Trump has been indicted — Florida Governor DeSantis responds with pledge of non-cooperation with such a political persecution

  • Trump derangement syndrome rules
  • We didn’t think the Dems would pull the trigger, the implications too hard to predict or control
  • Trump’s statement, DeSantis statement and other links

A process that allows “a ham sandwich to be indicted” because of totally one-sided presentation of supposed law to non-lawyer civilians on a matter has huge potential for abuse and the Manhattan District attorney’s  wielding of it to get Trump will go done as the hornbook example of such abuse.    Maybe Democrat powers-that-be controlling this partisan hack thought they had to double down in spite of  the whole justification being widely criticized across the political spectrum. The actual indictment if issued by the prosecutor and not quashed for its outrageousness by a judge will allow Trump to rattle the chains of oppression with stark clarity for months as a rallying cry against the one-sided political hatchet job it is.

President Trump’s statement in response:

“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history. From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats – the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country – have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement. You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.

“The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference.

“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.

“Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!

“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

DeSantis as chief administrator of law enforcement in the state: Florida won’t cooperate with Trump extradition (via The Floridian)

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said Thursday that the indictment of former President Trump was “un-American” and that the state would not support extradition requests.

“Weaponizing the legal system to advance the political agenda is upending the rule of law. tweeted.

“The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and allow criminal activity. But now he is expanding the law to target political opponents. DeSantis continued, adding that the state of Florida would not support extradition requests “given the questionable circumstances at issue.”

Related links via Liberty Daily (their link descriptors):

Pelosi Perverts American Justice System of Law, Insinuates Trump Is Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Pelosi Perverts American Justice System of Law, Insinuates Trump Is Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Trump Indictment Is Biden-Harris Regime’s “Nuclear Option” in the War on America

. . . Kitchen Sink: CNN Analyst Claims Trump Being Indicted on 34 COUNTS

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ALG – S.686 could be used to censor any website in America, foreign or domestic, not just TikTok

  • In today’s world “bi-partisan” legislation always ought to be under suspicion as the product of big-government uni-party

From Americans for Limited Government:  (our comments follow) 

S.686, the Restricting the Emergence of Security Threats that Risk Information and Communications Technology Act or the appropriately titled “RESTRICT Act” could be used to censor any website in America, not just TikTok.

The legislation would authorize the Secretary of Commerce to “identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, investigate, or otherwise mitigate, including by negotiating, entering into, or imposing, and enforcing any mitigation measure to address any risk arising from any covered transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that the Secretary determines… poses an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States…”

Read that again. It says “by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States…” That could be anything.

Or any website that is determined to be “interfering in, or altering the result or reported result of a Federal election, as determined in coordination with the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of Treasury, and the Federal Election Commission…”

Meaning, it would potentially become illegal to question the “reported result” of any federal election, since questioning the results could potentially “interfere” with public acceptance of the result. How else does one “interfere” with the “reported result” of a federal election?

Or any website that opposes a war with a foreign adversary by “steer[ing] policy and regulatory decisions in favor of the strategic objectives of a foreign adversary to the detriment of the national security of the United States…” since merely advocating against the war would “favor” the foreign adversary’s objectives.

By definition, this would prohibit anti-war activities on the internet.

Censorship in the U.S. during wartime is not at all unprecedented. Nor is it unique to the U.S., since war against adversaries foreign and domesitc is almost always the pretext for censorship.

World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War all had various measures employed to control speech and punish wrongthink. And it’s always arbitrary. The Espionage Act of 1917, 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2388, for example very similarly prohibits anti-war reports or even to simply oppose the draft “willfully make or convey false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military … [or] wilfully obstruct the recruitment or enlistment service of the United States.”

This looks like an attempt to codify the so-called “bad tendency” test that was used to prosecute individuals under the Espionage Act. The Supreme Court upheld this test in the 1919 Debs v. United States decision which found “natural tendency and reasonably probable effect to obstruct the recruiting service, &c., and unless the defendant had the specific intent to do so in his mind…” Other decisions would also uphold provisions of the Espionage Act until the Supreme Court outlined the “imminent danger” test in Brandburg v. Ohio in 1969, finding that even advocacy of overthrowing the government could be protected speech if they were not immediately linked to violent actions to do so.

Brandeburg stated “the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”

Arguably, the RESTRICT Act goes even further, since the standard would become anything in “favor… the strategic objectives of a foreign adversary….” not only prohibiting those who are not even anti-war per se, but favor a diplomatic approach to resolving foreign disputes.

So, if you were a news or non-profit organization that opposed, say, a thermonuclear war and advocated for peace or nuclear arms reduction treaties to avert an existential threat to humanity, it could be prohibited because those also might “favor… the strategic objectives of a foreign adversary,” even if you believed that such treaties might actually bolster U.S. national security.

All that would be needed would be for the Secretary of Commerce, in coordination with the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of Treasury, and the Federal Election Commission, to determine otherwise.

Obviously, this all directly violates the First Amendment’s prohibition that “Congress shall make no law…. abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.”

The website does not even need to be owned directly by a foreign government, like China, or one of its organs, like the Chinese Communist Party. Instead, a controlling interest, or “covered holding” is defined as “regardless of how or when such holding was or will be obtained or otherwise come to have been held, a controlling holding held, directly or indirectly, in an ICTS covered holding entity by… a foreign adversary…”

Read that again. It states “directly or indirectly,” which opens the door for non-state-owned holdings.

But then it goes further, providing for targeting “any other holding, the structure of which is designed or intended to evade or circumvent the application of this Act, subject to regulations prescribed by the Secretary.” That could be anything.

