Fulton County DA catches Giuliani lying about being unable to travel, offers free bus or train trip

The Fulton County District Attorney’s office is calling bullshit on Rudy Giuliani’s claims that a recent medical procedure prevents him from traveling to Georgia and testifying before a special grand jury about his involvement in efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Giuliani’s legal team claims he can’t respond to a subpoena because a “recent invasive procedure” following a “complex artery diagnosis” means getting on a plane would be medically inadvisable. Yet District Attorney Fani Williams found multiple instances of Giuliani seeing the world despite his legal team’s assertions.

According to Williams’ response, Giuliani “purchased multiple airline tickets with cash, including tickets to Rome, Italy and Zurich Switzerland, for travel dates ranging between July 22, 2022 and July 29, 2022. All of these dates were after [his] medical procedure.” It’s anyone’s guess how Williams’ office obtained that information, but even more puzzling is Giuliani potentially forking over thousands in cash for plane tickets if not for the sake of the purchase going undetected by the likes of Williams.

Williams suggested getting Giuliani to Georgia by bus, which sounds like the stereotypical hell one would experience on a Greyhound. More appealingly, she suggested Giuliani could also make it to Fulton County by train. Not only would Giuliani being reducing his carbon footprint on this trip but Amtrak may actually be enticing enough to compel Giuliani to take Williams’ office up on a fully paid for ticket. After all, the passenger train does include a bar car.

Giuliani is not only an outspoken Trump ally who’s fully bought into election fraud theories and pushed Trump’s lies to a degree few can rival, but he’s also a prolific booze hound. Giuliani’s drunkenness was recently highlighted during a Jan. 6 committee hearing in which members of the Trump campaign detailed Giuliani’s 2020 election night drunkenness culminating in the former New York City mayor pushing for Trump to declare the presidential election stolen from the then-president. He’s denied being drunk during a speech commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks that, well, sounded like he’d made his remarks while intoxicated. He’s also said he’s pretty sure he’s never done an interview drunk before, but who can say?

To Giuliani, I say: Take Williams up on the ticket. And maybe set a new personal record for yourself and participate in the Fulton County investigation while completely shit-hammered. Not many people can say they’ve stood before a grand jury slurring their words while also trying to avoid incrimination. If anyone can do it, though, it’s America’s Mayor.

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Warnock and Walker are polling neck and neck. A runoff vote is looking more and more likely

If you’ve ever heard Georgia Republican senate candidate Herschel Walker speak, it’s difficult to understand how he and Sen. Raphael Warnock are running nearly neck and neck in the polls. Between the tsunami of lies uncovered about Walker’s past to his completely incoherent theories about COVID-19, climate change, and evolution, he’s the GOP’s man in Georgia and a football legend, so he’s staying in the game.

Georgia is not a blue state—not yet anyway—and this year’s midterm will certainly feel like a 2020 Groundhog Day if Warnock can’t clear the 50% mark in November. In Georgia, a candidate must get a majority vote. Otherwise, the top two nominees must head into a special election runoff—the exact same situation that happened in 2020 in the senate race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican David Perdue. 

Democrats are, once again, in a battle for control of the Senate. Sukari Johnson, chair of Clayton County Democratic Party, tells Politico. “Nobody wants a runoff… Because it’s very difficult for people to come back out, and at that point, you’re spending time and money to get people to come back out. And nobody wants to do that after November.”

RELATED STORY: New political ad in Georgia attacks Gov. Brian Kemp as ‘right for segregationists’

As Politico reports, another fly in the ointment is Libertarian Chase Oliver, who is taking a few much-needed points from both Warnock and Walker. According to FiveThirtyEight, Warnock is polling at 47.2%, with Walker at 44.2%.

Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Politico he believes Warnock could win, but only if the campaign “is a small race, and it’s just down to two personalities.” But, he adds, if it’s a “big race,” then “it comes down to Warnock’s being part of 9% inflation and the highest price gas in history, and you can go down the list, then I think Warnock loses.”

As we reported last week, the Trump-endorsed Walker finally agreed to debate Warnock after months of hemming and hawing. And only after Walker’s camp ran a 30-second ad calling for Walker to “stop dodging” and “commit to debates.”

If Herschel Walker is so ready to debate, why hasn’t he agreed to any? pic.twitter.com/SxU65WHBbu

— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) July 25, 2022

Understandable that Walker would be terrified to face the incumbent senator and senior pastor at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and be forced to defend how his COVID-19 spray works or why he hid from the public and his own campaign staff that he’d fathered three children. Or how he said he’d graduated from college but didn’t. Or certainly why he said he’d co-founded a veterans organization when he didn’t. Not to mention his history of domestic violence.

