No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites
House Votes to Eject Marjorie Taylor Greene From Committees
The House on Thursday took the extraordinary step of ousting a lawmaker from two congressional committees, exiling Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for endorsing the executions of Democrats and spreading dangerous and bigoted misinformation even as her fellow Republicans rallied around her.

In a move without precedent in the modern Congress, the House voted 230 to 199— over near-unanimous Republican opposition — to remove Ms. Greene from the Education and Budget Committees.

The move effectively stripped Ms. Greene of her influence in Congress by banishing her from committees critical to advancing legislation and conducting oversight. Party leaders traditionally control the membership of the panels, and while Democrats and Republicans have occasionally moved to punish their own members by stripping them of assignments, the majority has never in modern times moved to do so to a lawmaker in the other party.

Democrats argued that Ms. Greene’s comments — and Republican leaders’ refusal to take action against her themselves — had created an untenable situation that required the unusual action. In social media posts made before she was elected, Ms. Greene endorsed executing top Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi; suggested a number of school shootings were secretly perpetrated by government actors; and repeatedly trafficked in anti-Semitic and Islamophobic conspiracy theories.

The vote came a day after Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican leader, released a statement that condemned Ms. Greene’s past comments endorsing violent behavior and conspiracy theories — but made clear that the party did not intend to punish her. Eleven House Republicans voted to affirm the resolution.

“You would think that the Republican leadership in the Congress would have some sense of responsibility to this institution,” Ms. Pelosi said at a news conference on Thursday. “For some reason, they’ve chosen not to go down that path.”

... Her contention that she broke away from QAnon in 2018 also does not square with a series of posts she made in 2019 and other social media activity from that time, including liking a Facebook comment that endorsed shooting Ms. Pelosi in the head and suggesting in the same year that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had been replaced with a body double.

Ms. Greene’s comments are likely to assuage some in the Republican conference, but Democrats immediately indicated that they were not impressed.

“I just have to say that I did not hear an apology or denouncement for the claim, the insinuation that political opponents should be violently dealt with,” said Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the Rules Committee. “I didn’t hear anybody apologize or retract the anti-Semitic and Islamophobic remarks that have been made, that have been posted, over and over again.”
Read the full article:

Fox News Is Sued by Election Technology Company for Over $2.7 Billion
Smartmatic accused Rupert Murdoch’s network of promoting a false narrative about the 2020 election that damaged the company.

In the latest volley in the battle over disinformation in the presidential election, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corporation has been sued by an obscure tech company that has accused his cable networks of defamation and contributing to the fervor that led to the siege of the Capitol.

The suit pits Smartmatic, which provided election technology in one county, against Donald J. Trump’s longtime favorite news outlet and three Fox anchors, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs and Jeanine Pirro, all ardent supporters of the former president. A trial could reveal how Mr. Trump’s media backers sought to cast doubt on an election that delivered a victory to Joseph R. Biden Jr. and a loss to an incumbent who refused to accept reality.

Filed in New York State Supreme Court, Smartmatic’s suit seeks at least $2.7 billion in damages. In addition to Mr. Murdoch’s Fox Corporation, Fox News and the three star anchors, it targets Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sidney Powell, lawyers who made the case for election fraud as frequent guests on Fox programs while representing President Trump.

In its 276-page complaint, Smartmatic, which has requested a jury trial, argues that Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell “created a story about Smartmatic” and that “Fox joined the conspiracy to defame and disparage Smartmatic and its election technology and software.”

“The story turned neighbor against neighbor,” the complaint continues. “The story led a mob to attack the U.S. Capitol.”

... In its frontal attack on Mr. Murdoch’s company, Smartmatic argues that Fox cast it as a villain in a fictitious narrative meant to help win back viewers from Newsmax and OANN. Those two networks saw ratings surges in the weeks after the election, thanks to their embrace of the fiction that Mr. Biden was not the rightful victor. The Smartmatic suit also argues that Mr. Giuliani and Ms. Powell sought to enrich themselves and improve their standing with Mr. Trump’s supporters by making claims that were damaging to the company.