The legislation covers “wireless local area networks; mobile networks; satellite payloads; satellite operations and control; cable access points; wireline access points; core networking systems; long-, short-, and back-haul networks; or edge computer platforms; internet hosting services; cloud-based or distributed computing and data storage; machine learning, predictive analytics, and data science products and services, including those involving the provision of services to assist a party utilize, manage, or maintain open-source software; managed services; content delivery services; internet- or network-enabled sensors, webcams, end-point surveillance or monitoring devices, modems and home networking devices… unmanned vehicles, including drones and other aerials systems, autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles, or any other product or service integral to the provision, maintenance, or management of such products or services… desktop applications; mobile applications; gaming applications; payment applications; web-based applications; information and communications technology products and services integral to… artificial intelligence and machine learning; quantum key distribution; quantum communications; quantum computing; post-quantum cryptography; autonomous systems; advanced robotics; biotechnology; synthetic biology; computational biology; and e-commerce technology and services, including any electronic techniques for accomplishing business transactions, online retail, internet-enabled logistics, internet-enabled payment technology, and online marketplaces” if such websites, applications or platforms have more than 1 million users or has sold more than 1 million products in the U.S.

Which is actually quite easy to do if you host a platform. Say, you host an e-commerce multivendor platform that has 1,000 vendors who each have 1,000 customers annually. Each one of them is relatively small, but in the aggregate, that adds up to more than a million products sold.

It pretty much covers the entire internet.

But where the rubber meets the road will simply be on web hosts, especially the large ones that small businesses depend on, which easily have more than 1 million customers. So, even if the intent were to censor a smaller entity, the pressure could simply instead be put on the company’s web host to remove the content or else be dubbed a foreign traitor and lose everything.

Naturally, the bill has strong bipartisan support and is supported by President Joe Biden. And why not? It could be used to censor almost anything, including Trump’s 2020 election challenge or even Trump’s 2016 candidacy, which the Justice Department argued in the Oct. 2016 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications was favored by Russia.

In any event, if the purpose of the legislation was to simply target TikTok, China and the Chinese Communist Party, why does it in fact potentially cover every single website in America? In fact, the legislation is not narrowly tailored to forcing divestiture of TikTok by Chinese entities. Why not? Maybe banning TikTok is simply a pretext to censoring everything.

Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

V’Pac comments:

The dangers in the language of the bill are real and we agree with critics that this is not a good solution to TikTok and Chinese influence and data mining. The bill is potentially even worse than the problem. But that does not solve the problem of coming up with a better approach  than do nothing about China’s TikTok —  and I doubt it can be done without legislation.  How should the general issue be attacked, especially the data mining.  The data mining matter  and Chinas other subversiveness as to censorship is rivaled by woke politically biased American corporations especially from the left but across the political spectrum.

Something that limits data mining on 4th amendment grounds including the use of such data ought to be better explored. For too many, opt out provisions are clumsy and not seriously the default. Further the use, disclaimer and (lack of) privacy agreements are so stilted as to be purposefully dense and overwhelmingly favor anything the site wants to do and provide no redress to the consumer for violations.

An interstate default statutory business rule, ~~ your data cannot be sold or shared period ~~ might be a start rather than a promise. The citizen/ customer/ data owner has to specifically and for each transferee agree to the transfer with a prohibition of further transfer by the new recipient . A request to erase all identifiable data must be honored and non-compliance made legally onerous.  I am sure pro-privacy groups have more encompassing safety ideas perhaps including certificates of pro-privacy imbedded software for marketers and search engine providers engaged in interstate commerce.

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DeSantis or Trump, Trump or DeSantis — Part 1

DeSantis Trump and “hush-gate” non crime  — What would Trump do if DeSantis was accused of a nefarious activity however weak the evidence that could be used to aggravate an old wound sustained by his potential rival ?


I’ll work on a catchier title for this continuing commentary. The approach herein is to  defend Governor Ron DeSantis as a potential presidential candidate from overwrought criticism.  It is not intended to not recognize faults in DeSantis or be unfair to Trump. If it comes off that way consider that Trump has been aggressive early on about even the potential candidacy of Ron DeSantis for the Republican nomination (and anyone else for that matter). So there is more to respond to from that direction.

I think it is a fair observation that Trump has exuded an aura that fealty and the nomination is owed him and many of his absolute supporters have amplified that and gotten quite nasty about it.  The narrative is that any challenge to Trump is RINO based and from election fraud deniers.  Well that is not where this publication is coming from and we think there is a track record to substantiate that.

We just want to defeat the Democrat candidate with the most conservative candidate that reason as regards the candidate field indicates can do so in 2024.

That said we hope that any Republican candidate (they will be more conservative than the Democrat) who receives the nomination can be brought to victory and we will do what we can to that effect and expect the same from all claiming to be Republicans and especially from those seeking he party’s nomination for President .

Trump refuses to tone things down as regards Republican rivals even those who have established no track record of attacking him.  To be sure Trump has endured personal attacks, perhaps no one on the American political stage has endured as much, but he has  set the tone (his tone anyway) for this round of the nomination process, primarily focused on DeSantis. He will reap what he sowed.

We will examine some of the main hits on DeSantis emanating from Trump directly or what appears to be an organized or common meme propagated by the Trump campaign.  Embellishments to improve or correct something featured is entirely welcome in the comment section and we may incorporate them into our analysis as appropriate.  More extensive alternative views will be eligible to be featured so please consider doing so, participating in this exercise either in defense of Trump or another Republican candidate for the nomination.

First up is the controversy over what DeSantis said or should have said as regards the bogus charges being bandied about by the Manhattan Democrat prosecutor calling a grand jury together to consider his strained at best theory of felonious wrongdoing by Trump as regards the hush money / go away money paid to a porn star who herself issued a denial of any affair with Trump. Hush money is not illegal but the trumped up charges revolve around accounting for where it came from. We believe that Trump will not be indicted because the case was weak to start (not that the grand jury will hear the law and history of the matter) and falling apart with passing days. Democrats will think better of pursuing it having gotten about all the blood they can expect from Trump by raising the specter. They are beginning to see that implementing it could be a disaster for them.

We commented to several prominent blogs regarding the DeSantis response which are set forth below as various items.  We add here a challenge to critics of DeSantis’ response — tell us precisely what DeSantis should have said that Trump would also have purely said had the charges been directed at DeSantis (however unbelievable).

