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RNC REBELLION: Some top Republicans DON’T WANT TO PAY legal bills for Trump

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Donald Trump has proposed his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, as the next Republican National Committee Chair, and Lara says that if she takes the role, she’ll make sure “every penny” coming into the RNC is used to return Trump to power.

Now there are efforts underway to prevent that.

Lara Trump has said she is in favor of making the RNC and the Trump campaign essentially a single entity, and that if she is in charge “every penny” will be used in support of him, but she’s also said she’s not quite sure how the statutes are written and if the RNC’s cash flow can be used directly on his legal bills. Two newly-proposed resolutions would make sure they can’t.

The resolutions come from Henry Barbour, who has served on George H.W. Bush’s campaigns, as well as state-level campaigns, including for his uncle, former Governor Haley Barbour. If passed, they’d force the organization to remain neutral until primaries are complete, and forbid funds from being used to cover any candidate’s legal bills. Rolling Stone reports:

“One resolution would bar the RNC from paying ‘the legal bills of any of our candidates for any federal or state office.’ Another would require the party to ‘stay neutral throughout the Presidential primary’ and would block the RNC from bringing on additional staff from active presidential campaigns until a nominee is decided.”

This would prevent Lara from taking the helm, and would also make sure that donor dollars are actually spent on political races. In order to receive a vote, though, the proposed resolutions need two co-sponsors by Tuesday.

Trump has not yet publicly responded to the proposals, but had a visit with the current RNC Chair, Ronna McDaniel, earlier this month. That meeting reportedly ended with an informal expectation of McDaniel’s resignation at some unspecified time after the South Carolina primary, which was held on Saturday.

Barbour has openly taken a stance against Trump, tweeting last month that he has contributed to Nikki Haley’s campaign because he feels the “country can’t stand four more years of Biden or Trump.”

Below, Henry Barbour expresses his view on the 2024 election

Lara Trump says paying her father-in-law’s legal bills is on the agenda of voters.

CNN reporter Kate Sullivan says that Lara told her she’s not sure if RNC statutes allow her to use donations to pay Trump’s legal bills.

Lara promises that “every penny” of RNC money will go to helping Trump if she gets control.

 

The post RNC REBELLION: Some top Republicans DON’T WANT TO PAY legal bills for Trump appeared first on Occupy Democrats.

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DGA51
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Screaming the Crazy Part Out Loud

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At CPAC last week, the Teabaggers of 2010 looked quaint compared to the insurrectionists and radicals of 2024.  The Crazy Wing and the Stupid Wing of the GOP have merged and the resulting zombie was on full display at what can only be dubbed Trumpfest.  One notable moment was during a panel moderated by Chief Shitbag Steve Bannon when QAnon enthusiast and Pizzagate influencer Jack Posobiec said,

“Welcome to the end of democracy. We are here to overthrow it completely.  We didn’t get all the way there on January 6, but we will endeavor to get rid of it and replace it with this, right here.”

It didn’t stop there.  The speakers’ list was a rogue’s gallery of election deniers, white supremacists, criminals and crazies.  TFG co-conspirator Jeffrey Clark was a speaker, along Stefanik, Russian Agent Jim Jordon, Gaetz, Princess Nepotism Lara Trump, and other ne’er-do-wells spouting bullshit and pledging fealty to TFG.  Nazis mingled openly amongst the mouthbreathers, all convinced that Joe Biden is a criminal and the actual criminal, TFG, was unjustly being persecuted.

This is just a preview of the 2024 election year. I’m not looking forward to it in the slightest.

 

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DGA51
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UNDERWHELMING VICTORY: Trump South Carolina win shows his weakness

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Donald Trump won the Republican primary in South Carolina, as expected, and in his victory speech declared that it was an even bigger win than predicted. He passed Nikki Haley by a margin of about 20 points, in fact, but the bigger question is where her voters will go in the general election.

Taking 59.8% of the Republican vote would be a welcome victory for any candidate working their way up to the nomination. It’s not quite so hot, though, for a man essentially running as the incumbent in his party, someone whose supporters claim that he’s actually the real winner of the last election.

(By contrast, the actual incumbent, Joe Biden, won his primary in South Carolina with 96% of the vote.)

Worse for Trump’s chances is the fact that as many as half of Haley’s primary voters are saying they wouldn’t vote for Trump in the general election if he’s the nominee. Some may change their minds if it came to a Trump-Biden matchup, but many said they’d either vote for Biden or sit the election out, according to The New York Times, which interviewed 40 of Haley’s primary voters.