After Smartmatic sent a letter to Fox requesting a retraction for what it called “false and misleading statements” about the company and threatening legal action, each of the shows led by the three Fox anchors aired a segment in which an election expert, Eddie Perez, debunked a number of false claims about Smartmatic. The prerecorded segment, broadcast in December, showed Mr. Perez responding to questions from an off-camera voice. In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Perez said that the finished product “almost looked like a deposition.”

Smartmatic’s complaint described not only the reputational and financial damage the company said it had suffered, but also the harm done to the United States by the claims promoted by Mr. Trump’s allies and the Murdoch-controlled networks he had long favored.
Read the full article:

Republicans are fighting for the 'soul' of the party as they reckon with Trump's remaining influence and the rising profile of Marjorie Taylor Greene
  • Republicans are battling for the "soul" of the GOP while at an ideological crossroads.
  • Many conservatives remain deferential to Trump, while others are trying to move ahead.
  • Cheney faced backlash for voting to impeach Trump, while conspiracy theorist Greene was applauded.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has untethered himself from Trump. The pair worked together to install hundreds of conservative judges to the federal bench, but McConnell now reportedly never wants to speak with the former president again.

Then there are the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for "incitement of insurrection" for his role in the Capitol riots. That group included Republican Caucus Chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, who has been vocal about condemning the former president.

On February 3, Cheney survived a caucus vote to retain her leadership position for the impeachment vote, while in the same meeting, Greene was given a standing ovation by roughly half of the GOP caucus.

Kinzinger, who said last week that Greene is "not a Republican," told Insider's Anthony L. Fisher that members will have to steer the party back to its core conservatism.

"We have to fight like hell to restore the soul of [the Republican Party] and I'm willing to go down doing that because I think when history looks back at this moment, it's not going to be the people that voted to not certify the election that'll be written about in history books," he said.

Members on the other side of the Republican equation, however, have a vastly different vision for the party.

... Many GOP members are also thinking about 2024 in the event that Trump decides to run for president again and are loath to aggravate conservative voters who continue to believe that Trump won the 2020 presidential election.

Members like McConnell, Kinzinger, and Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah want to steer the party back to its traditional conservative disposition, but McCarthy and Gaetz's in-your-face brand of conservatism is where many members feel the "soul" of the party should belong.

While Biden is aiming to bridge the political divides throughout the country, the GOP will have to confront their own deep fissures or Trump will continue to dominate the party.
Read the full article:

'Who cares!' Trump brags about roles in 'Home Alone 2' and 'Zoolander' in bitter actors' union resignation letter
He still can't tweet, but the former president was quick to dash off a sharp resignation letter to a union representing actors, broadcasters and performing artists, after the group threatened to remove him.

Trump on Thursday penned the snippy note to say he was quitting SAG-AFTRA after the union took steps to potentially revoke his membership for his incitement of the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

"Who cares!" Trump wrote to SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, who publicly released the missive soon after getting it.

"While I'm not familiar with your work, I'm very proud of my work on movies such as Home Alone 2, Zoolander and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps; and television shows including The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Saturday Night Live, and of course, one of the most successful shows in television history, The Apprentice – to name just a few!" Trump wrote.

Trump, who until Jan. 20 was the president of the United States, then bragged that "I've also greatly helped the cable news television business (said to be a dying platform with not much time left until I got involved in politics), and created thousands of jobs at networks such as MSDNC and Fake News CNN, among many others."

Trump's letter intentionally misspelled the left-leaning MSNBC to link it to the Democratic National Committee.

Carteris, a former star of "Beverly Hills 90210," last month initiated charges against Trump with the union's national board, which found probable cause that he had violated the organization's constitution.

Carteris accused Trump of sparking the Capitol riot and of sustaining a misinformation campaign that both discredited and threatened the safety of journalists, "many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members," the group noted in a statement.

