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Senate confirms Tony Blinken to Secretary of State

Reuters: “The U.S. Senate on Tuesday backed President Joe Biden’s nominee, veteran diplomat Antony Blinken, to serve as secretary of state. As voting continued, the 100-member Senate backed Blinken by 67-17, meaning he could be sworn in as the nation’s top diplomat later in the day. A simple majority was needed in the Democratic-controlled chamber for his confirmation. Blinken is a longtime Biden confidant who has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate before, most recently to serve as No. 2 at the State Department during former Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration, when Biden was vice president.”

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Houston PD cracks down on corruption, charges one officer with murder and five others with fraud

Prosecutors working with the Houston Police Department charged one of its officers with murder in the shooting deaths of two people during a 2019 drug raid, the second officer charged in relation to the homicides, CBS News reports.

State prosecutors also charged five other officers with charges relating to public corruption undercovered during an investigation into the raid that left Dennis Tuttle, 59, and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, 58, dead.  During the raid on their home, the pair engaged in a gunfight with police that left one office paralyzed and four others wounded.

The five officers will charged with falsifying records to collect more overtime pay.  The indictments bring to twelve the number of narcotics officers indicted in the subsequent investigation.

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DC National Guard commander says Trump Pentagon restricted his authority before riot, needlessly costing him response time

“The commander of the D.C. National Guard said the Pentagon restricted his authority ahead of the riot at the U.S. Capitol, requiring higher level sign-off to respond that cost time as the events that day spiraled out of control. Local commanders typically have the power to take military action on their own to save lives or prevent significant property damage in an urgent situation when there isn’t enough time to obtain approval from headquarters.”

“But Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard, said the Pentagon essentially took that power and other authorities away from him ahead of a pro-Trump protest on Jan. 6. That meant he couldn’t immediately roll out troops when he received a panicked phone call from the Capitol Police chief warning that rioters were about to enter the U.S. Capitol. ‘All military commanders normally have immediate response authority to protect property, life, and in my case, federal functions – federal property and life,’ Walker said in an interview. ‘But in this instance I did not have that authority'” – Washington Post.

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Homophobic pastor says Trump lost because of Ric Grenell

Right Wing Watch: “During Sunday’s ‘Swamp Rangers’ radio program, radical anti-LGBTQ activist Scott Lively declared that God stripped Donald Trump of the presidency because of Trump’s promotion of the LGBTQ agenda by giving a gay man, Richard Grenell, prominent positions within his administration. Lively was an ardent supporter of Trump and had hoped he would use his presidency to destroy the LGBTQ movement by enacting Russian-style anti-gay laws in the United States. Since that didn’t happen, Lively said that God had no choice but to remove Trump from office. Lively lamented that Trump was good on just about every issue, ‘except on the homosexual issue, which I think is his biggest mistake’ and ‘the reason why he lost the election’ Lively said.”

“‘He defied God on a fundamental tenet of the Bible and never repented of it. If Donald Trump was, as I believe, God’s man in the White House for four years, why did God not preserve it? Because if God had given him favor, nothing that mankind could have done could have removed him from that office. And yet the one thing that he did during that time that would virtually guarantee God’s favor being removed was to put his own personal stamp of approval on behavior that God condemns in the harshest possible terms in the Bible, which is specifically male homosexuality.'”

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Another insurrectionist ID’d from photo he posted on Facebook

A Maryland man has been arrested for his role in the January 6th domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol thanks to friends who informed the FBI of a photo he posted on Facebook showing him at the coup attempt, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Matthew Ryan Miller, 22, of Cooksville, Maryland, posted a photo of himself wearing a cowboy hat and draped in a Maryland flag and a Gadsden flag at the rally on the Ellipse prior to the attack on the Capitol.  Video shows a man in the same clothing overturning a metal barricade and using it to climb up a wall into the Capitol.

The federal judge denied bail to Miller, who is charged with knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted buildings or grounds without lawful authority, and doing so with a dangerous weapon; knowingly engaging in disorderly or disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a dangerous weapon; and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds.

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Kellyanne Conway tweeted a topless pic of her daughter

“Kellyanne Conway, ex-counselor to disgraced former President Trump, allegedly posted a topless picture of her daughter Claudia, 16, on Twitter on Monday. Reached for comment, a Twitter rep told Variety the company’s teams are investigating the incident. Kellyanne Conway could not be reached for comment. According to screen captures posted by users on social media, Kellyanne Conway’s account shared an image of her topless teenage daughter using Twitter’s recently launched Fleets feature, which deletes posts after a 24-hour period. The Fleet was removed but not before Twitter users documented it. On TikTok, Claudia Conway on Monday posted videos confirming that the picture was authentic; those have since been deleted from her TikTok account but Twitter users reposted copies of the videos. In the videos, a visibly upset Claudia Conway speculated that her mother may have accidentally posted the image. ‘I’m assuming my mom took a picture of it to use against me one day and then somebody hacked her or something,’ she said. ‘I’m literally at a loss for words. If you see it, report it'” – Variety.

