Drones and tanks have different purposes. Tanks are useful for resisting small arms fire and providing close heavy weapons support for infantry. Also killing other tanks.Wouldn't the same number of drones be better than tanks?
Are drones more expensive than a tank?
PHOENIX — Arizona Republicans shielded legislators from the state’s open-records law this week — a move that comes months after the release of thousands of documents detailing extensive efforts to undermine Joe Biden’s victory here in the 2020 presidential election.
Documents that have surfaced over the past two years include correspondence describing the inner workings of a partisan review of the 2020 election by the Cyber Ninjas, as well as emails by Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, urging lawmakers to overturn President Donald Trump’s narrow defeat in the state.
The new rules will greatly limit the public release of lawmakers’ communications. State senators will not have to disclose any text messages sent on personal devices, even when dealing with state business. For lawmakers in both the Senate and the House, emails and other documents will be destroyed after 90 days — in many cases, well before members of the public know to ask for them.
“I think it is petty, vindictive and contrary to the plain interests of transparency and government accountability in Arizona,” said David Bodney, a lawyer who has represented the Arizona Republic in open-records litigation over the 2020 election review.
Ordinarily, Arizona officials must retain most public records indefinitely and release them when someone asks for them. Seizing on a recent state Supreme Court ruling, the lawmakers on Tuesday and Wednesday adopted rules that set limited standards for when they must make documents public. Capitol Media Services first reported the rule changes.
Last month, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled it had no power to enforce the state’s open-meetings law when it came to legislators. The ruling appeared to clear the way for the legislature, narrowly led by Republicans, to set its own transparency policies, which it has promptly done.
The liberal group American Oversight used Arizona’s records law to uncover the way Republicans conducted the 2020 election review, which was overseen by Cyber Ninjas, a secretive group that had never before analyzed an election. Without those records, the public wouldn’t know as much as it does, said Heather Sawyer, American Oversight’s executive director.
“It does seem like they’re just trying to find a way to be able to operate in the dark, which is incredibly anti-democratic. It’s anti-American, quite frankly,” Sawyer said. The rule change benefits all lawmakers at the expense of ordinary voters of all political stripes, she said; Arizonans won’t be able to find out what legislators are doing behind the scenes, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans.
“It is one of the things that sets us apart from autocracies, that we require our public officials to be accountable to the people they serve,” she said.
Brendan Fischer, the deputy executive director of the group Documented, argued the rules will “further obscure the roles of far-right national groups” that seek to influence the legislature.
Members of Congress long ago exempted themselves from the federal Freedom of Information Act, so their emails, text messages and other communications generally aren’t available to the public. Many states have taken a different approach and subjected their lawmakers to records laws so the public can more fully judge the work they’re doing.
The precise rules differ by state, with records readily available in some states and difficult to get in others. Some states provide loopholes for lawmakers that aren’t available for other officials. For instance, in Wisconsin, lawmakers are not required to retain their records, allowing them to delete sensitive emails and text messages before anyone in the public asks for them.
The rule change in Arizona will restrict the public’s access to lawmakers’ correspondence under a law that dates to 1901 and is intended to bolster public access to information about how elected officials and government workers operate.
The law allows constituents, reporters, lawyers and others to request paper documents, emails, text messages, video and audio recordings, government reports and communications about publicly funded activities, no matter the device. Generally, the public has the right to review or obtain the records but sometimes must pay for them.
The move comes after Republican lawmakers, who hold one-vote majorities in each chamber, fielded requests for records from state lawmakers and Capitol aides involving efforts to either overturn the 2020 election or question the results.
Public records helped Americans better understand how some people tried to sow doubt about the validity of Biden’s victory. Lawmakers’ emails, text messages, video recordings and other information — pieced together by journalists and advocacy groups — provided an up-close look at efforts to delegitimize Biden’s win, as well as counter-efforts by Rusty Bowers, the former Arizona House speaker, to uphold the will of voters.
“I think there’s no denying that the whole Cyber Ninjas case and the other aspects of how Arizona officials handled election issues are of great public interest, so it’s hard to imagine that they’re doing anything but trying to avoid that from coming up again,” said Gregg Leslie, a law professor and the executive director of the First Amendment Clinic at Arizona State University.