Trump faced possible penalties ranging from reprimand to expulsion if found guilty by the union's Disciplinary Committee.

That is a small punishment compared to the potential lifetime ban Trump faces from federal office — including the presidency — at his upcoming second impeachment trial in the Senate.

... In his huffy letter to Carteris, Trump called the union's action against him "your blatant attempt at free media attention to distract from your dismal record as a union."

"Your organization has done little for its members, and nothing for me – besides collecting dues and promoting dangerous un-American policies and ideas –as evident by your massive unemployment rates and lawsuits from celebrated actors, who even recorded a video asking, 'Why isn't the union fighting for me?'" Trump wrote.

"These, however, are policy failures. Your disciplinary failures are even more egregious," he added.

"I no longer wish to be associated with your union. As such, this letter is to inform you of my immediate resignation from SAG-AFTRA. You have done nothing for me."

After getting his letter, SAG-AFTRA had a two-word reply to Trump.

"Thank you," the group wrote.

Trump's letter is one of his lengthiest statements in weeks.
Read the full article:

Republicans say Marjorie Taylor Greene has 'denounced' QAnon, but she defended the conspiracy theory a month after being elected
  • House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene had privately "denounced" QAnon.
  • Greene falsely said on Thursday that she never discussed QAnon while running for Congress or since being elected.
  • On Dec. 4, Greene tweeted a Gab post defending QAnon and its adherents.
"They're going to judge her on things that were said, that she has now denounced, before she was ever a member of Congress," McCarthy told reporters on Wednesday night, referring to Democrats' efforts to strip Greene of her House committee assignments. "Nothing that she said has been ... since she's been a member of Congress." But on December 4, a month after being elected to Congress, Greene shared a blog post by Gab CEO Andrew Torba defending QAnon. In a since-deleted tweet, she called Torba's defense "the first accurate article about people following Q."

"I can't say I've ever seen any 'conspiracy theories' from the QAnon community," Torba wrote in the piece. "In fact, I've seen a refreshing and objective flow of information being surfaced by a decentralized community of millions of people who are researching and reporting on news that so-called 'journalists' refuse to cover."

Greene tweeted, "the Mediacrats smear innocent Americans with conspiracy lies if they don't believe the 'news.'" And she suggested that QAnon followers are "people who refuse to bow to lies."

... She concluded her remarks by arguing that the media is "just as guilty as QAnon" for "presenting truth and lies to divide us."

In a 2017 video, Greene called QAnon "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out."

In October, Greene criticized the House resolution condemning QAnon and used air quotes when using the term conspiracy theory to describe it. The then-congressional candidate argued that the House should have also passed a resolution condemning Black Lives Matter and antifa.
Read the full article:

Republicans need the Marjorie Taylor Greene wing of the party, and she knows it
  • Republicans had their chance to bench conspiracy theory-spouting Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene.
  • But they didn't because while QAnon is fading away, conspiracy theorists are now part of the GOP base.
  • The House voted to strip Greene of committee assignments, but her apology-free speech proved she knows she's untouchable in the GOP.
Greene, a day after Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy declined to preemptively boot her from assignments on two committees, gave a defiant address on the House floor prior to a vote on whether to advance another vote to force her off of those assignments. Greene claimed to have "moved on" from her support of vile anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, demonstrable Islamophobia, violent political rhetoric, 9/11 and school shooting trutherism, and of course — QAnon.

But she didn't apologize for a thing.

Instead, she played the culture war hits, railing against "big tech censorship," "illegal aliens," and comparing the mainstream media to the QAnon cult.

It was a spectacle, watching a member of Congress say that "9/11 happened" and "school shootings happen," before quickly pivoting to calling abortion murder.

... Republicans removing the Georgia freshman wouldn't have been a surrender, it would have been responsible.

... Now there's no turning back. Greene is the GOP, and the GOP is Greene.

