Rudy Giuliani's law license suspended for lying to courts, public in claims of 2020 election 'fraud'
Trump lawyer and Ukraine conspiracy peddler Rudy Giuliani can no longer practice law in the state of New York: A state disciplinary group requested and was granted an immediate suspension of Giuliani's license for lying to courts during his attempts to overturn the U.S. presidential election on Trump's behalf.
If it seems like Republicans live in a different world these days, it’s because they do. The furor over critical race theory (CRT) is a great example. Conservative think tanks seized on a term used in a handful of high-level college courses, spent years honing a message that made it seem like American school children were taught that being white meant being intrinsically evil, packed that message up for both Republican candidates and right-wing media, and conducted a coordinated release that has disrupted school board meetings coast to coast and led to the passage of complete nonsense like Texas’ 1836 project. It also led to Matt Gaetz getting utterly blasted out of the water when he tried to suggest that the American military shouldn’t concern itself with racism. But don’t worry—when that incident gets shown on Fox, Gaetz will be the hero.
In the last five years, Fox News and other traditional conservative media had an opportunity. They could push away from the lies being spread by Donald Trump and move to a position where they defended conservative positions while becoming more truthful. They went the other way. Like Republicans at every level, they jumped on the conspiracy train, throwing in their lot with pundits who regularly undercut reality and encourage conspiracies that are extraordinarily corrosive to the nation.
If the way CRT appears to be sweeping over communities without any connection to reality seems odd, the rants of people like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are only the tip of a fascistic iceberg. Right-wing websites are filled with stories about the “woke apparatchiks” who dominate the U.S. military, the “psycho Marxists” behind American education, multiple articles about how Don Lemmon’s cookie jar shows that there’s no such thing as racism (yes, seriously), and explanations of how white people are the least racist people in the United States. If the level of vaccine resistance among Republicans seems hard to fathom, there are plenty of articles about the “horrific side effects” of COVID-19 vaccines—including how women are having miscarriages just from being near someone who was vaccinated.
But to really see what Republicans are inviting into their homes each day, here’s a clip from OAN in which a commentary happily calls for mass executions of Americans.
The Biden administration plans to evacuate a number of Afghan allies who aided U.S. military to third countries, The New York Times reports. Administration officials reportedly began informing members of Congress on Wednesday, following months of ongoing pressure from advocates who said the lives of allies, as well as their family members, will be at risk when U.S. forces leave in September.Per the report, the U.S. will evacuate a number of allies who are currently in the visa process, as well as family members. “The officials declined to say where the Afghans would wait, and it is not clear whether third countries have agreed to take them.” Advocates welcomed the news of potential safety for thousands of interpreters, drivers, engineers, security guards, and their families, and pressed for further details from the administration.
You cannot say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rushed this decision but now, almost a month after Senate Republicans filibustered a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, Pelosi announced that she’s launching a select committee to investigate.
“This morning with great solemnity and sadness I’m announcing that the House will be establishing a select committee on the January 6th insurrection,” Pelosi said.
On Tuesday, similar reports emerged that Pelosi would form a select committee, only to have Pelosi call it a “false report,” with a spokesperson saying: “Speaker Pelosi told Members she plans to announce WHETHER she will create a select committee THIS WEEK. Her preference continues to be a bipartisan commission which Senate Republicans are blocking."
With Fox News and Republicans in a continuing uproar over the false idea that a graduate-level legal theory is being taught in K-12 schools, Joy Reid brought one of the architects of that uproar, Christopher Rufo, onto her show Wednesday night, and smilingly refused to allow him to recite his well-rehearsed talking points.
The campaign against critical race theory in schools is based on identifying virtually any discussion of race or racism as critical race theory. Rufo has admitted as much—or bragged about it—tweeting “The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.’ We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.”