I see, people should only say something about Trump as regards the legal assault on him written by Trump’s pr folks while he unfairly runs off the mouth devoid of a filter attacking them. (DeSantis response was) An obligatory slap on the back and just a little point of a stiletto in the side is pure Trumpian. Well except “New York way” Trump would have shoved it in a little deeper. It’s his way. Politically, no one is obligated to do more than Trump would do. Whom who has followed Trump believes for one New York minute he would be all effusive in defense of DeSantis or any rival. Trump is hugely better than the utterly evil Democrat leadership but please don’t get all DeSanctimonious about him.

First off I have significant doubt that Trump will be indicted out of New York on the hush money related charges. The case seems to be falling apart although the Dems are delighting in raising the specter again of Trump -hush money -hookers.

DeSantis we should keep in mind is also a governor who fired a DA for not enforcing the law. According to Cornell Law web site: “The Constitutional basis for state-to-state extradition is found in the Extradition Clause, Article IV section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The statute implementing extradition is Title 18, Sect. 3182 of the US Code. Further extradition guidelines are to be found in the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, adopted in many states. . . . A person charged in any state with treason, felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another state, shall on demand of the executive authority of the state from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having jurisdiction of the crime. . . . “

There may be wiggle room as to how it is interpreted and applied but DeSantis has to consider the implications FOR A GOVERNOR not merely a potential Presidential candidate. The latter is truly mere by comparison as his first responsibility is to his state and any reciprocity he or the next governor might expect from blue states. One of the legal analysis articles I read indicated that it could be he can only preemptively control the state police and maybe not that should a grand-stander be interested. DeSantis can’t unilaterally change extradition policy or statutes and he does not review every one that comes down the pike. If a “wanted” memo comes out it may be actionable by law-enforcement people outside of DeSantis direct control.

There is also the matter of the propriety of Trump’s expectations in a couple of areas, practical and as to whether Trump has exemplified anything similar . On the practical level it may be better for Trump PR wise to give himself up were he to be indicted rather than hold up in Florida indefinitely in a situation where DeSantis can not really protect him indefinitely anyway. If he does not proceed to trial (and prior to that likely a quick release with a promise to appear) he is forever in Limbo in Florida. He can’t venture beyond its borders lest he be arrested elsewhere in a willing state (only speculation — might he be arrested at any time should he venture onto Federal property or control wherever he is?)

I bet Trump thinking “strongly” would not want DeSantis’ legally uncertain protection and if he did would only want the offer so he can then reject it and use the martyr narrative while still beating up on DeSantis for being weak or something. Trump may think it good PR to be able to rattle the chains even for a moment immortalized on the video from all the right angles that he makes sure he has present. Sober Democrats will think twice about advocating the indictment trigger be pulled although they delight in the division they are helping aggravate in the lead up.

Then there is the matter as to what consideration Trump deserves based on his performance and example. Calling for widespread peaceful protest in terms that seem more to make it all about him, as it arguably comes off, seems icky. And what has he done for the Jan 6ers — he has talked the talk (some) from afar perhaps but has he raised or provided defense money for them for their unfair treatment. Did he call for governors not to cooperate in extradition proceedings? Did he offer them refuge?

Having claimed how unfair things are for him — has he taken to the streets, ( as he seems to have called for) making himself vulnerable to more wrongful charges for the slightest misdemeanor. I am not saying it is appropriate for Trump to do any of that, or that there are not other considerations as to proper action, but I suggest Trump at any cost people (no one in particular) back off assuming DeSantis can effectively wave a wand on the matter.

Our arguments above can be refined as they were spur of the moment  while reading our morning assortment of conservative dispatches.  We will add to this and respond to related developments from time to time.

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Shouldn’t the whole question be which conservative Republican candidate can most reliably beat the Democrat candidate in 2024

This blog will be most useful or informative to those with the following predilections including being conservative, otherwise we are not on the same page: 

Democrat Party policies and their leadership are pretty much evil, economically disastrous, counter productive, other than constitutional, America debilitating . . . Their candidates must be electorally opposed in an effective way.

At this stage of the American electoral process (20 months from the general election) is it not reasonable to presume that being on the ballot is key to winning the presidency, people, patterns and voting logistics being what they are?

On a national level, a write-in candidate can only prevent a win (and not necessarily the desired target) and is overwhelmingly unlikely to elect someone unless handicapping one to help another is the desired goal.

There is no organized political party alternative to the Republican Party for conservatives (or the Democrat party) at this stage of the game with a ballot position in enough states (or prospects of achieving it by 2024) that would appeal to a sufficient number of conservatives/conservative-populists that could garner sufficient electoral college victories to propel a candidate past either the Republican or Democrat nominee.

There is a lot of difference between the Republican Party, generally speaking its candidates, and the Democrat Party and its candidates.  If you really do not see that overall, no need to read further.

A Republican winning against the Democrat is generally better than having a Democrat elected.  Yes sometimes individual races should be seen as contributing to the whole and so when voting it is sometimes a matter of hold your nose and vote.  Applying some charity and appreciation of human foibles, that is not generally the case with Republican candidates but there are exceptions that can be “sat out” at little risk to the republic.  The presidential election in most states is not one of them for conservatives as a wave is useful to sustain national policy improvements.

Do we accept that four more years of any Democrat on the political horizon as President is not to be desired — that the idea of letting it get worse because one’s favorite candidate did not get the Republican nomination, to make some point, is dangerous as it may only get worse and therefore that much harder to recover from.

That if enough people do not see the writing on the wall now, four more years of “progressive” Democrat is not any more likely to create dramatic change afterwards.  That it is at least as likely that people will clamor for more Big Government solutions (minor retrenchments notwithstanding) because of the dependency mindset further ingrained in the populace. Is western Europe not an example?