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Biden to ice oil and gas leases on federal lands: report

Wall Street Journal: “President Biden is planning on Wednesday to halt new oil and gas leasing on federal territory, people familiar with the matter said, setting up a confrontation with the oil industry over the future of U.S. energy. The Biden administration has drafted an order to impose the moratorium while it conducts a review of the federal oil and gas leasing program, the people said, in what is potentially a first step toward his campaign pledge to end future leases. The order is expected to be included in a package of measures across government aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting land conservation.”

“As a candidate, Mr. Biden had said he would push the country to ‘transition away from the oil industry’ because of its pollution, and he has acted more swiftly and broadly to do that than many expected. In addition to the moratorium on oil and gas leasing, Mr. Biden is expected to set a goal of protecting 30% of federal land and water by 2030, the people said. The president is also planning to re-establish a White House council of science advisers that was established during the Obama administration. The New York Times and The Washington Post reported earlier about Mr. Biden’s plans. Administration officials have discussed holding a climate change summit, possibly on Earth Day, April 22, one of the people said, but officials haven’t yet finalized those plans. Mr. Biden pledged during his campaign to convene a summit of leaders from around the globe to discuss climate change early in his administration.”

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Newsmax withdraws Sean Spicer’s application to WHCA

“The drama over whether Sean Spicer will be accepted as a member of the White House Correspondents’ Association is over. Spicer is the former Trump White House press secretary who now hosts an evening show on Newsmax, the right-wing cable news channel that has experienced a recent boom in ratings as Trump fans have migrated from Fox. News of Spicer’s application to join the WHCA was met with outrage in some quarters and was considered an unwanted headache at the WHCA. But it turns out the organization won’t have to wade into the thorny issue of whether to deny Spicer’s bid to join the group. Newsmax formally rescinded Spicer’s application before the WHCA ever made a decision. A rep for Newsmax told Playbook on Monday night that the network already had enough people covering the White House” – Politico Playbook.

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Missouri Republican wants to legalize running over protestors

KDSK: “A Missouri senator on Monday pitched a bill that would allow the use of deadly force against protesters on private property and give immunity to people who run over demonstrators blocking traffic. The proposal is one of several that follow sometimes violent protests in Missouri last summer over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, including demonstrations that blocked traffic on busy roads in the St. Louis area. ‘To think that your right to protest enables you the right to stop traffic and literally stop people’s ability to move about freely in this nation is a gross misunderstanding of our constitutional rights,’ bill sponsor Sen. Rick Brattin said during the Monday hearing. The Harrisonville Republican said blocking traffic can be dangerous if it stops ambulances or police from responding to emergencies.”

“Missouri civil rights leader the Rev. Darryl Gray told committee members that people also disagreed with how the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. protested, but ‘those same methods that you seek to criminalize are the same methods that helped to destroy Jim Crow laws, segregation and destroyed centuries of hatred and bigotry.’ He asked lawmakers not to expand the use of deadly force to those outside of law enforcement. ‘If this bill is enacted it would vilify non-violent protesters,’ Gray said. ‘I don’t believe that any members of this august body would deliberately seek to shield drivers who willfully choose to run over protesters.'”

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Hawaii GOP chair unironically says free speech must be used responsibly in statement explaining tweets defending QAnon

UPDATE 1/26/21 8:39 AM EST: The tweet from the Hawaii Republican Party with a letter from the chairwoman originally posted here on National Zero on Monday night was deleted inexplicably, however we were able to save an image of the letter. Here’s the text of it:

“January 26, 2020 Statement by Hawaii Republican Party Chair, Col. Shirlene Ostrov: ‘I accept full responsibility for the unauthorized tweets posted by our former Vice Chair of Communications. He has resigned effective January 24, and pending official party action. Our Party believes in free speech, but it is a responsibility that each of us must carry in order to maintain a good and just society. Promoting content for the purpose of shock value does not help us to build a more perfect union, nor does it help a divided nation heal. To our friends in the Jewish community, we find the comments to be deeply disturbing and offensive and have no place in our party much less our country. To supporters across our paelaina, we are committed to creating a better Hawaii and discussing the policies that affect our everyday lives. Moving forward I will make sure the Hawaii GOP and its communications accurately reflect the values that we stand for as a Country and as the Aloha State.'”

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Republicans remain in thrall to the Orange God Emperor

New York Times: “Former President Donald J. Trump, determined to remain a force in G.O.P. politics, is gaining new opportunities with a crucial Senate seat unexpectedly coming open in Ohio, an ally announcing for governor of Arkansas and rising pressure on Republicans in Congress who did not stand with him during this month’s impeachment vote. The surprise announcement on Monday by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio that he would not seek a third term sparked a political land rush, with top strategists in the state receiving a flood of phone calls from potential candidates testing their viability. One consultant said he had received calls from five would-be candidates by midday.”