Reid was not having it when Rufo tried to do just that on her show. He repeatedly offered up non-critical race theorists like Robin DiAngelo as examples of critical race theory supposedly being taught in schools, and Reid shot him down—still smiling—every single time. (DiAngelo has a degree in multicultural education.) “Critical race theory” as promoted by Republicans and the right-wing media, Reid correctly identified, is really Christopher Rufo Theory. “You made up your own thing, you admitted you were going to do it, and I’m going to give you credit for one thing: You did create your own thing,” Reid said late in the interview.
Compared to other high income nations, the life expectancy numbers in the U.S. have never been great. Routinely, the numbers in the United States fall years behind nations that have actual health care systems for all citizens not just those who can afford it, nations that don’t treat workplace safety rules as something to be evaded, and nations that don’t insist on the right to be shot while buying socks. But in the last year, the United States demonstrated that it could still take the lead … in allowing people to die pointlessly during a pandemic.
In a new study published in TheBMJ, researchers looked at how the pandemic had affected life expectancy in the United States and in other high income nations. What they found was that, while every nation suffered to some degree, the United States took a massive hit. That’s particularly true for Black and Latino Americans who were both more likely to work in “essential” jobs, and more likely to have poor health care availability even before the pandemic.
None of that may be all that surprising. After all, officially the number of COVID-19 deaths stands at just over 600,000, with analysts attributing 400,000 directly to the bad decisions made by Donald Trump. More realistically, at least 900,000 have died as a result of the pandemic, easily the greatest public health disaster in a century. So a sharp, one-time hit to the numbers might be expected. But what the researchers also point out is that the U.S. was quickly losing ground to other nations even before the pandemic.
The Senate is mere hours away from calling it a month and taking off for the Fourth of July recess, which will last until July 15. The House plans on being in for a few days next week, but then will be gone until July 19. That is, unless House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Chuck Schumer happen to notice that the country remains in a simmering crisis and decide that maybe working on legislation for just a handful of days between now and the middle of September is a bad idea. By a handful, I mean nine days for the House from July 2 until September 13, and 16 for the Senate.
Maybe in recognition of that, the Senate is possibly canceling recess for the week of Aug. 9. No final decision has been made, reportedly, but "senators have quietly been advised to keep their plans for that week fluid." The House, which is taking more time off but has also accomplished more than the Senate in the first half of this year, is still scheduled to be gone. A lot.
It's not as if there aren’t issues that have to be addressed by Pelosi, one of which is getting ridiculous and infuriating. She's giving the Senate until the end of this week to decide if they want to try another vote on the Jan. 6 commission before she moves on to decide whether to have a House select committee investigate. Let us review where we left that whole commission proposal.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.Leading Off
● Buffalo, NY Mayor: Buffalo is poised to become the first major American city in more than 60 years to elect a self-described socialist as mayor following nurse India Walton's upset victory in Tuesday's Democratic primary against four-term incumbent Byron Brown. Walton would also be the first woman to lead New York's second-largest city.
Walton, a first-time candidate, holds a 52-45 lead over Brown, and while the margin may shift when absentee votes are tabulated, the Associated Press called the race for her Wednesday "after it became clear there weren't enough absentee ballots for Brown to overcome Walton's lead." Buffalo gave 80% of its vote to Joe Biden, and Walton should have no trouble in the November general election.
Who's Behind the Jan. 6 Republican Insurrection Today?
Here's the current list of those responsible, updated at 7:30am ET by the Republican National Committee:
Democrats hypnotized by The Squad…Antifa hypnotized by George Soros…Tourists hypnotized by Critical Race Theory…The FBI hypnotized by Doc Fauci…The Greens…Planned Parenthood…The Pope and Opus Dei…The cicadas…The murder hornets…The Pope and Opus Dei riding cicadas like horses under secret orders from the murder hornets…Not Republicans no way nuh uh...Socialist children standing on each other's shoulders under body armor to make it look like they're adults…France…Cancel Culture…the gays, feminists, and pagans (who had time to do it because it wasn't hurricane-manipulating season yet)…fake Republicans led by that Raffensperger fella from Georgia…and, of course, Randy Rainbow and His All-Star Dancing Insurrectionists.
Next update at 8:30am ET. Stay vigilant.
