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Thugs Who Planned Charlottesville Rally Hauled Into Court (TWEETS)

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Thugs Who Planned Charlottesville Rally Hauled Into Court (TWEETS)

In the days after a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia descended into violence, evidence emerged that proved not just beyond reasonable doubt, but beyond ALL doubt, that the “very fine people” who descended on Charlottesville were responsible for what happened. Unicorn Riot obtained screenshots from several months worth of chats on the rallygoers’ channel at Discord. They reveal that a significant element was actively spoiling for violence.

Those screenshots are now front and center of a lawsuit that contends that the organizers engaged in a conspiracy to stir up violence and racial hatred. The plaintiffs contend that as a result, the organizers are responsible for injuries suffered by 30 counter-protesters on the weekend of August 11 and 12, as well as the murder of Heather Heyer, who died when a neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters.

Read the complaint here. It was filed on behalf of nine people who helped organize or took part in the counter-protests. Four of them were nearly killed when James Fields plowed through counter-protesters on Market Street. Others were beaten and harassed over the weekend, and one was the target of vicious trolling by the notorious neo-Nazi site Daily Stormer.

Fields is named as a defendant, along with a virtual who’s who of alt-right/white nationalist activists. Among them are the nation’s most infamous neo-Nazi, Richard Spencer, “crying Nazi” Christopher Cantwell, Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin, and the rally’s chief organizers, Jason Kessler and Eli Mosley. Also named are a slew of white nationalist organizations, such as Daily Stormer, the Traditionalist Workers Party, Identity Evropa, and the League for the South.

The plaintiffs contend that the defendants, along with a host of co-conspirators such as David Duke, plotted to deprive them of their civil rights by encouraging their followers to stir up violence. Under federal law, if the plaintiffs can prove the existence of a conspiracy, the defendants can be held responsible for all of the actions of the conspiracy’s members.

The plaintiffs’ lead attorney, Roberta Kaplan, modeled the Charlottesville suit on a 1999 suit against the American Coalition of Life Activists, a militant forced-birther outfit that maintained the “Nuremberg Files,” a Website that doxxed abortion providers. Planned Parenthood sued, contending that the site directly contributed to the murders of several doctors profiled on the site. Ultimately, ACLA and Horsley had to cough up $100 million in damages–later reduced to $4.7 million on appeal–and take the Nuremberg Files offline.

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The plaintiffs are using the defendants’ own words and social media posts to bolster a contention they make early on in their complaint–“the violence in Charlottesville was no accident.” As early as a month before the rally, several users were openly discussing the legality of running over counter-protesters with cars.

Users were also openly discussing plans to attack counter-protesters.

Users were also posting pictures of themselves with weapons.

And several of them still wanted to march even after word got out that Heyer had been murdered.

The complaint reveals numerous other instances where violence was openly discussed on Discord, and accuses Kessler and Mosley of making no effort to rein it in. For instance, Cantwell is quoted as telling listeners of his podcast, Radical Agenda, to bring concealed firearms. Numerous posters talked about using batons, pipes, wrenches, and rocks. One poster created a promo code for users to buy stun guns, Tasers, pepper spray, and batons. Indeed, the FBI was alarmed enough about reports of armed white nationalists descending on Charlottesville that it sent private threat assessments to the Charlottesville Police Department.

The defendants have sought to have the suit thrown out, contending it is “lawfare” intended to stifle their First Amendment right to free expression. For instance, Spencer claims that his colleagues were merely using “harsh and bold words” that are part of “the reality of political protests.” Um, Richard? How do you explain the open discussions about using weapons? That goes way beyond “harsh and bold words.” As a Carolina man to a UVa man, I thought you’d know the difference.

The suit also aims to turn the hot lights on how these outfits are financed. However, Lawrence Rosenthal of the Center for Right Wing Studies believes that it’s not possible to completely drive these bottom-feeders out of existence “because the world is cyber.”

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Maybe not, but at the very least these thugs will have to answer for the violence they caused–and for killing an innocent woman.

(featured image courtesy Ryan M. Kelly, The [Charlottesville] Daily Progress)

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With his Tantric “No Collusion” chant, Trump may be lulling the GOP to sleep. (With a video)

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With his Tantric “No Collusion” chant, Trump may be lulling the GOP to sleep. (With a video)

TaylorHerring / Flickr trump putin actors...
TaylorHerring / Flickr

You know, just like with everything else that doesn’t concern money or gratuitous sex for him personally, Donald Trump is missing the main point of the Russian election interference of 2016. Several GOP incumbents with better than room temperature IQ’s raised the alarm, but since it didn’t deal with making Der Gropinfuror richer, or getting him laid, it went right over Trump’s head.

