In a stunning admission, the man at the top of the list to be the next Speaker tells Fox News the House investigation on Benghazi was GOP “strategy” to harm Hillary Clinton.Â
It’s no surprise. The Benghazi hearings, which cost taxpayers millions upon millions of dollars, were all just “strategy” to harm Hillary Clinton.
What is surprising is that Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA),Â the man who is currently the House GOP’s number one choice and the next in line to replace John Boehner as Speaker of the House felt comfortable enough to not only admit this fact, but to actually boast about it, as part of his resumÃ©, to convince Sean Hannity that he should be Speaker.
Above is the full interview and totally worth watching, for reasons explained below. But here’s the short clip that gives you a good idea of exactly what is going on by our elected representatives.
“The question I think you really want to ask me is, ‘How am I really going to be different?,'” McCarthy told Hannity Tuesday night, on air.
“What you’re going to see is a conservative speaker that takes a conservative congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example,” McCarthy offered.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because sheâ€™s untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought.”
Congressman Kevin McCarthy, it would appear, just admitted to the intentional use of public funds to try to take down a political candidate. And he bragged about it.
Remember, the Speaker of the House second is in line â€“ the Vice President is firstÂ â€“Â to the presidency.Â
For those who have heard about this story from other sources before visiting here, you likely don’t know the full extent of what McCarthy said.
First, “What you’re going to see is a conservative Speaker that takes a conservative congress, that puts a strategy to fight and win. And let me give you one example,” is the line most of the press ignored, but it’s the key line.
Second, in the Hannity interview, McCarthy goes on to admit he and the rest of his GOP House colleagues are doing the exact same thing to Planned Parenthood.
Republicans are so convinced their goals are just that they are now willing to unabashedly admit to wrongdoing to take down theirÂ targets.
As Digby notes, “At least he’s honest.
Image: Screenshot via Fox News
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Trump is making a move to endanger LGBTQ and civil rights activists around the world
The Open Technology Fund (OTF), “a U.S. government-funded nonprofit that provides encryption technologies to journalists and activists living under repressive regimes,” is under threat from Michael Pack, an appointee of President Donald Trump who now heads the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), the group that oversees the OTF.
Pack is pressuring the OTF to change its funding allocation in a way that could endanger LGBTQ activists and others strategizing for civil rights in countries like China, Russia, Iran and Turkey, leaving them subject harassment, arrest, violence, and death.
According to Vice News, Pack has packed USAGM’s board with Trump loyalists who are working to funnel tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to closed-source technologies. Closed-source technologies are privately developed apps that could contain backdoor and security vulnerabilities allowing repressive regimes to track users and monitor their online communications.
Pack’s shift to closed-source technology is a fundamental change to the OTF’s long-running investment in “open-source technology,” tech whose publicly available source code can be studied and tested to ensure others can’t access user data.
Pack’s USAGM is currently pushing for OTF to invest in Freegate and Ultrasurf, two closed-source apps that purport to get around the Great Firewall of China, a censorious and domestically controlled internet that blocks activists from any sites critical of the Chinese government.
Open-source software experts that spoke to Vice said, “[Ultrasurf’s] code is out of date, dangerously vulnerable to compromise, and lacks the user base to allow it to effectively scale even if they secured government funding.”
Laura Cunningham and Libby Liu, who very recently served as OTF’s president and CEO respectively, told Vice News that in March 2020 (shortly after Trump installed Pack), Katrina Lantos Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation Human Rights and Justice (one of the groups pushing Ultrasurf) threatened them to fund the app or else risk being ousted by Pack and his board.
On June 13, 2020, Michael Horowitz, former director of the Project for International Religious Liberty (another group pushing Ultrasurf), then went on the radio show of white supremacist-enabler and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and called for Pack to fire Liu — four days later, he did. A day later, Pack fired Cunningham without providing any reason whatsoever.
Current and former OTF staff members told Vice they’re worried about the OTF’s direction under Pack. Longtime open-source technology advocate Cory Doctorow summed up the worry in a Twitter thread that linked to a petition urging Congress to intervene:
The Trump admin wants to nuke the OTF and give all its money to a bunch of grifty, closed-source privacy and firewall-circumvention tools. These tools are NOT auditable, and the companied that make them stand to make BANK from the move… If i was a Uyghur in Xinjiang or a dissident in Tehran, I would NOT trust my life to these tools. No goddamned way.
OTF’s ironclad rule of funding open, free code isn’t just a way to allay suspicions about the tools’ true purpose – it’s also a preventative against corruption, because the projects OTF funds CAN’T insert spy code without being caught right away… Based on this administration’s track record, I’m about 70-30 that this is just a bro deal that lets some cronies suck up millions in corporate welfare while hanging out tools used by vulnerable people around the world to dry.
Remember, Congress allocated this money for the OTF, not as pork for a bunch of connected insiders. This money built the tools that #BlackLivesMatter protesters use, to say nothing of the #HongKongProtests and many other movements around the world.
It will be a genuine, deep, widespread tragedy if this move isn’t stopped.
Conservatives are freaking out over the NFL playing “The Black National Anthem” before games
In a performative gesture that does nothing to discourage police from killing Black people, the National Football League has decided to jump on the feel-good Black-ally bandwagon and play “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” (aka. the Black National Anthem) at the start of every week one game when the season opens on September 10.
The song, which was written in 1900 and set to music in 1905, will reportedly play before the usual national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, and will be presumably be all but forgotten by the NFL after one week.