Kim Quintero, a spokeswoman for Senate Republicans, on Thursday asserted that the rule change was not prompted by political fallout from the 2020 election or the resulting ballot review, which ultimately affirmed Biden’s victory.
“We believe that this is best practice,” Quintero said. “We aren’t doing anything different than what current courts and the [attorney general’s] office is doing.
“Cyber Ninjas didn’t come up in discussion when we were crafting the rules.”
Calli Jones, a spokeswoman for Senate Democrats, said the rules were “irresponsible” and unnecessary. She said they were drafted without input from Democrats, who represent nearly half of the legislature.
“Our caucus recognizes that these were undemocratic and a move to shut down opposition to Republicans,” Jones said.
Other rule changes in the House make it more difficult to overcome opposition by the speaker to bring issues to the floor. The changes also allow GOP leaders to take legal action over “any injury” to the legislature’s powers or duties, without consultation with other members, and limit floor debate over legislation.
In a floor speech this week, Andrés Cano, the House Democratic leader, said the rules, which came with little notification, limit debate on crucial issues. He said they will “rob the public” of important information about issues that affect their lives.
“How many lawsuits can we expect?” Cano said. “Will it be ‘fraudit’ and Cyber Ninjas every day? How much will that cost?
“Arizonans want a government that’s open and transparent. This is not it.”
A spokesman for House Republicans did not respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment.
Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) said she had “deep concerns” about the legislature’s new rules. “Transparency and accountability in the workings of government and the activities of our elected leaders are core to the principles of American democracy,” she wrote in an email.
Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia has had a busy week.
On Monday, she got into a Twitter spat with fellow far-right Rep. Lauren Boebert over the Colorado congresswoman's criticism of Greene's past belief in "Jewish space lasers." On Tuesday, she penned a lengthy Twitter thread on her support for Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker of the House, later following it up with an op-ed in the Daily Caller on the same topic on Wednesday.
She accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of being the US's "shadow president" and skipped his historic address at the Capitol on Wednesday, later posting an image of a Capitol rioter edited to look like the Ukrainian leader carrying a stack of dollars.
On Thursday, she finalized her divorce with her now ex-husband, Perry Greene.
And on Friday, she cast a vote against a $1.7 trillion government spending bill she dubbed the "omnimonster," which will fund the government through most of 2023, provides billions in new aid to Ukraine, and includes reforms to the Electoral Count Act.
The entire time, the Georgia congresswoman was vacationing with her kids — and her ex-husband — in Costa Rica.
"For the past 15 years, Congresswoman Greene and her family always take a trip together at Christmas time. And this year was extra important," said a spokesman from her congressional office. "All she's done is follow Nancy Pelosi's rules and she's happy she could proudly vote NO to the $1.7 trillion Omni monster."
The spokesman later added that Greene "not only did her job as Congresswoman, but she also did her most important job: being a Mom. She's spending much-needed and much-deserved quality time with her children and their father."
An anonymous tipster informed Insider on Thursday that they had been on the same flight as Greene and her family from Atlanta to the Central American nation on Sunday.
The tipster provided a photograph of Greene on the plane, and told Insider that the congresswoman, who is worth millions of dollars, was seated in first class.
Greene boarding a flight to Liberia, Costa Rica at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday, December 18. Anonymous tipster
"My parents are her constituents, and I thought it was funny how they are freezing right now in Rome, GA while she's in CR on vacation," wrote the tipster. Temperatures this week in the northwest Georgia city have averaged just over 37 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Weather Underground.
The tipster said they also saw Greene at the airport in Liberia, Guanacaste with her family at the passport check, baggage claim, and then customs.
Greene looking at her phone at baggage claim at the airport in Liberia, Costa Rica on Sunday. Anonymous tipster
Insider is not naming the resort where the congresswoman and her family are staying.
A man who answered a number associated with the resort property confirmed that Greene was staying at the property and is a client of the resort, but declined to say when she had arrived, or how long she would be staying.
But he offered to pass a message from Insider to the congressman.
"You understand, she's on vacation," the man told Insider.
