Attempted Coup in the United States: Tracking Investigations and Fallout

dang.
beat me to it! was just looking for the right thread to post this in. maybe good encouraging stuff?

ETA link
2nd edit: typos! ugh!

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Wait, how is this “completely partisan lines”?

The vote passed by a margin of 230-199, with 11 Republican members siding with the Democratic majority. No Democrats voted against the resolution.

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Weird, I saw a C-span vote count showing 0 Republicans voting in favor.

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ETA: This is for House Res 91, which was to consider whether or not to vote on Res 92, which was the resolution to remove Greene from her committee assignments.

So those 11 GOP “rebels” first voted to not have to go on the record at all… shocked not shocked. Our poor republic.

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Okay, that explains it: having your cake and eating it and journalists playing along.

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I’ve been uncomfortable with the “Conspiracy Theory” line for a long time. This really encapsulates and organizes the sources of my discomfort:

MEMBERS-ONLY ARTICLE

QAnon is Not a ‘Conspiracy Theory’

By Josh Marshall | February 5, 2021 11:23 a.m.

As the QAnon phenomenon becomes more central to critical political and public safety questions, I realize we need a new vocabulary to describe this and similar phenomena. Q is not a “conspiracy theory”. The faked moon landing was a conspiracy theory. Perhaps birtherism was a conspiracy theory, though one with similarities to QAnon because of its strong ideological valence. But Q is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a fascistic political movement which predicts and advocates mass violence against liberals (and everyone else outside its definition of true Americans) in an imminent apocalyptic political reckoning. What we call the ‘conspiracy theories’ are simply the storylines and claims that justify that outcome. They could easily be replaced by others which serve the same purpose.

Expand Full Article

In other words – and this is still a very basic confusion – the Q phenomenon is not a factual misunderstanding that more credible news sources or prevalent fact-check columns would deflate and tame. You can even see this play out in real time in what we might call Q ‘man on the street’ interviews in which a reporter dissects or debunks some claim the Q supporter believes. The response is invariably something like, “Well, there are a bunch of other bad things I heard they did.”

Some Q supporters clearly believe some of the movement fables. You can see this in the late 2016 story of the man who stormed the Pizza shop in DC which was a focal point of pedophilia claims in the PizzaGate conspiracy theory, which was a precursor to Q. (Most PizzaGate fables were later incorporated into Qanon.) Edgar M. Welch, the would-be mass shooter and rescuer of abused children, was clearly quite surprised to find that Comet Ping Pong was in fact just a good pizza joint, with no abused children, no dungeons, no secret headquarters of John Podesta.

But Welch, I think, is the exception. Just as the ‘conspiracy theory’ language is inadequate and misleading we need a better way of understanding belief, particularly belief as a form of aggression. I don’t think most QAnon believers actually ‘believe’ that Hillary Clinton runs a pedophilia ring, at least not in the sense that you and I think of the word. Most of us in politics and in journalism have a rather classical and mechanistic understanding of cognition and belief. We use our mental faculties to ascertain what is true and then we believe those things that appear to be true. Or we take the word of trusted sources and believe those things. We may believe things which are not true either because we’ve been mislead or because our pre-existing biases distort our understanding of what is true. For this, good fact-check columns can help. When we say things we know are not true that’s lying. We know that’s not right. But sometimes we do it anyway.

This is a very inadequate way of understanding the Q phenomenon and much else in contemporary politics and culture.

I say you’re a pedophile not because I think you’re actually a pedophile but because it is an attack. Because it hurts you. In online and message board culture there are legions of users constantly attacking anyone they disagree with or don’t like as pedophiles or other horrid accusations. Presumably these people aren’t acting on some mistaken information that the people (the identities of whom they usually don’t even know) they’re attacking have sexually abused children. It’s not a misunderstanding. It’s a form of aggression. Things like the Q phenomenon are just this aggression writ large. I say you’re a pedophile because it is itself an act of aggression but also because it dehumanizes you. It’s a storyline that makes hurting you or killing you make more sense and be more exciting.

Not surprisingly given his role in these movements, Donald Trump is a good illustration of how to think about belief in this context. We know that Trump is a scurrilous, pathological liar. But as I’ve written, Trump doesn’t believe or not believe as you or I likely do. In fact, if you could sit Trump down sedated or under some kind of truth serum and ask why he was lying about some particular claim I think he would find the question almost bewildering. Someone like Trump finds what would be helpful to his needs or claims or interest in the particular moment and then says those things. And I think he even kind of believes them because they help him. What you say and ‘believe’ isn’t tethered to what’s true in quite the same way. You might as well ask a novelist why she writes things that aren’t true. She’d be equally befuddled by the question.

