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Death Penalty: We Are All Troy Davis. And We Are All His Executioners.



One night in America, the death penalty was hard at work, and two men — Troy Davis and Lawrence Russell Brewer — were put to death by the state. Can one act be right, and the other be wrong?

Troy Davis was sentenced to death, scheduled to be executed by the state of Georgia last night at 7:00 PM. The U.S. Supreme Court intervened just moments before the killing was to be committed, and placed a delay on his execution. For all of three-and-a-half hours. While America focused on Troy Davis via Twitter and Facebook and Google+ and news outlets large and small, the state of Texas was busy executing Lawrence Russell Brewer for the murder of James Byrd, Jr. If the name James Byrd, Jr. sounds vaguely familiar, it should. Aside from being dragged to his death thirteen years ago by Lawrence Russell Brewer, a white supremacist, his name is forever emblazoned on the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which President Obama signed into law 23 months ago.

Map of Death Penalty State statutes in the United States *Blue: No current death penalty statute *Orange: Death penalty statute declared unconstitutional (New York Court of Appeals declared statute unconstitutional June 24, 2004) *Yellow: No one executed since 1976 *Red: Has performed execution since 1976 Note: New Mexico's death penalty statute was repealed on March 18, 2009 but did not apply to inmates on death row at the time of the repeal when there were two death row inmates.

“There is no outcry about the Brewer execution, unlike the Troy Davis case, even from people who traditionally oppose the death penalty,” wrote veteran reporter Mary Mapes Wednesday at The Huffington Post. “Governor Rick Perry received no pleas for mercy on Brewer’s behalf.”

“Jimmy Carter hasn’t said a word.

“There hasn’t been a peep from the Pope.

“The silence seems richly deserved. Brewer was convicted in a horrifying case, the 1999 racist dragging death of James Byrd in Jasper, Texas. I covered the trial and the unremittingly cruel details of the crime were beyond imagining. Byrd was killed by three yahoos simply for the fun of it, simply because he was black, simply because they were drunk, simply because.

“Now Brewer, who is unapologetic, unsympathetic, unblinkingly stupid, hateful and vile will be put to death for the same reason — simply because.”

Hours before Governor Rick Perry’s Texas execution machine added another notch to his belt — Brewer was number 236 under the Evangelical Christian’s watch — a grand jury in Mississippi charged a nineteen-year old with a hate crime murder, making him eligible for the death penalty too. Deryl Dedmon, Jr., who, too, can be described as a white supremacist, reportedly got drunk with seven friends one night back in July, and at one point said, “let’s go fuck with some niggers,” and proceeded to drive around in a pickup truck until they found one. Whom they attacked, and beat. (Is this sounding familiar?) And when that was done, Dedmon, 18 years-old at the time, reportedly got in his truck and drove over the 49-year old black man, repeatedly, until he was dead, and probably after. James Craig Anderson’s only crime was that he was out at night after his shift at the auto plant trying to retrieve the keys he had locked in his car. Dedmon’s act was recorded by a local surveillance camera, Dedmon’s lawyer is claiming it was an “accident.”

Last year, there were 46 death penalty executions in America. 64% of Americans support the death penalty, although when asked about life in prison in lieu of the death penalty, that number drops to 46%. Michigan constitutionally prohibits the death penalty, and it is also prohibited in Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

There are an estimated 3200 prisoners on death row, awaiting fate, at any given moment in America. Odds are that at any given moment in America, at least one of them is innocent. California, which has executed 13 since 1976, — among the fewest — has the most awaiting death: 721. And we all know Texas, which has executed 474 since 1976, and has another 321 awaiting death.

On Twitter last night, passion, and prediction poured out from all sides. Blogger and TV producer-writer Rod McCullom tweeted, “It’s over. #TroyDavis has been executed. I’m sure there will be lots of applause at 2morrow’s #GOP debate,” as he informed us, “USA Rank in Executions in 2010 = #5 (1) China (2) Iran (3) North Korea (4) Yemen (5) USA (6) Saudi Arabia (7) Libya (8) Syria.”

From the Left, comments flew, like, “I find it truly bizarre that the radical right believes the government can’t be trusted w/ taxes, yet they trust them with the death penalty,” and from the Right, (clearly missing the point,) “Still wondering why there’s no similar outrage over the white dude who is being executed tonight in TX.”

And then, of course, there was Ann Coulter, cheering Georgia’s intravenous hangmen on, tweeting,






And then, there were the tweets that reminded us, as author Chris Stedman wrote, “Tonight, we are all #TroyDavis. And we are all the executioners.”


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McCarthy Ousted as Speaker in Historic First as Republicans Vow Vengeance Against Gaetz: ‘Kiss My A–‘



U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been ousted as the elected Speaker of the House of Representatives after a weeks-long campaign by his fellow Republican, Congressman Matt Gaetz. The Republican Florida lawmaker vowed over the weekend to put a “motion to vacate” on the House floor, which he did Monday night. Tuesday afternoon McCarthy lost the support of the majority in a full House vote.

No Speaker of the House has ever been ousted by a motion to vacation, according to the Associated Press, until McCarthy.