Those who say they would never cast a ballot for Trump cite concerns including his support of the attack on the Capitol, and his lack of support for military members.

In fact, around a quarter of Republicans are saying that they are in the Never-Trump camp now, according to a Fox Newsreport that President Biden’s campaign shared

It reflects the concern that many prominent Republicans have expressed, that if Trump continues to be the voice of the party, Republicans will continue to lose elections, because a significant portion of Republican voters simply will not support him.

The 2020 election was a close one in many states, and Biden emerged victorious. If Trump hopes to win in 2024, he’ll need his whole party behind him, and at this point, he doesn’t have it.

The Biden campaign emphasizes that even Fox News is acknowledging many Republicans are over Trump.

Meanwhile, Nikki Haley — Trump’s last remaining opponent for the Republican presidential nomination — is determined to stay in the race until Super Tuesday despite having lost in her home state.

Whether she’s waiting to see if Trump’s legal problems forces him out of the race —leaving her the only viable contender left — or just wants to continue raking in the stream of Never-Trump GOP political donations is difficult to ascertain, but her attacks on Trump will continue for at least a while longer now.

The post UNDERWHELMING VICTORY: Trump South Carolina win shows his weakness appeared first on Occupy Democrats.

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DGA51
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It reflects the concern that many prominent Republicans have expressed, that if Trump continues to be the voice of the party, Republicans will continue to lose elections, because a significant portion of Republican voters simply will not support him.
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WHY ARE WE BACK HERE? Government shutdown could start in five days

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After this point in his tenure, Speaker Mike Johnson has managed to avoid a government shutdown by passing frantic, last-minute, bipartisan, continuing resolutions. Now, however, Johnson and the entire House face March 1st and March 8th deadlines, and there is increasing fear his tactics will not work this time.

That’s more than a little worrisome, beyond even just the repercussions of a government shutdown. The world is watching for signs that the U.S. actually has a functioning government.

The stopgap deals that were made in the past worked but only because they never addressed the core issue, far-right demands for cuts to various government programs that the MAGA faction can’t stand. Stopgap funding happened last year in September, November, and then again in January just to keep the government functioning.

Each time, the process took bipartisan agreements.

But a similar approach likely won’t work this time due to the unique two-step stopgap bill passed in January, putting a March 1st and March 8th deadline on themselves to fund differing governmental functions.

The unaddressed extremists’ demands are increasingly intense and, even more worrisome, increasingly fractured within the various wings of the House Republican caucus. At this point, no one sees a path to an agreement.

According to a report in The Hill, the Appropriations Committee Chair, Rep. Patrick McHenry, is advising Johnson to push aside the far-right’s ultimatums, try not to worry about their votes yet, and go with whatever the Committee puts forth.

But that is also contingent on a sleepless committee that has been working furiously for weeks to find any sort of deal that could pass. And there is an increasing sense of dread that no such deal exists

A Senate GOP aide stated, “I’m worried. Of all the scares we’ve had since the last fiscal year, I think this is going to be the scariest… ”

McHenry put the odds of reaching a deal for either deadline at “50-50.”

Obviously, that isn’t reassuring because he’s likely trying to sound optimistic. Markets and big banks around the world are watching this Congress because it appears that the United States is simply too partisan to even function. Now, it’s in question whether this country will pay its bills to even function.

Yes, the government has been shut down before in the last two decades, but never with the increasingly furious partisanship.

The first consequences of the failure to reach an agreement are already being felt.

As the deadlines near, the government must undertake certain steps ahead of time to prepare for a shutdown, and now even that process is getting old. As the White House Office of Management and Budget states:

“One week prior to the expiration of appropriations bills, regardless of whether the enactment of appropriations appears imminent, OMB will communicate with agency senior officials to remind agencies of their responsibilities to review and update orderly shutdown plans, and will share a draft communication template to notify employees of the status of appropriations.”

It is easy to see why that would be maddening again, as it has been the last three times. This only increases the frustration felt around Washington.

Congress will be gaveled into session on February 28, and thankfully, it happens to be a leap year.

Both branches have one full “extra” day to reach a deal that would keep the government open or, by default, shut it down.

We know what we want, and we know what the markets and the financial world want. This week, we will see if Congress can figure out what it wants.

This report is based on original reporting by Mike Lillis of The Hill.

The post WHY ARE WE BACK HERE? Government shutdown could start in five days appeared first on Occupy Democrats.