Predictably, conservatives on social media are using the hashtag #BoycottNFL to express their displeasure:
How many national anthems do we have??
Is there an Hispanic national anthem?
An Asian-American national anthem?
This is asinine. We are ONE America. E Pluribus Unum. https://t.co/nv0djWREnH
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) July 3, 2020
Everyone should take a knee during the Black National Anthem
We have a National anthem, it’s for the entire nation. Why are they trying to bring back segregation? So RACIST
Martin Luther King Jr
DID NOT MARCH FOR A BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM.
— Terrence K. Williams (@w_terrence) July 3, 2020
NFL players make millions a year playing a game. Don’t lecture us about how evil America is. #BoycottNFL
— JT Lewis (@thejtlewis) July 3, 2020
The NFL needs fans more than we need the NFL.
If they kneel during the anthem, or play anything other than the actual National Anthem, we should not tune in.
It’s time to teach these overpaid athletes that they can’t bully the American people! #BoycottNFL
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) July 3, 2020
If you wanna lose fans in Pittsburgh, and Wisconsin, and Texas, and Florida, in the Carolinas, and anywhere people have a brain… if you want to destroy pro football… then go ahead and NFL slit your own throat. Have fun without us! #NFL https://t.co/uxa97cHfOX
— Graham Ledger (@GrahamLedger) July 3, 2020
There are an equal number of other Twitter users mocking such “fans” for turning their backs on the league at a moment’s notice. But as Black writer Panama Jackson at The Root points out, the playing of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” could backfire if cameras capture scores of NFL fans turning their backs as the anthem plays. However, perhaps that would show the NFL just how widespread racism among its fandom really is, despite 70 percent of its player being Black.
Beyond the playing of the Black National Anthem, ESPN explains, the NFL has other plans to make symbolic gestures against anti-Black police violence, though none (except for the final one mentioned below) are sure things:
Having recently displayed increased awareness about the problems of systemic racism, the NFL, in collaboration with the NFL Players Association, is also considering listing the names of victims on uniforms through decals on helmets or patches on jerseys. The NFL also may produce educational programs about victims, among other plans…. [like] plans to increase its social justice footprint by pledging to donate $250 million over a 10-year period.
In other race-related NFL news, this week the NFL said it will finally conduct a “thorough study” on possibly renaming the Washington state football team whose name is an old-timey slur for Native Americans.
In early June, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL was wrong to ban players from protesting anti-black policing in America. However, his apology didn’t name Colin Kaepernick, the former NFL player whose 2017 on-field kneeling protest compelled the NFL on May 23, 2018 to threaten fines against any players who didn’t stand or stay hidden during the national anthem.
The national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” as Teen Vogue reminds us, was written by a slave-owning Washington lawyer, Francis Scott Key, who referred to African-Americans as “a distinct and inferior race of people.”
Texas GOP votes to hold 6,000+ in-person convention in state’s COVID-19 hotspot
On Thursday night, the Texas Republican Party voted to crowd 6,000 people into its state convention from July 16 to 18. The vote came on the same day that Texas reported nearly 8,000 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, its second highest-ever daily toll of new cases.
The convention will be hosted at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. Houston sits within Harris County, the Texas county that has the highest number of overall coronavirus cases. The Texas Medical Association and the Texas Brewers Guild have both withdrawn their support as sponsors as a result of the decision to hold a convention in-person rather than virtually.
CNN reports, “The Texas Republican Party said the convention will have multiple precautions and safety measures for attendees, including thermal scanners at entrances and hand sanitizer stations throughout the convention. Meeting areas will be “deep-cleaned thoroughly” between gatherings and there will be expanded seating allowing attendees to social distancing….Donated masks will be available.”
It’s unclear if state party leaders will require attendees to wear face masks as legally required by a July 2 executive order signed by Abbott that requires all Texans to wear face masks in public (or else to face a $250 fine). It’s unlikely though that Houston police would actively persecute the governor’s own party to enforce his order, even if it did mean potentially preventing a fresh COVID-19 outbreak.
During the 2020 meeting, state Republicans will likely draft a new state party platform. It remains to be seen whether they will keep the 2018 state platform planks that opposed same-sex marriage (three years after it became nationally legalized), supported so-called ex-gay conversion therapy, denying medical care and civil rights to transgender youth, repealing all hate crime legislation, and the right of “religious” businesses owners to refuse service to LGBTQ people without facing any legal consequences.
As of July 3, Texas ranks third among all U.S. states for the highest overall number of COVID-19 cases. Here are some Twitter reactions to the Texas GOP’s decision to host an in-person convention during a global pandemic.
5 days after attending his county party convention, this 75-year-old Texas GOP official was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19. He ultimately died. This is a warning sign for the GOP as it continues w large, mask-less indoor conventions and rallies. https://t.co/3vX1RKhlIW
— Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande) June 29, 2020
Texas Republican National Convention is coming to Houston in two weeks. Upwards of 6000 people are expected to be inside the George R. Brown convention center. GRB, run by Houston First Corp @HoustonFirst, says they can not mandate masks b/c it wasn't in the original contract.
— Anti Trump Texans (@AntiTrumpTexans) July 1, 2020
Among a huge surge in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Abbott (R) has no plans to ban indoor gatherings, including the Texas Republican Party’s convention in Houston.
— 🐾Angie K 💙🔬🧫 (@angie_keathly) June 28, 2020
— BDM 77007 (@ablondewun1) July 1, 2020
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