Nonetheless, the congresswoman has continued to cast votes while out of the country.
She filed a letter with the Clerk of the House of Representatives on Monday stating that she was "unable to physically attend proceedings in the House Chamber due to the ongoing public health emergency," and designated Republican Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama to cast votes on her behalf.
Proxy voting is a pandemic-area procedure that was originally designed to allow members of Congress to avoid traveling to Washington, DC in order to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID. Since then, members of Congress have used it for all sorts of non-COVID reasons.
Nearly 200 other members of the House voted by proxy on Thursday and were also set to miss the omnibus vote on Friday, many of them likely leaving town early to avert travel delays caused by historic winter storms ahead of the holidays.
But Republicans, including Greene, have harshly criticized the practice, despite often using it themselves. Greene even introduced a bill in March of this year to eliminate the practice. "Now that COVID is over and we're back to normal life, Congresswoman Greene is ready to end proxy voting," Greene spokesman Nick Dyer told Insider in May.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has vowed to end proxy voting if he becomes Speaker of the House in January.
They don't see it as hypocrisy, though.There's no point in pointing out rw hypocrisy, just wasted energy on ppl who don't care either way. Nonetheless, how about some real salt-of-the-earth freeeeeee speeeeech?? Hell yeah!
All part of the process, as it still remains sadly effective. Nurturing the mindset of feudalistic peasantry well into modern age like the sociological equivalent of a lingering hot fart in a broken, locked lift.They don't see it as hypocrisy, though.
Through ideology such as that espoused by the likes of Peter Thiel, democracy is the enemy of freedom. In the same vein, scrutiny is not transparency and accountability, it's cheating and harassment. Therefore to protect freedom, democracy, transparency and accountability can be attacked and suppressed.
And yes, to us it's all just steps towards authoritarianism. But a very large chunk of the right wing does not have a problem with authoritarianism, as long as its right wing.
In the case of this couple, I feel like it's another one of those cases that makes me think there should be a time limit on how long you can simply be thrown in jail awaiting trial. 4 years into an investigation regarding the possible molestation of one girl should be more than enough. Like, they've already been in jail longer than the minimum sentence for what they've been accused of, and given there's nothing suggesting it won't continue to be delayed there's a real chance if convicted they'll end up getting time served, whatever that time happens to be.Porn stars in general just don't have good mental health. Maybe because of that, they're easier to get naked, or maybe the porn industry preys on easily manipulated people. I remember reading the ex-pornstar Piper Perri got into porn to pay for legal fees for a lawyer after her ex-boyfriend murdered their child. Just really fucked up shit.
Yeah, the right tend to declare all gays pedos simply by being gay, while the left has a bad habit of opposing that so hard that some of them act as though being gay means you cannot be a pedo instead of it being a separate trait.And they happen to be gay too, so que the "gays = pedos" people again.
It was close enough despite her campaign that you could readily blame it on virtually anything and be able to make a good case. Fuck, she wrote an entire book that was basically about how everyone and everything else but her and how she ran her campaign was the problem. And I say that as one of those people who likes to point out that she won the national popular vote by fewer people than she won California by (as in across the other 49 states, more people voted for Trump).Literally 2023 and people are still willing to blame a Congressman's dick pic for Hillary's 2016 loss, rather than the literally everything her own campaign did wrong to cost herself the election against a handpicked opponent who happened to be Donald J. Trump.
Literally anything that can reduce turnout impacts Dems more. Because the GOP has over the decades instilled party loyalty and voting as a civic duty into their voters as core values. So any impediment to voting, no matter how small tends to impact Dems more, as some Dems will treat it as a reson not to vote, while their GOP counterparts will see it as a minor hurdle to jump.That, at least, is an actual phenomenon with scientific data recorded over the course of years' worth of election cycles. And entirely plausible, given that it did in fact rain in key swing state precincts on 2016's election day. Of course, it doesn't have the pizzazz as blaming Rooskie double secret double agents and piss-soaked mattresses, so you know, whatever.