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DGA51
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Markets and big banks around the world are watching this Congress because it appears that the United States is simply too partisan to even function.
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JUDGE: Trump suffers NEW SETBACK with E. Jean Carroll damages

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When a jury found that Donald Trump owed E. Jean Carroll $83 million for the damages he did to her reputation by defaming her after she came forward to share her story about being raped by him, an automatic stay of judgment gave him 30 days to comply before enforcement proceedings could ensue.

Trump waited 25 of those days before filing a request for an additional stay, and Judge Lewis Kaplan made it clear he was not happy with this.

Kaplan is giving the parties a chance to respond, but he’s not giving much time. Carroll’s attorney has until February 29th to file a response, then Trump will have to answer by March 2nd.

He also called out the former president for failing to post any security while pleading for extra time. The short order read:

“Twenty-five days after the jury verdict in this case, and only shortly before the expiration of Rule 62’s automatic stay of enforcement of the judgment, Mr. Trump has moved for an ‘administrative stay’ of enforcement pending the filing and disposition of any post-trial motions that he may file. He seeks that relief without posting any security. The Court declines to grant any stay, much less an unsecured stay, without first having afforded plaintiff a meaningful opportunity to be heard.”

As for Trump, his filing doesn’t argue that the ruling finding him liable will be overturned on appeal, only that he believes the amount of damages will be reduced. He argues that Carroll was only able to demonstrate “at most, garden variety emotional distress,” and that the Second Circuit only awards a range of $30k to $125k for cases like hers.

He even posits that the appellate court could order a new trial because (Trump’s team claims) the damages determined are “excessive.”

He’s asking for either an unsecured stay — in which he would not have to hand over the money in — or only a partially-secured stay. He argues that this is appropriate because he has so much money that a delay wouldn’t cause Carroll to risk not receiving the judgment eventually. His attorney wrote:

“Plaintiff has effectively conceded that she is adequately secured by arguing to the jury that President Trump’s resources greatly exceed the amount of the judgment…Having argued to the jury that President Trump has great financial resources…Plaintiff is in no position to contradict herself now and contend that she requires the protection of a bond during the brief period while post-trial motions are pending. This fact nullifiesrisk to the judgment creditor and weighs heavily in favor of an unsecured stay.”

That, of course, was before a ruling in an entirely separate matter, for Trump’s business fraud case, hit him with fines in the amount of nearly half a billion, straining his cash on hand.

The post JUDGE: Trump suffers NEW SETBACK with E. Jean Carroll damages appeared first on Occupy Democrats.

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DGA51
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Before and after the major judgement...
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Let's watch the making of an extrauterine child!

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This week, the Alabama Supreme Court surprised absolutely no one with a ruling that frozen embryos created through the process of in vitro fertilization are children.  Somewhere in its blizzard of references to Biblical verses, Christian theologians, even something called “The Manhattan Declaration,” the court essentially confirmed the long-time anti-abortion ideology that life begins at conception and no matter the method of conception, even a flash-frozen fertilized egg is alive.  The Alabama Supreme Court found that frozen embryos are protected under the state’s wrongful death statutes. The decision even went to the trouble of coining a word for these new living beings: extrauterine children.

The Alabama decision has caused several of the state’s in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics to close their doors for fear that if a frozen embryo is destroyed, discarded or even lost during the IVF procedure, it would leave the doctors and the clinics and even the patients vulnerable to prosecution for killing extrauterine children.

People like husbands, lovers, parents, even older children of pregnant women attend the live births of children all the time, so, if Alabama is now saying that any embryo is a child, whether fresh, frozen, or in the process of being used in an IVF, why don’t we attend the medical procedure that amounts to the creation of one of these brand new microscopic children!

The process begins with a woman, although not necessarily the woman who, if the IVF is successful, will actually give birth to a living, breathing child.  In vitro fertilization involves what is euphemistically called harvesting a woman’s eggs.  It begins with the production of a woman’s eggs being chemically encouraged using something called “ovarian hyperstimulation.”  Adequately stimulating the ovaries isn’t enough, however.  In order to be able to retrieve eggs, the time of ovulation must be predictable, and that’s where the “trigger shot” comes in. Once the ovarian follicles are developed enough, a shot of hormones is administered, setting the ovulation schedule for 38 to 40 hours after the shot.

Now comes the time for harvesting the eggs via “transvaginal oocyte retrieval.”  The woman, who throughout the process is referred to as “the patient,” is taken to an operating room and usually put under general anesthesia so that a fine needle guided by transvaginal ultrasound can be inserted through the vaginal wall into her ovarian follicles, from which multiple eggs, usually somewhere between 10 and 30, are aspirated.  The eggs come out in a solution of follicular fluid and are quickly removed to another room where they are cleansed of cumulus cells and prepared for fertilization. 