“The Office of the Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant,” the presiding Republican lawmakers declared. The final vote was 216-210.

No Democrats voted to support McCarthy as Speaker.

Overall House Republicans are furious with Gaetz, with some vowing to expel him should the House Ethics Committee submit a negative report on their investigation into his alleged, possible sexual misconduct, unlawful drug use, and public corruption.

In addition to Gaetz, other House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy include Andy Biggs, Ken Buck, Tim Burchett, Eli Crane, Bob Good, Nancy Mace, and Matt Rosendale.

READ MORE: Trump Has Now ‘Crossed the Line Into Criminal Threats’: Top Legal Scholar

“After talking to a few House Republican lawmakers and aides,” during the vote to oust McCarthy as Speaker, Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reported he “would not be surprised to see someone move to have Gaetz expelled from the House Republican Conference.”

U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) in a profane rant slammed Gaetz, in a recorded video, saying, “You want to come at me and call me a RINO you can kiss my ass! You go around talking your big game and thumping your chest on Twitter. Come in my office and have a debate mother —!”

U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-LA) help up his phone while delivering remarks against Gaetz, chastising him for fundraising off his efforts to oust McCarthy.

“Using official actions to raise money. It’s disgusting!” he told his colleagues.

What happens next? According to The New York Times on Tuesday, “If McCarthy is removed, the House would be paralyzed.”

“A vacancy in the speaker’s chair would essentially paralyze the House until a successor is chosen, according to multiple procedural experts. An interim speaker would be chosen from a list prepared by Mr. McCarthy and his staff at the beginning of the year, but staff intimately familiar with House rules say the role of that person would be to oversee a speaker election and little more.”

As for McCarthy, he has said if removed as Speaker he would not resign from Congress. On Tuesday he suggested he would definitely run again for Speaker.

READ MORE: ‘Fool or a Liar’: GOP Knives Out for ‘A–hole’ Matt Gaetz as Vote to Oust McCarthy Appears Likely to Succeed

Watch the videos above or at this link.



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‘Fool or a Liar’: GOP Knives Out for ‘A–hole’ Matt Gaetz as Vote to Oust McCarthy Appears Likely to Succeed



House Republicans are expressing outrage at one of their own, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who by day’s end may succeed or come close to ousting Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy for relying on Democrats’ votes to keep the federal government from shutting down Saturday night.

“I prefer, you know, common sense over chaos,” Republican Congressman Anthony D’Esposito, who referred to Congressman Gaetz as an “a–hole,” told Fox News on Tuesday.

“I think that we should be focused on governance rather than grandstanding, and the fact that we have one a–hole that is holding us up and holding America up is a real problem,” D’Esposito added.

Far-right Republican Derrick Van Orden told CNN’s Manu Raju that Gaetz is “either a fool or a liar.”

“I’m telling you,” warned Republican Andy Barr of Kentucky, “it definitely puts the majority in jeopardy when you see disunity.”

READ MORE: Trump Has Now ‘Crossed the Line Into Criminal Threats’: Top Legal Scholar

GOP Rep. Steve Womack of Arkansas said, “I think it’s sending a terrible message to the electorate in advance of the 2024 election that this Republican majority could not govern itself.”

On camera, another Republican called Gaetz “a chaos agent,” and another said: “I don’t have tolerance for some pseudo psycho political fetish.”

Still another warned, “I think it’s sending a terrible signal to the electorate in advance of the ’24 election, that this Republican majority cannot govern itself.”

Watch below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws

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‘Probably So’: McCarthy Says His Speakership Likely Will End After Vote



The Republican Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, is acknowledging his leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives “probably” is about to end.

“If five Republicans go with Democrats, then I’m out,” McCarthy, sounding resigned to his possible future, told reporters late Tuesday morning. The Speaker acknowledged that if all Democrats vote against him in a vote schedule for Tuesday afternoon, and just five Republicans join them, he will lose his job.

“That looks likely,” ABC’s Rachel Scott told McCarthy.

“Probably so,” he responded.

There are currently at least five Republicans who say they will vote to oust McCarthy, according to CNN’s Haley Talbot, as of last Monday night.

Democrats on Tuesday have said they will not support McCarthy.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has been on a campaign to oust McCarthy, who was elected Speaker in January but only after the House voted 15 times before granting him the gavel. That gavel came with public and private concessions, among them, that any one member of the House could initiate a “motion to vacate,” which Gaetz did Monday night.

Gaetz claims he is working to strip McCarthy of the Speakership because he reached across the aisle and accepted votes from Democrats very late on Saturday to avoid what had been an almost-certain shutdown of the federal government. But McCarthy has long contended for Gaetz it’s “personal,” because the Speaker would not intervene to save Gaetz from a re-opened House Ethics Committee investigation into possible violations including sexual misconduct, unlawful drug use, and public corruption.

if Republicans do succeed on the motion to vacate, there currently is no one named to replace McCarthy. That would leave the position that is second in line to the presidency vacant.

Watch today’s House session live below, starting at 11:45 AM, see his remarks to reporters above, or watch both at this link.

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