Do you accept that the nominee of the Republican Party is likely to be more inclined to spend less, attempt financial sustainability, be inclined toward judges who respect the Constitution, more culturally conservative, more pro-life, more for border control, supportive of parental rights, more for law and order . . .

That in 2020 (and 2022) there was substantial election altering cheating by Democrats. That Trump arguably won the electoral college in 2020 however for most people the election is not about that. The 2024 Republican Presidential process  is about who best to beat the Democrat nominee in 2024 because the Republican nominee given the state of the party today will be comparatively superior in policy to any Democrat once elected.

NO candidate is perfect and each candidate does, and even has to, make political compromises to garner support that seems inconsistent.

Each candidate for the Republican nomination should pledge to support the nominee of the Party for the general election, to turn the fight away from the internecine to focus on unified opposition to the Democrat candidates and what they stand for.

That rejecting these without sound reasoning given our country’s condition is an indication of something other than political maturity or wisdom.

With support of these (we are open to refinement and will apply them) we are on the same page.  If not this blog will likely irritate you for the next 15 to 20 months.

Arguably more peripheral or subjective:

Age is a factor for a lot of voters looking to prominent candidates in 2024 — undisposed toward Biden and possibly Trump on that basis. Trump would be 78 and the actuarial tables indicate a more significant chance of declining health or event. Many people do not vote policy. Personality factors apart from policy, from arguably serious to relative quirkiness is a factor in elections for a lot of people. Voting can be very strange and against interests on superficial factors.

Who would have the broadest appeal in purple and even blue states is important.

Who is least likely to eat a live rat on stage?

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Random, perhaps contradictory, but possibly true in degrees at the same time thoughts re possibility of Trump indictment

  • Updated!
  • Handicapping this is more exciting than NCAA March madness
  • Random points like my bracket picks

They have nothing but a trumped up case that will not survive appeal. Devastating analysis by  J. Turly ,  —  Andrew McCarthy

The charges against Trump are legally bogus, but that of course makes no difference as to why the Dems are making noise about it.

Biden’s legal problems (a zillion times more damning)

They also can reasonably predict that Trump will say something stupid or ‘play to type’ — a ‘type” that they have with some success, painted him.

Trump vociferously calling for protests in an un-nuanced tweet, is stupid for the above reason. Who thinks it was the best tack?

Trump is not going to go to jail or be held over this. Even if that were to be the case he should pull the specter of physical protests — the piñata the media wants — and communicate something like ~~ watch this unfold and contemplate the implications —  and if he were to be held even overnight — a Letter from Birmingham Jail sort of thing has far more pathos and shows how small the Democrats are.

Raising the specter of Trumps womanizing (exaggerated or not) is not helpful to Trump. Anything to give people a reason to not vote for him against interests compared to Biden. Hell lies and Trump’s personality are all they have.

It could backfire, but Trump is not helping it backfire by calling for people to protest willy nilly and without planning and preparation.

It might not happen: Not So Fast on That Trump Indictment – It’s Not a Done Deal Yet

Doesn’t have to now — Trump has flubbed it enough that he is doing the damage they wanted to inflict.

Many would like to see Trump in shackles but just raising the specter works for them, until it doesn’t, and they might be reevaluating that

If they do use the DA to drop the dime,  the DA is a sacrificial lamb at worst.  They (Dem op center) do not care that he is in for an ultimately embarrassing legal shellacking on appeal. They will provide his sinecure for playing the game.

It is so obviously a trumped up charge that DeSantis ought to have in some way call it that.

Not withstanding this: Trump’s Ex-Lawyer Defends DeSantis Silence on Possible Manhattan Indictment.   Politically it could not harm him to point out the legal nonsense going on.

Problem with the calls for him to not enforce an extradition is that it would require him to be judge and jury on the case and that is not tenable. We are told he could delay it  for 60 days and that he could offer to Trump.

Ron DeSantis is staying silent amid a push from MAGAworld for him to say or do something about a possible Trump indictment

UPDATE DeSantis commented on the possibility of a Trump indictment over the hush money accounting situation today — decrying the politicalization of the Manhattan Attorney office under Bragg.

The Trump team responded to DeSantis’ hug with a bit of stiletto with a dull knife pull. I think DeSantis’ comments were good enough as to the substance of the persecution and the Trump machine cannot properly expect more given their pettiness toward DeSantis. Sure DeSantis “happened” to mention the antecedent event of hush money to a hooker  but then that is the sort of thing Trump would do is it not?

DeSantis can play hardball with a little more alacrity than Trump’s gonzo ball. Trump people have previously and repeated in response to todays comments from Desantis bandied about accusations about DeSantis and alcohol at a party with underage girls present 20 years ago (ever been at a party with adults and underages were present  — how about most picnics where non-teetotaler parents are present?).

Read more about the back and forth between the two and how DeSantis is constrained from doing much other than decry the bias and unfairness in the talk of charges against Trump. DeSantis attacks Manhattan ‘Soros-funded’ prosecutor in first comments on possible Trump indictment.

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We can’t hear you Senator Ernst, Senator Grassley

  • if Senator Ernst demurs from McConnell’s characterizations about the Tucker Carlson release of Jan 6 footage in any meaningful way she owes it to posterity to say that louder than her presence with McConnell spoke 

Grassley, Ernst dispute media claims they criticized Carlson’s Jan. 6 footage

The Iowa Standard (TIS) asked Senators Ernst and Grassley about their statements regarding the Tucker Carlson show releasing previously unseen video of the Jan 6 mostly peaceful demonstrations. As noticed by Carlson, and as we also pointed out, Ernst was on camera next to Senator McConnell when he voiced support for a condemnation of Carlson’s portrayal of the video made by the Capitol Police chief.  The video as presented by Carlson questioned and was objectively  exculpatory as to the guilt and especially the sentencing of demonstrators arrested and charged with various crimes that day. Other implications about police performance can be drawn from Carlson’s presentation.

Why couldn’t Ernst (and Grassley) say something to that effect?