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In the news today: A new poll suggests that American voters are far more concerned about the future of American democracy than their senators are. The Biden administration isn't just ending the Trump Team's white nationalism-premised "Remain in Mexico" immigration rules, they're taking steps to help remedy the wrongs done. Tucker Carlson continues to be a major propagandist for fascist insurrectionists, but we quickly learned that pro-Trump militants were planning for violence on Jan. 6 long before they arrived in Washington, D.C. The more evidence comes in, the stronger that case gets.
Here's some of what you may have missed:
If the name David Keene rings a bell that’s because he’s the former president of the NRA. He’s one of those guys in the photos with suspected Russian NRA operative Maria Butina. He and his wife seemed to want to get into the Russian jet fuel business back in 2017. Seriously. Keene is no longer the president of the pro high school shooting gun club, but he remains a board member—even through all of the downs and downs and downs the NRA has suffered the last few years. Knowing where the bodies are buried probably helps. John Lott is also a name you might remember as the “academic” researcher who proved that more guns made society safer, but was humiliated when no one could replicate his findings and it was revealed that he was using anonymous accounts to write opinion pieces praising himself as an important scholar.
On June 4, both Keene and Lott gave speeches to the James Madison Academy 2021 graduating class in a Las Vegas stadium. The audience was made up of 3,044 empty folding chairs. According to BuzzFeedNews, Keene told the empty space to fight restrictive gun laws and to “follow your dream and make it a reality." Lott spoke about background checks. What Keene doesn’t seem to have realized is that the 3,044 empty chairs he was addressing represented an estimated 3,044 children that would not be graduating this year as a result of gun violence. James Madison Academy is not an actual school.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has been trying very hard to shore up Republican base support in anticipation of possibly being indicted on federal sex trafficking charges, and that means Gaetz jumped at a chance to say the words criticalracetheory at Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. (Yeah, an alleged sex trafficker who's been exposed as part of a sex crimes ring is on the House Armed Services Committee. Republicanism!)
In the months that have passed since thousands of Donald Trump supporters assaulted the Capitol on Jan. 6, much of the horror of that day has been replaced by frustration. Trump himself was impeached—for a second time—following the incident, but not only did Republicans refuse to mete out any punishment for Trump’s actions, they’ve made it clear they are all members of team Big Lie.
Additionally, though at least 465 people have been indicted over the events of that day, many of the charges seem to be extremely minor considering what all of America watched unfolding. And no one has yet faced even a judicial slap on the wrist for plowing through police lines, smashing through doors and windows, and prowling the halls of Congress with murder in mind. This may finally be about to change.
As The Washington Post reports, 49-year-old Indiana resident Anna Morgan-Lloyd is expected to be the first person sentenced in relation to the events of Jan. 6 when she steps before a federal judge on Wednesday. But no one should be expecting Morgan-Lloyd to exit the chamber in an orange jumpsuit. Prosecutors have already recommended that she “receive no jail time, perform 40 hours of community service, complete three years of probation, and pay $500 in restitution” for being one of those who invaded the Capitol during the insurgency. And that’s before her attorney wrote a letter explaining how she’s embarked on a self-education program that included watching Schindler’s List. So she may not even go away with a sore wrist.
However, Morgan-Lloyd may be the first to stand before a judge over the events of the insurrection, but she won’t be the last. That includes several members of the white supremacist group Oath Keepers, who just learned today that one of their own has agreed to fully cooperate with federal prosecutors.
As GOP lawmakers rush to recreate Arizona's sham audit in their home states, most Americans still have enough of a foot in reality to see the “fraudits” for exactly what they are: purely partisan disinformation campaigns.
A new Monmouth University poll found that 57% of Americans view the fraudits as "partisan efforts to undermine valid election results” based on what they’ve heard about the reviews. Only a third of respondents viewed the so-called audits as legitimate efforts to identify potential voting irregularities. Twice as many Americans also say the reviews will weaken U.S. democracy versus strengthening it, 40%-20%, while about a third of the public believes they will have little impact.