Meanwhile, a man’s sperm has been similarly prepared in a process called “sperm washing,” which removes seminal fluid and inactive, or dead, sperm cells. 

Any eggs or sperm that are not to be used can at this point be separately frozen.  It should be noted that either of these two necessary elements in the creation of life that are not chosen to be used can be destroyed.  That’s okay with the state of Alabama, because it takes the next step for them to become “extrauterine children.”

Now the eggs and the sperm are introduced in a liquid medium, the proverbial “test tube” or “petri dish,” although neither is actually used in the process. In certain cases involving low sperm count, a single sperm can be injected into a single egg by intracytoplasmic injection.  This is done under a microscope. 

Once the eggs are fertilized, they are put into a so-called growth medium and allowed to grow for two to four days, through the cleavage stage, when the embryo splits into two cells, to the blastocyst stage of six to eight cells.

Get this:  At this point, the embryos are “graded,” to determine the quality of the embryo and its likelihood of resulting in a live birth.  By removing one or two cells from the blastocyst stage, embryos can be genetically analyzed for birth defects or inherited diseases, and depending on who’s doing the grading and what the criteria are, one or more of the embryos can be chosen over the others.  An embryo at this point can even be chosen to provide embryonic cells that can be used to cure a sick child the woman has previously given birth to.

Now the embryo, or more often, embryos, can be inserted into the woman’s uterus through a thin catheter.  If one or more of the implanted embryos attaches to the wall of the uterus and grows into a fetus, they can become actual, live, breathing children.

Or they can be frozen and become extrauterine children.

Amazing, isn’t it?  The Alabama Supreme Court decision was made by nine Republican justices because there are no justices appointed by Democratic governors and confirmed by the state Senate.  The vote was 8 to 1.  Alabama is one of the states that has a law declaring that life begins at conception, the holy grail of the anti-abortion movement.

There are two other states with laws declaring that life begins at conception:  Missouri and Mississippi. Legislatures in at least 14 more states have introduced so-called fetal personhood bills this year alone.  But when the IVF clinics in Alabama began to shut down on Wednesday and the shutdowns continued yesterday and today, all of a sudden it occurred to the geniuses in the Republican party who have been pushing for religion to be a determining factor in our government and laws, and for laws to be passed declaring that life begins at conception, that maybe this whole blastocyst-is-a-kid thing isn’t such a good idea.

Suddenly it occurred to Republicans that all those couples out there who have problems having children, or single women who want to give birth via IVF, won’t be able to do it because the process by its very nature involves the destruction of some of what Alabama called extrauterine children.

Republican presidential candidate Niki Haley, whose initial response to the Alabama ruling was, “Embryos, to me, are babies,” was described as “walking back” her comment.

South Carolina Congresswoman Nancy Mace, who is a sponsor of the federal Life at Conception Act, which would write into law that life begins when an egg is fertilized, was on Twitter-X today saying, “We should do everything we can to protect IVF for women everywhere.” 

There is going to be a lot of Republican shifting into reverse in the coming days and months.  When you mix politics and religion, bad things can happen.  And when you take away the rights of more than 50 percent of the population to make their own healthcare decisions and turn those decisions over to a bunch of state legislatures and governors and state courts, worse things happen.

One of the major reasons that the anti-abortion movement has been squeamish about IVF for decades is that fundamentalist Christians don’t like the idea of messing around with nature, which introducing needles and drugs and operating rooms and all that medical gear certainly amounts to.

They are not squeamish about telling women what to do with their bodies, however.  The result that is emerging from this political shitstorm is that Republicans are fine with prodding and poking and injecting and inserting things into women’s uteruses so long as it results in the birth of a baby, or as the Alabama Supreme Court has proven, the creation of an extrauterine child.

But prod her and poke her and give her shots and insert things in her uterus because she doesn’t want a child?  That’s a no-no.

There is an essential contradiction Republicans have constructed:  if you’re pregnant and don’t want to have the baby, you can’t stop your pregnancy.  But if you’re infertile and you want to start a pregnancy, you can’t do that, either.  Either way, if you are a woman, you are not in control of your own body.  Laws, and court decisions written by Republicans are.

Despite their attempts to back and fill and shift into reverse and obfuscate and tell outright lies to solve this contradiction, it is about to come home for Republicans at the ballot box.

This column is part of my coverage of the 2024 election. To support my work covering American politics with all its insane contradictions, please consider becoming a paid subscriber.

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DGA51
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