Instead Ernst wanted it to be known that she thought editing 40K hours of tapes was somehow in general wrong. We are not aware of a similar statement by her criticizing the Jan 6 prosecutors treatment of the tapes, withholding the bulk of the tape from defense council, selectively editing it,  serving to railroad convictions and lengthy sentences, denying exculpatory evidence.  Indeed Senator Ernst, how are people to view 40 THOUSAND hours of tapes?

Evidence is in the tapes not Ernst or Grassley’s narrower perspective.

With any sense of comparative balance “equity” the charges against most of the Jan 6 protestors arrested should have been dismissed or charged as misdemeanors rating a fine and minimal sentences when compared to “direct action’ perpetrated by the likes of Antifa and BLM, (that is when the police ever got around to arresting them in various jurisdictions).

TIS asked Ernst and Grassley to respond to Tucker Carlson identifying each of them as supportive of McConnells views and to hold forth on these open ended questions:

Any statement on Tucker Carlson’s decision to air the footage.
Any statement regarding Jan. 6 following the release of the footage.
Any statement on whether they believe Ashli Babbitt’s murder was justified.
Any statement on the continued detention of protestors from Jan. 6.

The response from each senator to TIS was vague and failed to answer the questions posed to them. The responses according to TIS were as follows with Ernst essentially forwarding the comments she made to the publication Axios after standing next to McConnell and hearing him saddle up with the Capitol Police to condemn Carlson’s revelations to the public — revelations withheld by prosecutors from defense lawyers of those accused of trumped up crimes that day.

“[They] should be widely available to everyone and not just select people. And it should not be selectively edited. There’s a lot of different sides that will be presented and that’s OK. We need to have that discussion, but it needs to be an open, honest conversation. I can tell you from where I stood in the Senate chamber, it was a very uncomfortable feeling. And the people that were out in the halls, they were not friendly. Let’s put it like that. They were not being peaceful. I had two women staffers, early 20s, that were clinging onto me for dear life and crying. They were terrified by those people.”

Grassley was quoted by Rolling Stone as saying, “what happened that day shouldn’t have happened” in response to Tucker’s airing of the footage. But without knowing how the question was posed, that’s hardly a condemnation of Carlson.

. . .

Ernst’s office obviously replied with her response to Axios, but hasn’t responded to the other things we asked about. Grassley’s office responded, asking what we were referring to as well. We shared with them the story from Slate, as well as informed them Carlson pointed to Grassley as one of his critics during last Wednesday’s episode.

Grassley’s office said the comment reported by the media that what happened that day shouldn’t have happened was a “general observation” about the Capitol breach.

“When asked about making the video footage public, he’s said he believes it’s a matter of public interest and should be made available in full. He never commented about Mr. Carlson’s coverage.”

In spite of both dodging the questions TIS found it appropriate to offer to their readers this (bold our emphasis)

Ernst did stand behind McConnell when McConnell said it was a “mistake” for Fox News and Tucker to “depict” Jan. 6 the way they did. It doesn’t seem fair to attach her to McConnell’s comments imply for standing there when he made them.

Our commentary as regards TIS and Ernst:

Yes it does seem fair and valid attachment when 1) the good Senator was standing next to and heard McConnell’s comments and offered no demurral in her time, even to the extent of the typical “I must disagree with my good friend . . .” 2) Senator Ernst was not there absent her history of what amounts to histrionics regarding events that day nor with ample time having passed when plenty of evidence has been revealed apart from the release of the tapes by Carlson demolishing her own falsehoods and over the top characterizations of events that day. Characterizations she has now only subtly modified but earlier ones never apologized for in order to stand corrected — especially regarding her allegations of blame regarding deaths Jan 6th.

Grassley was not standing with McConnell and Ernst that day but then 1) maybe he couldn’t because he has been with McConnell on so much or 2) maybe his instincts are a little better. But like Ernst the same criticism of his uncorrected/unapologized for assertions in line with the DC Party about Jan 6 are still relevant in evaluating his recent statement given the timeliness of these new developments.

TIS has not been remiss in reminding readers about the Iowa delegation’s uniformly pathetic demeanor about events that day but this story was an opportune time to invite them to specifically correct their previous “murdered police” statements and insurrection hyperbole. They might have had they bothered to answer TIS questions but they needed to be pinned down. Perhaps asking “do you stand by your comments two years ago regarding deaths and motivations of Jan 6 protestors?”

Here are Grassley’s and Ernst’s statements issued many days after Jan 6 when enough had been revealed to give them rhetorical pause but which they declined to exercise in keeping with DC Uni-party hyperventilating:

Ernst Statement on Upcoming Impeachment Trial (excerpt)(caps our emphasis)
Jan 25 2021

“As I’ve said, PRESIDENT TRUMP EXHIBITED POOR LEADERSHIP and holds some responsibility for the anarchy that ensued at the heart of our democracy. The individuals who lawlessly stormed the Capitol, MURDERED POLICE, and ATTEMPTED TO PREVENT CONGRESS FROM DOING ITS JOB, should be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
Statement for the Senate Record by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
United States Senate On the Senate’s Acquittal of former President Donald Trump February 13, 2021 (excerpt) (caps our emphasis)

“What happened here at the Capitol was completely inexcusable. IT WAS NOT A DEMONSTRATION OF ANY OF OUR PROTECTED, INALIENABLE RIGHTS. IT WAS A DIRECT, VIOLENT ATTACK ON OUR SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. Those who plowed over police barricades, assaulted law enforcement, and desecrated our monument to representative democracy flouted the rule of law and disgraced our nation. SIX PEOPLE, INCLUDING TWO U.S. CAPITOL POLICE OFFICERS, NOW LIE DEAD IN THE WAKE OF THIS ASSAULT. The perpetrators must be brought to justice, and I am glad to see that many such cases are progressing around the country.”

