worked hard to spread what he calls “the big lie.”  The only problem, try as he might, he can not come up with  any supporting evidence   Some 60 law suits contending election fraud were all thrown out of court.  Recently a Republican report from Michigan said their election was not flawed.  And just today (June 24) the New York state Supreme Court suspended the law license of Trump attorney Rudy Giuliana for endlessly repeating lies about the election.

No doubt there were 10,000 or so Bulldog faithful leaving Jordan Hare on Nov. 16, 2013,  They did not like what happened.  But they did not question it because the truth was irrefutable.  Nor did their coach, Mark Richt. start shouting from the rooftops that the long pass Auburn completed at the end of the game never happened.  That it was all an illusion.  Or that the clock malfunctioned and the game should have been over a minute earlier.  Or that the referees cheated or Auburn had too many players on the field.

No, Richt took it like a man.  He did not try to rewrite history..

Something our former President and his radical followers can not do.  And this unwillingness to accept reality is eating away at our democracy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Civil War No One Will Acknowledge

As surely as the blue and gray faced one another at Vicksburg, Shiloh, Chickamauga and Gettysburg more than 150 years ago, this nation is now engaged in another civil war.  Except the opponents are now known as Red and Blue.

Don’t think so?  Then explain these numbers.  The U.S. has pledged to donate 80 million doses of covid-19 vaccines to other countries which need them desperately.  When asked if they supported this move, 88 percent of the blues agreed–but only 41 percent of the reds did.

This is numbing.  How do you NOT support helping other counties combat this pandemic, which in turn, helps your own country?

You only do it when you have given up your right to think for yourself and totally bought into the cult now led by former Republican President Donald Trump who is so totally obsessed with his own well-being that he has no concern about destroying our democracy and establishing himself as supreme ruler of the land.

And since the majority of his followers in Congress are too cowardly to oppose him for fear he will turn on them and send them back home he has scant opposition.

We have seen what happens to Republicans who refuse to bow before Trump.  Like Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming. Though she is one of the most diehard Republicans serving in Washington,

Even though Cheney supported Trump with 93 percent of her votes, she was replaced in the GOP House leadership by Elise Stefanik, who only supported Trump’s position 78 percent of the time.  But this did not matter to Trump’s peons in the House where allegiance to him is all that matters.  Dissidents be damned.  What’s considered good for Trump is all that matters, forget what is best for the nation.

Trump is a one-trick pony who is fixated on trying to undo the November 2020 election for president.  He is only focused on yesterday–not tomorrow.  Trump has run for president twice, and never received the majority of the popular vote.  Under his leadership, the GOP not only lost the White House, but the House of Representatives and the Senate as well.

And this is who has the GOP scared to death?

Yes, this is a civil war.  But one side is going to war following a fatally flawed leader.  Someone who wishes to turn back time and promises a land of fantasy that is no more likely than bullets will soon begin flying at Vicksburg, Shiloh, Chickamauga and Gettysburg.

The once proud Grand Ole Party has abandoned its core values of fiscal conservatism, devotion to the constitution and smaller government and replaced it all with only allegiance to one man.  A GOP so devoid of ideas that it didn’t even bother to have a party platform in 2020.

This nation has weathered many storms.  Hopefully it will get through this one as well.  When it does, today’s very fractured GOP will wonder what happened.  I’m sure Liz Cheney will be glad to tell them.