The day after Senate Republicans unanimously rejected even the idea of talking about free and fair elections, the bipartisan group of senators who say they are working on an infrastructure deal continues to talk. Those two issues—the filibuster on the For the People Act and infrastructure negotiations—are inextricably linked. There are a handful of moderate Democrats in that gang who are squishy on filibuster reform, so what happens in those negotiations will affect how they view moving forward on the rest of President Biden's legislative agenda.
Reports are mixed as to whether the group is getting anywhere. The Wall Street Journal says "negotiators see progress." That's ahead of a meeting between Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi with White House officials on moving forward. The WSJ says that at the end of Tuesday, lawmakers in the group "said they had largely agreed on how to spend the proposed $973 billion over five years, including $579 billion in spending above expected federal levels, but were still working on how to offset the cost." That, by the way, has been the point of disagreement for three months of bipartisan negotiations, first between Biden and West Virginia Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, and now this group.
"These things are always complicated and tough," Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio told the WSJ. "It takes a while to write this stuff and do it correctly, but we’re getting there." He also said a deal is possible by the end of the week. Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat, isn't interested in waiting that long. "I think we're going to have a deal this afternoon … or we just say we can't do that," he told reporters Wednesday.
In some good news for the day, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that a police officer who followed a driver into his garage over a minor traffic offense had no right to do so without a warrant. Arthur Lange was blasting music and honking his horn when he caught the attention of a highway patrol officer who started following him, the court stated in a synopsis included with its opinion. “Rather than stopping, Lange drove a short distance to his driveway and entered his attached garage,” the court stated. “The officer followed Lange into the garage.
“He questioned Lange and, after observing signs of intoxication, put him through field sobriety tests. A later blood test showed that Lange’s blood-alcohol content was three times the legal limit.”
Even as Republican-led states erect barriers to the ballot box across the country, more than half of U.S. states have locked in laws since the 2020 election that make voting more accessible, according to The Washington Post.
Many of these laws are the result of steps lawmakers took last year to make voting safer and easier amid the pandemic, efforts that ultimately yielded record voter participation. The laws typically streamlined registering to vote while also expanding access to early voting and voting by mail. But other laws enabled people with past felony convictions to vote and offered more options to voters with disabilities.
Virginia also enacted a law requiring locales to get preapproval or feedback to any changes they plan to make to local voting ordinances, an attempt to counteract the Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Right Act in 2013.
On Tuesday night, India Walton, the socialist candidate for mayor of Buffalo, New York, won the Democratic primary election against four-term incumbent Byron Brown. The nurse and organizer’s victory over Brown has not yet been acknowledged by the Brown campaign (as of Wednesday morning and the writing of this story). The Washington Post reports, however, that there are not enough outstanding absentee ballots left to change the current results. Walton’s primary victory, in a predominantly blue city, means she is almost assured to win this November. On Tuesday night, Walton held a press conference and declared victory. She will become the first self-identified socialist to become mayor of a major American city in 60 years. She is also set to become Buffalo’s first female mayor.
During her victory speech, Walton told the crowd: "This victory is ours. It is the first of many. If you are in an elected office right now, you are being put on notice. We are coming." There’s a centrist quagmire going on in the New York City mayoral race. Traditional media outlets argue that the perception of skyrocketing crime rates—something the traditional media does a lot of alarming on—meant that calling for police reform is not a viable campaign platform. This is in part contradicted by Walton’s victory. Walton’s win has been described as something of a “shock.” But as the victorious Walton opened her speech on Tuesday night at a bar in Buffalo, she smiled and said, “I hate to say I told you so.”
Arizona LGBTQ community members have distributed an open letter calling on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to support ending the Jim Crow filibuster in the name of LGBTQ rights. LGBTQ outlet Them reports that as of June 21, the letter has over 140 signatures urging her to act and be a decisive figure in helping pass the Equality Act in law.
“By casting the decisive vote to end the filibuster, you would open the flood gates of possibility to pass popular reforms supported by the majority of Americans. Among these transformative reforms, the Equality Act, which you cosponsored,” the letter states.