“While the ultimate responsibility for this attack rests upon the shoulders of those who unlawfully entered the Capitol, everyone involved must take responsibility for their destructive actions that day, including the former president. As the leader of the nation, all presidents bear some responsibility for the actions that they inspire — good or bad. UNDOUBTEDLY, THEN-PRESIDENT TRUMP DISPLAYED POOR LEADERSHIP IN HIS WORDS AND ACTIONS. I DO NOT DEFEND THOSE ACTIONS AND MY VOTE SHOULD NOT BE READ AS A DEFENSE OF THOSE ACTIONS.”

The “murdered police” and “dead police” statements are lies and were lies then. As they should know well by now referenced deaths were either unrelated or at the hands of police. Their general statements about the motivations regarding “what happened being completely inexcusable” and blaming of Trump are just plain pathetic. Not every avenue is appropriate but wanting to be heard, standing against “no standing” regarding evidence of a stolen election prior to it being ratified and clamoring for Congress to DO ITS JOB as in seriously explore the evidence prior to rubber-stamping as if Congress’ job was no more than ministerial, RATHER THAN the accusation from Ernst and Grassley that protestors were standing against their doing their job. It is not a subtle distinction. Failing to acknowledge that shows how out of touch those two can be.

By far most of the people even inside the Capitol, however overwrought some were, were there to be heard not to vandalize even if to cry out from the galleries. But Grassley and Ernst blaming Trump who asked people to be peaceful and patriotic that day is calumny against him and the spoken word.  As we said previously, if Senator Ernst demurs from McDonnell’s characterizations in any meaningful way she owes it to posterity to say that louder than her presence with McConnell spoke.


I am not sure what Trump’s endorsement of Grassley in the 2022 Senate Republican primary  indicated (one of the unimpressive primary and general wins Trump credits himself with). It seems more about Trump’s hope to have Grassley’s endorsement in the Iowa caucuses. But alas supposedly that is not going to happen. Grassley for now is demurring although perhaps his operatives will be full throttle.

Nevertheless, Trump, we suspect, will continue to let Grassley’s (and Ernst’s) comments blaming Jan 6 on him pass, hoping not to rile them.  They should worry about not riling Trump supporters.

There are valid criticisms of Trump including especially who has the best public perception to win the 2024 general election.  It is about winning not rewarding someone, or pursuit of retribution especially if that pursuit results in a negative perception and is counterproductive to an actual win.

However, my objective analysis is that if either were interested in helping Trump they would correct their untrue and hyperbolic statements surrounding Jan 6 which targeted Trump and by implication the sentiment of so many of his supporters. I do not see that happening and so never-Trumperies can actually use Grassley and Ernst’s statements against Trump and Trump supporters will be less enamored with them.

Related reading by Kurt Schlichter at Townhall:

Stop calling it an insurrection.   (excerpt)

Nor was this incident some sort of “attack on Our Democracy where our freedom hung on by a thread.” The drama queenery might play on MSNBCNN, but it just makes the base despise the Republican Party even more – which is hard – when that crap comes from our own people. You are not downplaying what actually happened by characterizing it accurately and without the kind of breathless exaggeration the Democrat demagogues delight in. The Democrats’ cat’s paws spent six months burning down the cities and this overwrought handwringing only draws attention to the discrepancy in elite caring between when the pols were vaguely threatened and when the proles were losing everything. . . .

GOP pols, listen up. You are not defending the buffoons of January 6 by accurately characterizing their actions. Stop playing along with the false narrative that unjustly trashes your own people. Stop minimizing what happened in the murderous Democrat-abetted riots in LA in 1991 and throughout our country in 2020 by not just lumping this incident in with them but by pretending it was a zillion times worse.

Previous posts at V’pac 

Standing with the Protocols of the “Insurrectionists” of Jan.6

Bait, incite, coverup, stonewall, Shanghai re January 6

Will Senators Grassley and Ernst apologize for parroting lies and spin about Jan 6th

Sen. Ernst issued an ahistorical near hysterical screed in response to Jan. 6 mostly peaceful demonstration

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Standing with the Protocols of the “Insurrectionists” of Jan.6

And there was our Senator Joni Ernst standing with McConnell who said “With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol police about what happened on Jan. 6,”  McConnell told reporters Tuesday, holding up a copy of the police chief’s statement. 

The letter McConnell was holding was written by the new Capitol Police Chief J Thomas Manger who McConnell scrupulously avoids mentioning was not on the seen or part of the Capitol Police or DC Police that day.  He had been retired  from active law enforcement for about two years when he was invited to take over the department plagued “by a flood of departures” after Jan 6. So Manger’s personal authority is a bit suspect, as is McConnell’s ,as is Ernst’s as to an objective overview unless they have reviewed 40K hours of tapes.

The bulk of the large group on the Capitol steps that day were noisy but not interested in entering the buildings. That was not their purpose. But they wanted to be heard.

Some of the huge throng that heard Trump’s speech made its way to the Capitol perhaps to ‘rage against the system’ but that is all, the likes of McConnell contributing to that. Most dissipated after Trump’s speech. Clashes with police may have been aggravated by elements of the police. By far most of those that entered the Capitol building, a small percentage of the attendees overall, many clearly ushered in by police — most of those were intent on more noise — running up and down the halls or something.

Some particularly overwrought were willing to vandalize in some stupid show of intensity but similar to what we  remarked earlier, noise and even obsteperous behavior from unarmed protesters does not constitute an insurrection as McConnell characterized that day, going so far as to blame Trump even though Trump’s closing admonition was for peaceful patriotic protest.

And Ernst is willing to associate herself with McConnell at every turn on the matter.  See this picture of her with McConnell when he made the pathetic, ridiculous pearl-clutching ‘insurrection” charge and blamed Trump.

It seems they would rather rely on the selective editing, the calumnies and the withholding of exculpatory evidence by Pelosi’s Jan. 6 Committee and Federal and DC prosecutors to insure that their preferred narrative of that day is sustained — the preferred narrative of the DC cocktail party and unitary Party that Ernst seems enamored with. Otherwise she would not stand with MCConnell to endorse such a third person hit job by a law enforcement official heading a thoroughly politicized department that was perhaps complicit in withholding or slow-walking evidence after the fact.  Evidence that makes his department look less like the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava then he would like people to think. 