If you’ve worked in business a certain kind of salesman is like this. You size up the customer, find out what they want, what they feel they need and then tell them a story to make the sale. Is it lying? Well, not to them. Not exactly. It’s selling. Again, you don’t ask a playwright why he writes stories that aren’t true. Needless to say Donald Trump is that kind of salesman. How is it Donald Trump always seems to rapidly believe whatever is helpful to him in the given moment? Or later say exactly the opposite when that’s helpful? There’s rampant voter fraud. Bill Clinton is the worst sexual predator in human history and is definitely awful even as Trump himself casually harasses, importunes, assaults, rapes and more? Since they help you you do sort of come to believe them because why not?

Any sports fan comes to believe that their team is absolutely the best and the rival team is definitely the worst, with all manner of chants, regalia and affirmations even though they know – from another perspective – that all of this is in fact absurd. To Trump it really would be like asking a novelist why they keep making up stories that aren’t true. The reaction is incomprehension. The point here is not to defend Trump who is malevolent predator and degenerate liar. It is to explain that his calculus of truth, belief and advantage are quite different than what most of us are likely familiar with.

Just how QAnon and comparable movements work is something I’m still working to get my head around. (These two articles are the analyses that interest me most – here and here.) But calling them conspiracy theories is not only wrong in concept it seriously misleads us about what they are and how to combat them. Qanon is a violent terroristic political movement with strong fascistic facets the upshot of which, in every storyline, is a final violent reckoning in which Trump’s political enemies are rounded up and murdered. That’s what it’s about. The fables are just getting people primed and ready for that moment.

Just how QAnon and comparable movements work is something I’m still working to get my head around. (These two articles are the analyses that interest me most – here and here.) But calling them conspiracy theories is not only wrong in concept it seriously misleads us about what they are and how to combat them. Qanon is a violent terroristic political movement with strong fascistic facets the upshot of which, in every storyline, is a final violent reckoning in which Trump’s political enemies are rounded up and murdered. That’s what it’s about. The fables are just getting people primed and ready for that moment.

(I post a lot of these members-only articles: I hope I’m inspiring someone else to consider becoming a member.)

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Eschaton

Friday, February 05, 2021

Tortured Lou Dobbs

The end.

Fox News has canceled “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” the program hosted by television’s staunchest supporter of Donald Trump and of his assertions of voter fraud in the 2020 election, the Times has learned.

Atrios at 18:16

The cancellation comes a day after voting software company Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox News and three of its hosts — Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro. The company claims the hosts perpetuated lies and disinformation about Smartmatic’s role in the election, damaging its business and reputation.

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This makes me soooo fucking happy.

Hahahaha!

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https://www.justice.gov/opa/case-multi-defendant/file/1364896/download

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A long-ish read, but worth the time.

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OK, felonies are coming out:

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The base crime (trespass) is a felony. more interesting charges are assault, conspiracy, murder, insurrection, sedition,

https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/capitol-breach-cases?combine=&order=changed&sort=desc

Your guy did steal a coat rack.

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Atrios

I’m no Bob Loblaw, but in running a very fine blog for all these years it’s been sensible for me to acquaint myself with the contours of defamation/libel law. Don’t want to get sued out of existence!

For better or for worse there are various hurdles to making a case in this area, and certainly to making a case that will get you a big payout. Being able to show quantifiable economic damages, not just asserting “someone said a mean untrue thing about me,” makes that easier!

Destroying up until that point lucrative voting machine businesses by making their reputations toxic to the governments that hand out those contracts… about as clear and quantifiable as you can get!

Suck it, Loud Obbs.

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more evidence of antifa i guess. they’ve been attending his rallies for years undercover. in fact there are no trump supporters. there aren’t even any republicans. it’s all a long con. /s

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Cartoon Strip of the Day

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The committee also falsely claimed in its resolution that the Capitol insurrection was “instigated by Antifa and BLM radicals,” and declared that Trump had not called for violence during the rally before the Capitol was stormed, the Casper Star-Tribune said.

Can we pause and remember that Liz Cheney is mostly famous for sociopathic behavior befitting her ancestry? And now she is the narrow toehold of sanity and responsibility that the Republican Party is rapidly slipping away from.

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Interesting.

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This gentleman seems quite the piece of work.

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