... So while Greene can play the "Who me?" charade regarding her extensive history of swimming in the Alex Jones-wing of the internet, she knows she's untouchable within the party itself.

Trump might be gone, but the culture warrior conspiracy theorists carry on his legacy in Congress. And Republicans still dare not cross them.
Read the full article:

Trump is plotting a campaign revenge tour targeting GOP defectors after Senate impeachment trial
  • Donald Trump is plotting a comeback revenge tour targeting GOP defectors after his Senate impeachment trial.
  • Trump is talking with aides about a road trip to campaign against Republicans who supported his removal.
  • "I'm sure he wants to get out a roulette wheel with all their faces on it," said a Republican close to Trump.
A Donald Trump comeback tour is in the works once he's beyond a second Senate impeachment trial, Insider has learned.

That's the strategy emerging out of Mar-a-Lago, the Trump-owned private club in South Florida where the former president now lives. Trump and his small post-White House team are holed up there planning out potential trips to campaign against Republicans who voted in support of his removal from office, according to 6 people close to the former president.

... The Republican electorate for now still seems to be squarely with Trump.

Roughly three quarters of Republican voters (76 percent) still believe Trump's incorrect claim that the election was stolen from him, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday. A little less than half of all voters said Trump shouldn't be convicted for his role inciting the January 6 riot.

... In the two weeks since he left office, Trump has been stewing at Mar-a-Lago, his members-only Palm Beach estate overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. He's been struggling to settle on a single clear path forward. He's also angry about not being able to blast his opponents over Twitter, according to Republicans in touch with him and his small post-presidency team.

... "Trump would do best for himself and the party by laying low for a few years," said Mike DuHaime, a longtime Republican strategist who worked for former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political campaigns.

DuHaime also referenced another one of his old bosses, former President George W. Bush.

The country's 43rd president ended his second term still fighting two foreign wars and amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression but now is "more popular now than when he left office, partially because he stayed above petty politics and became a statesman, and because history can judge his accomplishments and intentions better in retrospect," he said.

"Trump will not help his own popularity," DuHaime added, "by further dividing a party that for the most part stood with him throughout his controversial presidency."
Read the full article:

Sasse's message to Nebraska GOP as he faces censure: 'Politics isn't about the weird worship of one dude'
In a video addressing members of the Nebraska GOP State Central Committee, Sasse urged the party to accept critics of the former President and remain true to conservatism as the party's future.

"Let's be clear: The anger in this state party has never been about me violating principle or abandoning conservative policy -- I'm one of the most conservative voters in the Senate -- the anger's always been simply about me not bending the knee to one guy," Sasse said.

Sasse's comments come as the Republican Party at large grapples with warring factions at odds over whether to continue the party in Trump's likeness or forge a new path veering from the former President's legacy.

"January 6th is going to leave a scar," Sasse said, referencing the date of the violent insurrection at the US Capitol, where rioters encouraged by Trump sought to overturn the results of the election. "For 220 years, one of the most beautiful things about America has been our peaceful transfer of power. But what Americans saw three weeks ago was ugly, shameful mob violence to disrupt a constitutionally mandated meeting of Congress to affirm that peaceful transfer of power."

... "You are welcome to censure me again, but let's be clear about why this is happening: It's because I still believe -- as you used to -- that politics isn't about the weird worship of one dude," Sasse said in the video. "The party could purge Trump skeptics, but I'd like to convince you that not only is this 'civic cancer' for the nation, it's also terrible for our party."