Now I'm curious, what stupid-ass thing did he say?The Quartering got banned from Twitter and is now turning on his 'free speech' friends for betraying him
More people are beaten to death bare handed in the US each year than are killed with rifles. All rifles, not just rifles that are "assault weapons" by whatever standard is set by the most recently proposed bill. As far as firearms and killings go, it's mostly handguns and also mostly tied to other crime.With a lesser capability, even if violence is employed, I suspect most people would prefer a broken jaw to a bullet through the skull.
As a type I diabetic, let me tell you I'm fond of aspartame. And sucralose, and acesulfame potassium and stevioside (I used to buy dried stevia from the herb section of a local shop that catered to neopagans back when it was classed as a legal herbal supplement so long as you didn't mention it had a flavor (if you mentioned it was sweet-tasting it magically became an unsafe food additive).Lead is quite sweet-tasting, and Americans are scared of aspartame.
It's mostly just a joke about how controversial sweeteners seem to be in America vs the rest of the world (that is, they would rather sweeten with lead), on account of how powerful the Corn Syrup Lobby seems to be. I've said before how strange I found it being in America and how uncommon the low/no-sugar drinks were compared to the full-sugar (original) versions - it's the other way round here.As a type I diabetic, let me tell you I'm fond of aspartame. And sucralose, and acesulfame potassium and stevioside (I used to buy dried stevia from the herb section of a local shop that catered to neopagans back when it was classed as a legal herbal supplement so long as you didn't mention it had a flavor (if you mentioned it was sweet-tasting it magically became an unsafe food additive).
I still hate LMR (and their business needs to die pronto), but I hate Tucker even more. This fucker has no right talking about "thought control", when it's all and he and the other cronies at Fox News ever do.Oi @BrawlMan, remember that Limited Run Games employee that got fired you mentioned in the Velma thread?
She went on fucking Tucker
There was a non zero change that after the interview, Tucker invited her back stage to watch him fuck bowls of M&Ms.
Things Mar-JewishSpaceLasers Green and Lauren "my cousin is my dad" Boebert and Crowder taking on The Daily Wire are really showcasing a very important fact. You can not form an army out of selfish fucking ghouls who are only in it to enrich themselves. For years conservatives kept winning because they were genuinely right wing theocrats who wanted to force us all to live under their religion. That's what mattered to them along with controlling us through capitalism. Whereas the left frequently failed to put aside our differences to fight for our commonalities. But now they don't have any ideology beyond get rich and piss off the libs. And the trad cons are pulling their hair out trying to fight the gremlins of modern day conservatism. It's really fun to watch.Snip
These Right Wing Conservatives are living in the hellhole they created, but are either too stupid or egotistical to realize it. They truly care for no one but themselves. Selfish than John Carpenter's The Thing.Things Mar-JewishSpaceLasers Green and Lauren "my cousin is my dad" Boebert and Crowder taking on The Daily Wire are really showcasing a very important fact. You can not form an army out of selfish fucking ghouls who are only in it to enrich themselves. For years conservatives kept winning because they were genuinely right wing theocrats who wanted to force us all to live under their religion. That's what mattered to them along with controlling us through capitalism. Whereas the left frequently failed to put aside our differences to fight for our commonalities. But now they don't have any ideology beyond get rich and piss off the libs. And the trad cons are pulling their hair out trying to fight the gremlins of modern day conservatism. It's really fun to watch.
You either die a COVID truther, or live long enough to be accused of being CIA.When the pandemic began and a mass of COVID-“skeptical” self-proclaimed experts began appearing on the scene, they had a shared set of goals. Together, they opposed vaccine mandates, fearmongered about the vaccines themselves, promoted unproven or discredited treatments, and, in general, created a tidy little self-sustaining alternate universe. Their mutual support was important: They constantly praised one another as brave, heterodox experts, appeared on each other’s podcasts, hyped each other’s work on Twitter, and linked to each other’s Substacks. Now, though, the cracks are beginning to show, the beefs are increasingly public, and lawsuits are being filed. The COVID truther movement has discovered the true enemy and it is, predictably, within.