My allusion to Tantric chants in the title was not sarcastic, it was meant as a seriouos comparison. I became hooked on chants many years ago, when a series of Gregorian chant cassettes became all the rage as a way to reduce stress. The rhythm, tonality and repetition of chants is incredibly soothing, and even todayI regularly use them when I have stress that I feel is not of a kind that is useful or beneficial to me. I am including a video of a Tantric chant at the end of this article so you can hear the similarity for yourself.

Since day one of the Trump-Russia investigation, Trump has been, unintentionally I believe, using a personal version of a Tantric chant. “No collusion, no collusion, no collusion” has been his automatic response to all things Russia. Because Trump’s insecurity is as all inclusive as his stupidity, he is missing the main point of the whole issue.

The simple fact of the matter is that fucking collusion with the Trump campaign was never the main intent of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, if it exists, that was an accessory, not a standard feature. The Russians were as gobsmack stunned stunned as the rest of us on November 8th, 2016, Trump himself included. The Russian interference was set in motion to qccomplish two specific goals. One, to kneecap as much as possible the effectiveness of what they saw as the impending Hillary Clinton Presidency. The other, with carefully timed leaks of their machinations, and another chant of “rigged election, rigged election,” To sew as much discord and distrust for the electoral system in the public as possible. It is because of the complete inability of the Democrats to put forth a unifying, positive message, and the utter contempt of the voters for “politics as usual” that led to Trump, not the carpet bombing of Russian trolls and bots, although they certainly helped.

The Russians must have felt like an 8 year old with an X-Box One under the tree on Christmas morning. A minimum of four years with a finger puppet custom fit for Putin’s blood soaked digits. But it hasn’t worked out that way. Trump has been wonderfully compliant, denying any Russian effect on the election. While Trump may absolutely love the “Central Park five,” the thought of the “Moscow hotel room five” chills his blood. But Trump has failed miserably as a Russian marionette. The sanctions are not gone, in fact, if congress can find a way to hold a gun to Trump’s head to impose the new sanctions they passed by veto proof majorities, they’ve gotten worse. The Mueller investigation has brought unwanted attention on Russian intentions, and the recent indictments have given other western democracies a road map to Russian methods and sources. For Vladimir Putin, just like for Melania Trump, The Donald is rapidly becoming a bigger pain n the ass than he’s worth to them.

But keep your eye on the ball here. Again, what was the main Russian purpose? To sew discord and distrust in the American electoral system. They succeeded admirably there, but not in a way particularly helpful to them. While we may be struggling to keep the lights on, Russian interference has sharpened congressional focus on all things Russian, and focused other democracies on them as well. Thanks to Trump’s over the top buffoonery, existing sanctions are not going anywhere, since congress must vote to relieve them, and harsher sanctions may be imposed.

So, if Putin has already chewed all of the flavor out of the Trump stick of gum, what next? Elementary my dear Watson, interfere some more. Putin already knows that he can’t “collude” with Democrats, they have a compass that doesn’t automatically point due south. But they sure can fuck with Republicans to their hearts content.And give themselves a solid sense of vengeance in doing so, spanking them for their manifest incompetence.

You want to sew more discord, division, rancor and distrust in the American system of governance? How about a nice, big, fat impeachment to paralyze the government? But you’d need a Democratic majority in congress to do that, right? OK, how about a surprise August appearance of a video on Wikileaks, with a fishbowl clad Trump in a Moscow hotel shower? Or a spreadsheet, exquisitely detailing the mechanics of Russian oligarch money laundering through Trump real estate properties? Or, how about the Russians turn the hackers that hit the DNC and John Podesta loose on key GOP incumbents, and start splashing salacious sins and misdeeds all over local district and state newpapers and media outlets, through safe apparently domestic cutouts in, oh, I don’t know, say late September or October? Think the Russians could put a big rocket engine behind the building blue wave and turn it on, adding even more force to the upcoming tsunami?

And you know what the best part is from the Russian perspective? They’re bulletproof. Not only has Trump played the “no collusion” mantra 24/7, he has followed it up with an encore that Russian interference didn’t alter the outcome of the election. Even if GOP incumbents start righteously screaming about Russian interference, with proof, Trump has no choice but to dispute them and call them idiots and sore losers. For Trump to acknowledge the possibility of Russian interference in those races would be to admit that they could have effected his own electoral outcome, something he cannot do. And it becomes even worse, since Trump’s chant of “no collusion” has thoroughly soaked into his followers, any protests of non Trumpista candidates or incumbents or candidates will fall on deaf ears with them.