... "The president and his allies are playing with fire. They have been asking -- first the courts, then state legislatures, now the Congress -- to overturn the results of a presidential election," Sasse said at the time. "They have unsuccessfully called on judges and are now calling on federal officeholders to invalidate millions and millions of votes. If you make big claims, you had better have the evidence. But the president doesn't and neither do the institutional arsonist members of Congress who will object to the Electoral College vote."
Read the full article:

House Majority Leader Hoyer prints out Rep. Greene's 'Squad's worst nightmare' post, defends Democratic colleagues on House floor
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was stripped of her committee assignments in the House.
  • House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called out a graphic Greene posted to Facebook in September.
  • Greene is holding an AR-15 next to Reps. Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib, captioned "Squad's worst nightmare."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer delivered a powerful speech on the House floor, moments before Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was stripped of her committee assignments due to her past social media posts, which supported violence against Democratic lawmakers and spread conspiracy theories.

Rep. Steny Hoyer blew up and printed one of the threats posted to social media by Rep. Greene: a graphic the congresswoman uploaded to Facebook in September, where she is brandishing an AR-15 next to the faces of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. The caption read, "Squad's worst nightmare."

"I urge my colleagues to look at this photo," Hoyer said, hoisting the poster up high and walking around the House floor showing it to colleagues.

Back at the mic, Hoyer began to defend his colleagues and downplay the sincerity of Rep. Greene's earlier comments.

"They're not 'the Squad.' They're Ilhan. They're Alexandria. They're Rashida. They are people. They are our colleagues," Hoyer said. Hoyer mentioned the progressive policies championed by the three, and sarcastically said, "How awful."

The graphic, posted on Facebook in September, was eventually removed by the platform for violating its policies.

"I have never, ever, seen that before. Is this a precedent-setting event? It is?" Hoyer exclaimed. "Is that what it was intended to do, that each one of these ladies would have a nightmare about somebody with a gun, an AR-15?"

The three congresswomen have been regularly subjected to violent threats and conspiracies from the right since their elections.
Read the full article:

2 more Trump supporters who took a private jet to the Capitol riot have been arrested and charged
  • Jason Hyland and Katherine Schwab were charged in connection with the Capitol riot this week.
  • The Texas realtors flew on the same private jet to the January 6 Trump rally as Jenna Ryan.
  • Schwab told officials Ryan's social-media posts from the riot made the group look "bad."
One of the most high-profile arrests to come out of the Capitol riot is that of the Texas realtor Jenna Ryan, who took a private jet to Washington, DC, and brazenly posted on social media during the breach — including posing in front of a shattered Capitol window.

Now, two more Texas real-estate agents who flew with Ryan to Washington, DC, have been arrested and charged in connection with the riot. They are Jason Lee Hyland, 37, and Katherine "Katie" Schwab, 32.

The duo was arrested earlier this week — Schwab on Monday and Hyland the next day, according to the Justice Department — and face charges of knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Both Schwab and Hyland attended a pro-Trump rally before they stormed the Capitol, officials said.

Schwab told authorities that the weekend before the rally, she had posted on Facebook about plans to travel to Washington, and asked if any Trump supporters wanted to join her, according to her criminal complaint.

She said she and four other "patriots" flew to Washington the day before the rally, and that she only knew Hyland, according to the complaint. The identities of two of those travelers are not known.

Hyland told authorities that he organized the private jet to Washington, according to his criminal complaint.

According to the complaint Hyland had sent a message to the group titled "Patriot flight," saying: "Thanks for joining me to DC to stand up for America. This will be historic — no matter the outcome."

... According to the Dallas Morning News, Hyland's real-estate license is listed in state records as being "inactive." Meanwhile, the agency where Schwab worked announced on Facebook on January 7 that she was no longer associated with them, according to WFAA.
Read the full article:

No TrumpsπŸ‘±‍♂️ Newsbites was formerly Trumpism 🐘 Newsbites.

or Trump-ism

Trumpism refers to the nontraditional political philosophy and approach espoused by Donald Trump and his supporters. The term Trumpism can also be used to directly refer to an outrageous or idiosyncratic statement made by Donald Trump.

Trump, whom many observers consider an anomaly, left the White House by saying, “We will be back in some form.” His legacy is “Trumpism” – a wave of white nationalism.

Trumpisms are Bushisms on steroids.