The most public and sprawling set of beefs centers around Dr. Robert W. Malone, who claims to have invented mRNA technology and rose to prominence by asserting that mRNA vaccines were unsafe and the process used to roll them out was rushed. (While Malone made important contributions to the development of mRNA, no one else involved agrees that he “invented” that technology singlehandedly; like most scientific advancements, it was the work of many.) Malone has appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show to promote his various talking points and also, of course, on Joe Rogan’s show, where he claimed that people getting vaccinated were suffering from “mass formation psychosis,” a briefly trendy claim in the anti-vax world.
Malone has also managed to develop a truly impressive number of feuds with other COVID truthers, which are becoming more acrid by the hour. In October 2022, he filed a defamation lawsuit in federal court in Virginia against a number of other COVID contrarians. They were Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatrist who wrote a book alleging that the pandemic was engineered by “global predators” for their own sinister purposes; Ginger Ross Breggin, an author and Dr. Breggin’s wife; Dr. Jane Ruby, a vaccine “skeptic” who is omnipresent on alternative social media sites like Gab and places like the Reawaken America tour; and America Out Loud, an online talk radio website that platforms these folks and others exactly like them. Malone also sued Red Voice Media, which publishes the Stew Peters Show, where Jane Ruby is a frequent guest.
Peters is a talking head and yet another COVID truther, who has stirred frequent controversy even among other truthers with his documentaries Watch the Water and Died Suddenly, both of which advanced complicated and extremely not-true conspiracy theories about the pandemic, vaccines, and whether the whole thing is connected to snake venom.
As the Daily Beast reported back in October, Ruby and Peters have previously suggested that Malone is linked to the CIA. Malone denied this to the Beast, telling the outlet: “I have been sustaining just continuous attacks from the conspiracy theorists. Stew is just one of them.” (Red Voice Media didn’t respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.)
News of the lawsuit was first shared on Twitter by Mallory Harris, a PhD student at Stanford who studies misinformation. In the suit, Malone accused the defendants of making any number of exotic claims about him, namely that he is “controlled opposition” and working with sinister globalist forces to do something or other.
“The Statements are materially false,” Malone’s complain reads. It continues, colorfully and at length:
While this is all a bit too silly to get into at length, the gist is that Malone alleges that Stew Peters called him a “mass murderer” due to his involvement in developing mRNA technologies, and that the other defendants misrepresented various statements he’s made.Dr. Malone is not controlled opposition. He does not work for and has no connection to the CIA/DOD or the intelligence community. He is not an operative of any government or organization. He has never orchestrated a “psyop”. Dr. Malone does not and never has supported totalitarian global predators who have been committing mass murder under the guise of COVID-19. He is not dangerous. He is not a supporter of any apologist for political mass murderers. He is not a Hitler apologist and/or a Hitler “excuser”. Dr. Malone has not ever engaged in fraud and is not engaged in deliberate fraud to blind anyone to any “predators”. He is not a “protector” of any “predators”. He does not and never has promoted baseless scientific theories.
“Defendants juxtaposed a series of facts so as to imply a defamatory connection between them, including that Dr. Malone had ulterior motives and that he apologized for predators and Hitler,” the complaint reads. “In addition, Defendants left out material facts, including the scientific basis of Dr. Malone’s statements and his true affiliations, in a way that intentionally conveyed a false meaning and that rendered the challenged Statements defamatory.”
In a fundraiser they’ve launched to respond to the suit, the Breggins deny defaming Malone, and question why he’s requesting $25 million in damages.
“The effect of what he is doing should be obvious,” they write. “It threatens us with financial ruin and ties up our energies. Does he want to make us too afraid and too exhausted to criticize his public policy theories and his numerous highly destructive attacks on leaders of the health freedom movement?”
This particular attack — whatever its motives— may not get very far. According to court records, the suit is at risk of being dismissed because Malone and his attorney have not served a summons on any of the named defendants. According to a filing from a court clerk, the suit will be thrown out without prejudice on January 30th if they aren’t served. Meanwhile, though, Malone and the Breggins have all continued the beef on Substack; the Breggins are claiming that Malone is pursuing them legally to silence their critics, and have darkly claimed he’s doing the same to other people as well. “We do not know how many other people have been intimidated into silence,” Ginger Breggin wrote. “But we know it is happening to others. If but a few begin to go public, the power of his unfounded legal threats will evaporate. He will have to stand toe to toe in public debate.” (Malone, the Breggins, Jane Ruby and Stew Peters all did not respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.)