“That opening, along with another statewide contest next year in which Gov. Mike DeWine is expected to face at least one Trump-aligned primary challenger, is likely to make Ohio a central battleground for control of the Republican Party, and an inviting one for Mr. Trump, who held on to Ohio in the election while losing three other Northern battleground states. Mr. Portman’s announcement came hours after Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Mr. Trump’s former White House press secretary, began her campaign for Arkansas governor. The Republican primary there already includes the state’s lieutenant governor and attorney general, but private polling indicates that Ms. Sanders is beginning well ahead, and Mr. Trump endorsed her candidacy on Monday night. Mr. Trump has only been out of the presidential office five days and has little in the way of political infrastructure. He has told aides he would like to take a break for several months.”

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Portland mayor pepper sprays maskless harasser

“On Sunday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was walking outside a craft brewery on the Oregon city’s southwest side when a man walked up to him and shouted, ‘Thanks for ruining the city!’ Moments later, the Democratic mayor blasted the man in the eyes with pepper spray. ‘Oh my God!’ the man cried in an audio recording of the encounter published by the Willamette Week. ‘Wow … I can’t see. The mayor has just thrown something at me.’ The encounter between Wheeler and the unidentified man was recorded by former Portland mayor Sam Adams, who later told police that the man, who was unmasked, had accosted them on the street with a video camera. Tim Becker, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, told The Washington Post that Wheeler is cooperating with police ‘and encourages others involved to do the same.’ Adams declined to comment” – Washington Post.

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MyPillow dickhead banned from Twitter for life

CNN: “Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, was banned from Twitter Monday night, according to a Twitter spokesperson. Twitter made its decision based on a new policy it enacted after the Capitol insurrection whereby people who repeatedly share election misinformation can be permanently banned. ‘The account you referenced has been permanently suspended due to repeated violations of our Civic Integrity Policy,’ the spokesperson told CNN. It is not immediately clear which tweets lead to Lindell’s ban.”

“Bed Bath & Beyond stopped selling MyPillow products after Lindell voiced continued support for former President Donald Trump in the wake of the January 6 insurrection and voicing false statements publicly about the validity of the election. Lindell, a major Republican donor, called the attack ‘very peaceful’ and blamed ‘undercover antifa that dressed as Trump people’ for the chaos, according to The New York Times. ‘Donald Trump will be our president for the next four years,’ he said earlier this month. The same Twitter policy caused Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to be locked out of her account for 12 hours two weeks ago.”

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Trump endorses Sarah Huckabee for Arkansas Governor, omits that she’s a fucking liar and should never be trusted by anyone, ever

“Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a warrior who will always fight for the people of Arkansas and do what is right, not what is politically correct. Sarah is strong on Borders, tough on Crime, and fully supports the Second Amendment and our great law enforcement officers. She loves our Military and Veterans – and her home state of Arkansas. Sarah will be a GREAT Governor, and she has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” – Statement from Trump.

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Capitol rioter, age 26, identified by his high school varsity jacket

Daily Beast: “A New York man was charged Monday for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot after numerous tipsters identified him by his high school varsity jacket. Brian Gundersen’s jacket, which displayed the name of the school he attended in Armonk, along with his former football jersey number, could be clearly seen in footage broadcast on CNN after the sacking of the Capitol, says a criminal complaint filed Monday in federal court. The FBI interviewed a ‘close personal’ friend of Gundersen, who said the 26-year-old was ‘an avid supporter of former President Trump and a follower of commentator Nick Fuentes,’ a far-right podcaster who was banned from YouTube in February 2020 for violating the site’s hate speech policy.”

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Trump Swamp Scum fired from lobbying contracts en masse

“Firms run by Trump advisers, fundraisers and former aides have posted some significant lobbying termination notices this month. Conversely, firms with an in to President Biden are seeing growth. Cove Strategies, run by informal Trump adviser Matt Schlapp, ended its relationships with Walmart, Samsung and health insurance marketplace eHealth. Ballard Partners, the firm headed by Trump fundraiser Brian Ballard, has dropped seven clients since Election Day, most notably ridesharing giant Uber. Miller Strategies, whose principal Jeff Miller was the top lobbyist bundler for Trump’s ground-game operation, dropped the Nuclear Energy Institute, defense contractor Draken and software firm SAS. Black Diamond Strategies, which employs former Trump campaign advisors Doug Davenport and Rick Wiley, lost the Recovery Centers of America and a subcontract for event services company PRO EM” – Axios.

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Senate confirms Tony Blinken to Secretary of State

43 seconds ago

Houston PD cracks down on corruption, charges one officer with murder and five others with fraud

55 mins ago

DC National Guard commander says Trump Pentagon restricted his authority before riot, needlessly costing him response time

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