First up a satirical opinion piece. I made the mistake of sharing it with someone who was not amused, and boy, did I get an earful. Or since it was an email, I guess it was an eyeful. Whatever. Otherwise, once again, most of today’s items were culled from JoeMyGod’s web site.
If you think Republicans are still members of the law-and-order party, you haven’t been paying close attention lately. Since the rise of Donald Trump, the Republican definition of a crime has veered sharply from the law books and become extremely selective. For readers confused about the party’s new positions on law and order, here’s a guide to what today’s Republicans consider a crime, and what they do not.
Not a crime: Federal crimes.
All federal crimes are charged and prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Now that Republicans believe the department has been weaponized into a Democratic Party strike force, particularly against Mr. Trump, its prosecutions can no longer be trusted. “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society,” Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida recently tweeted.
The F.B.I., which investigates many federal crimes, has also become corrupted by the same political forces. “The F.B.I. has become a political weapon for the ruling elite rather than an impartial, law-enforcement agency,” said Kevin D. Roberts, the president of the right-wing Heritage Foundation.
Next item looks like it ought to be satire, but sadly, no.
South Dakota state Rep. Joe Donnell (R) said on a radio show that Mount Rushmore was a demonic portal spreading communism across the country.
Said Donnell: “Even Donald Trump’s landing in the Black Hills at Mount Rushmore on July 4, when the governor Kristi Noem put the message out that fireworks are returning to South Dakota, that was a prophetic word.”
He added: “And I kinda got the feeling that what we’re really dealing with in that portal was communism. That witchcraft altar and those things that are happening in the Black Hills; what we’re really dealing with is communism; it’s the ideology and all the demonic entities and spirits behind that.”
Sen. Tommy Tuberville used a tweet to call attention to more than a billion dollars in federal aid to expand broadband access across Alabama. But he didn’t vote for the 2021 legislation that made it possible.
Alabama is set to receive $1.4 billion from the federal infrastructure law to expand broadband access in the state as part of the Biden administration’s $40 billion plan to increase Internet access across the country.
The announcement was made by Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, who was the only Alabama representative to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by President Biden.
The law that created mail voting in Pennsylvania has withstood another Republican legal challenge.
The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court on Tuesday rejected GOP arguments that recent court decisions in the ongoing legal battle over whether to count ballots with missing or incorrect dates triggered a provision that would render the broader statute, known as Act 77, invalid.
Act 77 includes a clause that says the mail voting law must be scrapped if any of its individual requirements are struck down by courts. Fourteen current and former Republican state lawmakers had contended that recent rulings calling for the counting of undated ballots had effectively invalidated the law’s requirement that voters handwrite a date on their ballot’s outer envelope and thus rendered the entire mail voting law void.
But in its unanimous opinion Tuesday, the Commonwealth Court disagreed.
A routine press conference on a federal grant for Charleston’s bus system put Republican U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace on the defensive after Democrats pounced on the fact she actually voted against the bill that made it happen. While Mace voted against the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, even calling it a “fiasco” and “socialist wish list,” she appeared at the June 28 press event in support of the local effort.
The law brought a nearly $26 million grant for a regional transit hub and will help the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority transition to a fully electric bus fleet by 2040. In a statement issued by her office at the time, Mace balked at the price tag, took issue the number of new taxes in the bill and claimed the legislation did too little to directly address infrastructure needs like roads and bridges.
Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for his role in the largest corruption scandal in state history. Householder had pleaded for mercy ahead of the sentencing — not on behalf of himself, but his wife of 40 years, sons and friends. The 64-year-old Republican appeared before U.S. District Judge Timothy Black, who meted out the punishment.
Jurors found that Householder orchestrated and lobbyist Matt Borges participated in a $60 million bribery scheme secretly funded by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. to secure Householder’s power, elect his allies, pass legislation containing a $1 billion bailout for two aging nuclear power plants owned by a FirstEnergy affiliate and then to use a dirty tricks campaign to stifle a ballot effort to overturn the bill.
Ohio lobbyist Matt Borges was sentenced Friday to five years in prison and three years of probation for his part in the largest corruption scandal in Ohio history, a sentence the former Ohio Republican Party chair vowed to appeal. The punishment by U.S. District Judge Timothy Black came just a day after former Republican Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, who was convicted of racketeering alongside Borges earlier this year, was sentenced to 20 years. Householder also plans to fight his sentence.
Following sentencing, Borges was immediately taken into custody and escorted from the courtroom in handcuffs. A jury found the pair guilty in March, determining that Householder orchestrated and Borges participated in a $60 million bribery scheme secretly funded by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. to secure Householder’s power, elect his allies and pass and defend a $1 billion nuclear plant bailout.