All of this beefing has drawn the attention of Dr. Paul Alexander, a Canadian health researcher turned vaccine “skeptic” who was briefly appointed as a science advisor in the Department of Health and Human Services under Trump. (He is best known for promoting a herd immunity strategy for COVID, recommending that non-high-risk people “open up and flood the zone” and all get infected at once.) Alexander is now, like most of the rest of these characters, a Substack guy; he wrote a florid post calling Malone a “grifter fraud,” adding, “Malone has been firing off lawyer letters to McCullough and everyone he could, anyone he could bully, and his groupies, so he attacked now, so welcome Robert, to my world, lets dance! you fraud!” Alexander also claimed in the same post that Malone was “attacking” Dr. Peter McCullough, yet another name in the fringe COVID “medical expert” world. It’s not precisely clear what’s going on there, but Malone claimed in a tweet that McCullough has blocked him on Twitter and “will not talk to me.” (McCullough also did not respond to a request for comment from Motherboard.)
And finally—for now, anyway—Malone is also beefing with ex-journalist turned full-time COVID troll Alex Berenson; Malone has said no one should take Berenson seriously, while Berenson has dismissed Malone and others as “apocalyptic screamers” peddling “Book of Revelations” fantasies about vaccines while he alone tells the truth.
Meanwhile, as if this impressive display of dysfunction were not enough, Berenson is also in turn feuding with Steve Kirsch, a tech millionaire who’s been dubbed a “misinformation superspreader.” Berenson criticized Kirsch for claiming that NFL player Damar Hamlin was likely “brain dead” and called on him to apologize. (Kirsch has not yet responded, perhaps because he is, at the moment, too busy vowing to sue the FDA and the CDC for not reading his emails.)
This is, of course, not the first time that extremely spicy and very stupid internecine feuds have overtaken the truthers. Most recently, some of its other players were arguing about Died Suddenly, the viral and powerfully under-researched anti-vax documentary made by Stew Peters. Elsewhere, America’s Frontline Doctors founder Simone Gold continues to be sued by the organization; its current director has claimed she’s trying to illegally wrest back control.
In all, this is an impressive number of blowups, meltdowns, blood feuds and Substack screeds. And it creates an especially potent degree of awkwardness since Malone, Alexander, and McCullough all sit on the board of a purported health freedom organization named The Unity Project.
Ah, so that might require a bit of internet historyNow I'm curious, what stupid-ass thing did he say?
SO MUCH FREE SPEECH!!Party of small government wants to send you to prison for a decade for making fart jokes in front of children, the primary audience for fart jokes
Political theatre. It won't pass.Party of small government wants to send you to prison for a decade for making fart jokes in front of children, the primary audience for fart jokes
Didn't people say something similar about Roe v. Wade being struck down? I don't trust Republicans with anything anymore, because I know what they want- utter domination.Political theatre. It won't pass.
Yeah, and then maybe the odds of it passing are one in a thousand, and they'll try passing three thousand pointlessly draconian laws.Didn't people say something similar about Roe v. Wade being struck down? I don't trust Republicans with anything anymore, because I know what they want- utter domination.
Canning RvW did not remove people's ability to get an abortion per se, it just meant it was possible for states to legislate to strip away abortion rights. As the anti-abortion camp have found out from some notable setbacks, it turns out that whilst plenty of people appear to have objected to RvW's judicial diktat, they didn't actually want abortion canned, and much proposed anti-abortion legislation has been watered down or scrapped.Didn't people say something similar about Roe v. Wade being struck down? I don't trust Republicans with anything anymore, because I know what they want- utter domination.
Party of small government wants
Whether such a law passes or not, it still completely shatters the party's ideological pretenses. Any "cancel culture" whining, any "big state" rambling, can be answered with such very concrete examples which lay bare its hypocrisy. It completely unmasks the actual model of society they're after, and should be reminded over and over and over.SO MUCH FREE SPEECH!!