So, there you have it. If the Russians want to continue to meddle, thanks to Trump’s blind insistence in denying it even happened, they’re free to do so to their hearts content. Messing with Democrats won’t do anything, they’re already in the minority, and the GOP has already proven that they can’t help Russia in the current iteration. But messing with the Republicans sure as hell can muddy the waters some more. And the waiter has just brought the water glasses, the chips, and the salsa. All the Russians have to do now is to sit back, and choose their main entrees and side dishes from the menu. Here’s the Tantric chant I promised you.

https://youtu.be/xUo6GDq1u7U

 


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GOP Candidate Totes Assault-Style Weapon In Campaign Mailer Days After Parkland. Has No Regrets.

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GOP Candidate Totes Assault-Style Weapon In Campaign Mailer Days After Parkland. Has No Regrets.

If anyone thinks Republicans will do anything about assault style weapons, they’re living in fantasy land. Republicans will never give up their NRA blood money.

Kathaleen Wall has no regrets for her campaign mailer days after the Parkland Mass Shooting.

Proudly standing with Donald Trump in the mailer as well.

A leading contender for a Houston-area congressional seat is offering no regrets for putting out a campaign mailer and television ads showing her carrying an assault-style weapon just days after the horrific killings in Parkland, Florida.

In the mailers, there are two pictures of Wall holding weapons on the front and back, with a statement saying: “Kathaleen Wall stands with Donald Trump: We must be vigilant to protect gun rights.”

The mailer, which was produced days before the Parkland shooting, goes on to state: “Every day we are up against those who would take away our freedoms, restrict our liberties, and even those who want to abolish the Second Amendment.”

Others have supported her, and Wall’s campaign clearly is not backing down and only reiterating her support for gun rights.

“First we are incredibly saddened at the scenes in Parkland, Florida,” said Matt Langston, a spokesman for Wall’s campaign.

“What happened there on Wednesday is both a tragedy and a frustrating reminder that Americans must unite to improve mental health outcomes, recognize and act on warning signs for those in difficulty, and engage in productive debate on how to put heinous events like this to an end,” he said.

“For Kathaleen’s part, she’s been a responsible gun owner for many decades and will remain a strong advocate for Americans Second Amendment Rights under the Constitution.”

You see how this works? She’s incredibly saddened, but instead of recognizing there’s a problem with assault style weapons being legal, she has no regrets.

Republicans will never do anything about these weapons of mass killlng. Never.

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Congress Can Act Right Now to Prevent Interference in the 2018 Elections

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Congress Can Act Right Now to Prevent Interference in the 2018 Elections

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s indictments last week of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for meddling in the 2016 US election campaign is big news. But it is even bigger news that Dan Coats, the Trump administration’s director of national intelligence, says, “There should be no doubt that Russia perceives that its past efforts have been successful and views the 2018 midterm US elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.”

“Frankly,” Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee several days before Mueller’s indictments were announced, “the United States is under attack.”

No one knows how far those efforts will go—whether they will continue to target voters via social media or whether meddling might focus on the actual machinery of elections. But, according to a highly classified intelligence report obtained last year by The Intercept, “Russian military intelligence executed a cyberattack on at least one US voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before (the 2016 presidential election).”

It’s not just the Russians. Concerns about the potential for the hacking of US voting systems have been reported for years, and now the Los Angeles Times reports that “As hackers abroad plot increasingly brazen and sophisticated assaults, the United States’ creaky polling stations and outdated voter registration technology are not up to the task of fighting them off, according to elections officials and independent experts.”

With a mix of urgency about the threats and skepticism about whether Washington or officials in the states are prepared to respond, David Salvo, a resident fellow at the Alliance for Securing Democracy, asks: “Are we going to be prepared to prevent something more egregious from happening?”

Congressman Mark Pocan, the Wisconsin Democrat who co-chairs the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has an appropriate answer. “It is abundantly clear that we need to get ahead of anyone wanting to interfere with our elections,” Pocan explained in an interview following last week’s indictments and warnings. “We need better protections for our elections, including paper ballots for our voting machines.”

Pocan and several of his colleagues are doing more than just talk about what “needs” to be done. They have prepared a legislative response that would work—if congressional leaders would allow it to be debated and enacted.

While federal officials who should be all over the issue struggle to even begin the right conversations about election-integrity issues, Pocan and Congressmen Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, and Hank Johnson, D-Georgia, have been working for the better part of a year to generate support for groundbreaking legislation that gets to the heart of the matter. Their Securing America’s Future Elections (SAFE) Act would safeguard US elections from cyber threats and interference by permanently classifying the integrity and security of elections as a component of the country’s critical infrastructure.

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