Manger’s letter, endorsed by McConnell and Ernst takes great umbrage alleging what was as easily characterized as a largely peaceful protest overall was  a ‘siege’. Such ridiculous exaggeration is beyond historic, it is hysteric. The newly released tapes seem to reveal that many of the charges relate to what in perspective was a noisy sit-in.  As far as the accusation of ‘cherry-picking calmer moments’ — the American public has been inundated, propagandized with cherry-picked clips of bad behavior but without any context. As Carlson points out video exists that was exculpatory and withheld and McConnell and Ernst have associated themselves with the propaganda behind it all of which is the essence of lies.  If Senator Ernst demurs from McDonnell’s characterizations in any meaningful way she owes it to posterity to say that louder than her presence with McConnell speaks.

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Bait, incite, coverup, stonewall, Shanghai re January 6

Have you been reading about it or listening to Tucker Carlson’s expose of the extensive exculpatory video withheld from the judges, juries and the American people regarding the mostly peaceful protest on January 6 2021, where Donald Trump told everyone to be peaceful and patriotic, but some overwrought protestors did vandalize and mix it up with police however many of whom seemed nonplussed by much of the protest, another day in good old DC?

As the full video evidence released by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy through Carlson shows, (in conjunctions with video of the throngs  listening to Trumps speech and the words of the speech itself)  a small percentage of the assembled were overwrought in what they thought they could accomplish by their Antifa/BLM type demonstration. It is mythology to refer to their actions as an insurrection. If you want to call some of them rioters fine but from the videos most who entered did so hardly impeded and left upon feeling they made their point or out of embarrassment.

It was unarmed un-organized pathos against what they strongly felt was a corrupted election and no available system of redress. They felt they were standing against “no-standing” and insisted on being heard – something they felt somehow would help. Any insinuation toward all the people who attended Trump’s speech as a mob is calumny as is any characteristic of the speech as inciting anything other than peaceful patriotic protest — the right to redress grievances.

The newly released video contains exculpatory and contra-prosecutorial evidence that was heretofore illegally, indeed evilly withheld violating basic precepts of fair trials for the Jan 6th accused or important to their sentencing. To throw leftist terminology back at the liars and pearl-clutchers — there was no equity in sentencing vis a vi other more destructive and injurious “direct actions” by Antifa and BLM et al towards police.

Stilton Jarlsberg writing at  has captured the irony BS of the January 6 Committee et a with the pictures and commentary we have embedded herein. We highly recommend his site for its humor and insight.

Mainstream media and Democrats in Washington are losing their minds owing to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, who is sharing the previously restricted videos of what really happened in our nation’s capitol on January 6.

Carlson’s critics point out that he’s deceptively showing deceptive video clips that attempt to deceive viewers by deceptively having nothing in common with the totally accurate (albeit completely unsubstantiated) accusations of the Left and the “January Sixth Committee” which found that violent anarchists burned the capitol to the ground, Washington’s streets ran red with blood, and Donald Trump stood in the center of the carnage firing a machine gun into the air while shouting, “My holocaust is the best holocaust ever! Has there ever been a holocaust as big as mine? I don’t think so! And this is a very, very beautiful one!”

Meanwhile, that lying bastard Tucker Carlson is releasing video like this…

This is a frame grab showing the infamous Q-anon Shaman being escorted into the heart of the capitol building assisted by the police. In this picture, there are 10 officers with weapons, and one guy with an American flag, a buffalo hat, and chafed nipples from his suspenders.

Adam Schiff, Chuck Schumer, and every talking head on the Left has told us that the moment shown above was literally “worse than 9/11,” “worse than Pearl Harbor,” and brought our Democracy to the brink of collapse. Not to mention getting buffalo fur on the nice rugs.

The recently exposed videos also show the so-called Shaman telling other protesters to remain peaceful and just go home as well as offering up a prayer of thanks on behalf of the officers who safely guided him to the capitol floor.

For this, he is now serving four years in prison following his conviction for violating the little-known statute that forbids “shenanigans and malarkey in a goofy costume.” 
Just like the kids above who trusted the crossing guard, he trusted the police who invited him ever deeper into the building. In much the same way that too many Americans still trust the politicians who want you to believe what they say instead of what you can finally see.

Below are comments to Jarlsberg we found compelling:

Jerryskids said…
As I’ve said before, if China knows an unarmed mob of yahoos came within a hair’s breadth of overthrowing the government of the United States they’d send a couple dozen soldiers over here and finish the job. Pathetic that they’d call January 6 the worst insurrection since the Civil War. I’ve had sex rougher than that.
March 13, 2023 at 2:45 AM

Fish Out of Water said…
To paraphrase a quote from the now Ambassador to Japan (Rahem Emmanuel) never let a Reichstag fire go to waste….

March 13, 2023 at 5:32 AM
Bobo the Hobo said…
My general physician wanted to send me to a neurologist for a Tourette’s consult, I told him the symptoms will disappear when Biden leaves office.
March 13, 2023 at 5:38 AM

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Cheap shots at DeSantis for not attending CPAC

  • We do not like cheap shots toward Trump or from him or his surrogates.  Patterns of behavior are a different story.

The link below reflects articles by Trumpanistas* looking for, or trying to create, vulnerabilities in good-will toward Governor DeSantis who they fear as a potential entrant into the Republican presidential caucuses and primaries. Related articles appeared in conjunction with breathless triumphalism regarding Trump’s showing in the straw poll conducted at the CPAC event.

DeSantis Would Rather Hang Out With the Caviar Crowd Instead of the Meatloaf Crowd

V’PAC says: Just give it a rest Todd.  You are comparing DeSantis with Mar-a-Lago Trump. Trying to separate DeSantis from the so-called meatloaf crowd is beyond serious criticism given who turned out to vote for him in Florida. Indeed DeSantis will be addressing “meatloaf” Iowans like yours truly at Davenport’s blue-collar mega — the  Rhythm City Casino tomorrow morning.

We were not at the CPAC event but have read some recent commentaries from credible conservative commentators (with no disrespect — as credible as Todd Starns)  people who are knowledgable of CPAC affairs. According to such commenters – CPAC has been loosing its luster in recent years due to allegations regarding administration and that this years event was set to be a Trump show. (for the record we really liked most of Trump’s speech to CPAC). Attendance at February’s event was said to be substantially down from previous years in spite of it being in DC with a politically aware base, lots of potential media and easy accessibility. Word is it is being eclipsed by interest in other conservative gatherings such as Turning Point USA which is decidedly not hostile to Trump.

Rather than speak to the choir DeSantis went to lecture the money people at Club for Growth** telling them in no uncertain terms “I’m not content to just keep taxes low and stay out of anything else,” DeSantis said in a muscular address to the party’s moneymen. “I mean I believe woke ideology is pernicious. … my policies are helping to protect people from having the woke ideology shoved down their throats in institution after institution.” (NY Post report).

CPAC is more so a Trump tied operation this year — the head Matt Schlapp is married to Trump’s former communications director. The CPAC organization is not free of scandal attached to it, the former related to Schlapp who supposedly gets $600,000 a year and other controversy surrounding him, nor conservative consistency. It has supposedly been happy to take dark and tainted money. Perhaps DeSantis is not comfortable enhancing Schlapp’s fiefdom.

Trump attends such events for adulation and gets it there. Aspects of that are his Achilles heal. He loves celebrity and celebrities too much. As good as Trump is and in spite of Todd Starns snark, DeSantis is better grounded in populist conservatism with better staff instincts than the former “Apprentice”‘ star. DeSantis would be an excellent President. May wisdom prevail in defeating the Dems. I will enthusiastically support my party’s choice. Will Trump?

But the questionable idea that seems to prevail in Trump only supporters is that we owe him something. Trump sends the same vibes and it is unbecoming a servant of the people. In the attitudinal world Trump comes from (Apprentice world) I do not owe a thing to someone who asked for the limited term contract, who I gave a chance to despite skeletons and even renewed, but maybe who now (arguably)  unnecessarily puts my “stock” at risk. Trump’s problem in market dominance (outside of CPAC) is not performance per se but in unnecessarily repeatedly handing the competition and undiscerning consumers (voters) the same brand negatives, however superficial. That impinges on stock growth.

But there is one particularly substantive one (beyond his chronic filter problem) we find Trump aggravating repeatedly — the mRNA fiasco he wants credit for. Everything about it to the discerning CEO should have read caution. An untested novel, genetic manipulation non-vaccine (but falsely identified as one) rushed into broad distribution and encouraged by him to this day — regarding a virus dangerous for the most part to the same people susceptible /vulnerable to every other flu.

While he had to do something — what he accepted was so novel (aren’t I clever — what could possibly go wrong) — is now established as complication prone. It is not mere hindsight to say he should have pushed for a traditional vaccine (or treatments other than iatrogenicly dangerous ones like breathing machines ). Hindsight or not, his performance  now regarding it does not deserve the kudos he demands. He was rolled but his ego won’t allow him to admit it.


*lighten up — call it a Trumpish communication style (which seems to be the go to excuse for Trump being Trump, even when it hurts his and our chances)

** Speaking of big money types —  I am not big on the Kochs and do not see them as the coalition builders they pretend to be, but perhaps the one thing I like about them is that they oppose big spending bills which are just playgrounds for Democrat operatives no matter who is supposedly in charge. According to Newsmax in 2019 “the Koch network broke with the GOP over its support for the $1.3 trillion spending package that Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law the year before.” I now generally prefer Trumps America first tariff approach to theirs and the Koch’s are pretty much non existent on social issues that drive government spending more than anything – two parent families in particular

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Update on local school bonding and property tax votes

In a general election in Scott County there are 60 plus voting locations.  The Davenport Community School District (DCSD) which has a bonding authorization matter on the ballot today encompases perhaps half of them — say 30. The number of locations has been reduced to six.

The conventional wisdom behind that is to save costs during a predictably lower turnout election. Ignoring the possibility probability that the reduction aggravates poor turn-out, we just want to point out that whatever the turn-out the average per voting location might be expected to be one-sixth of the total.  Yours truly voted at about 5:00 PM at one of the  library locations which I would expect to be busier than the average.  The vote count was 208 with three hours left to vote.

That seems very low at that time of day even for a school related election.

Granted the DCSD related vote does not have an increase in property taxes on the table although the current DCSD Board (not up for election today) could rebate property taxes under the terms of the pro-forma kitchen-sink authorization. They of course won’t rebate taxes and everybody knows it and the likely voters are not expecting that they will.

The vote might be a contest between the current boards sycophants and people just interested in sending a message knowing the board will do what it wants under previous authorization because it can.  The very wording says so.

The current DCSD Board is going through the motions, the intent is window dressing while pursuing a vague authorization for what they intend to do anyway — the bulk we suspect will be to cope with previous poor Board choices or lack of attention to basic academics that resulted in the DCSD’s poor academic performance resulting in the decline in enrollment.  People are not beating a path to the DCSD academic mousetrap.

The decline in enrollment is the symptom of the problem, a manifestation,  but the authorization vote if approved, they will claim, sustains their planned treatment of the symptom — which is to excise, consolidate schools and spend to do that,  while the crappy education DCSD administrators and educators deliver goes on, complete with sinecure and continued lack of serious accountability.

So the DCSD vote could be a vote on confidence or not in the DCSD Board, between  sycophants of the current Board and the informed and disgusted. The later may feel it fruitless and not show up because they know the purpose of the vote is window dressing.  We will see how it goes, and perhaps have more comment.

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