NEW ad running in Georgia from Republican Accountability PAC. This is the real Herschel Walker. pic.twitter.com/vErPuvOqNw

— The Republican Accountability Project (@AccountableGOP) August 8, 2022

Dodging debates is nothing new for Georgia’s cowardly Republican nominees. Walker refused to debate during the primaries in May, and in 2018, Gov. Brian Kemp refused a final debate with Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams.

According to The Black Wall Street Times, Walker is polling unfavorably among Georgia’s Black voters. Results found that 80% of Black voters plan to vote for Warnock. Walker has continually refused to accept the results of that poll.

In a statement sent to Politico, Quentin Fulks, Warnock’s campaign manager, said, “There are going to be polls in all directions over the course of this campaign. Here’s what we know: this race will be close, which is why we can’t take anything for granted and are working hard every day to reelect Reverend Warnock.”

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Minnesota secretary of state candidate questioned whether disabled people ‘should be voting’

The Republican Party’s plan to find all the worst people in America and run them for office just keeps on going. This time it’s Kim Crockett, who has a good shot at becoming the party’s nominee for Minnesota secretary of state on Tuesday. Crockett wants to be in charge of Minnesota elections. Crockett has some extremely peculiar ideas about which Americans even ought to be allowed to vote to begin with.

In a 2020 radio interview resurfaced by The Huffington Post, Crockett mused on a state Supreme Court ruling allowing voters to ask for help in casting their vote if they have a disability or don’t feel confident in their ability to read English. And by “mused,” we mean:

GOP candidate for Minnesota secretary of state Kim Crockett, who would be the state’s chief election officer, says that people requiring assistance because they do not speak English or are disabled “raises the question: Should they be voting?” pic.twitter.com/hoCKBBXq1e

— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) August 5, 2022

“So, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that indeed you can help an unlimited number of people vote if they are disabled or can’t read or speak English, which raises the question, should they be voting? We can talk about that another time.”

Ohhh yes, I think we will. Crockett is now furiously (and very dubiously) backtracking, but her question was a straightforward one. If you don’t speak English or if you can’t, say, physically make it up the steps outside your assigned voting location, “should they be voting?”

Well, neither of those things is a requirement for being an American citizen, so unless we’re going to start classifying wheelchair use or poor vision or dyslexia or not speaking English as a felony, those people do get to vote. It’s not, uh, controversial. Unless you’re a Nazi, of course.

This is the sort of eugenics-adjacent ick that most people wouldn’t think to even say in private, much less on the radio, but saying such things on the radio is how your state Republican Party decides they want to endorse you as their candidate for office. But Crockett has much more on her resume. She’s a promoter of election conspiracy hoaxes, which is why she was grousing about the state Supreme Court letting disabled people vote to begin with. She’s anti-immigrant, which is why she was grousing about the “can’t speak English” part.

HuffPost notes a 2019 New York Times story quoting Crockett as saying America was “at the breaking point,” in terms of immigration, because “These aren’t people coming from Norway, let’s put it that way. These people are very visible.” She’s also a promoter of antisemitic rhetoric, thinks Biden’s win was “illegitimate,” and is in general just an absolute garbage fire of a human being.

Again: She won the Minnesota Republican Party’s endorsement just last May, as Republican state parties become functionally indistinguishable from early Naziism. Is suggesting that disabled people shouldn’t vote or presenting, to the party convention, a video depicting the Jewish incumbent of the office you’re running for is a “puppet” of George Soros—is that the “Minnesota nice” we keep hearing about?

Or just the burps of midwest fascists?

There is a whole lot of extremely-adjacent-to-Nazism rhetoric coming out of state Republican candidates this cycle, and it’s stuff that the party would be extremely unlikely to stomach a decade ago. That’s ancient history. This time around, high-profile Republican candidates are using rhetoric plucked right from Klan rallies.

FL congressional candidate Laura Loomer tonight says schools “are being infiltrated by godless communists and marxists trying to indoctrinate your children with LBGTQ degeneracy and anti-God, anti-white propaganda.” pic.twitter.com/INnikL0oIW

— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) August 7, 2022

Yeeeesh. And in the meantime, fascist cells promoting the notion that democracy itself must take a back seat to hard-right goals are getting gauzy profiles from a press still unwilling to pick sides between fascism and not-fascism.

Republican campaigners are no longer self-filtering. They’ll tell you exactly what they think, and they think that whole segments of Americans shouldn’t be voting and that “Marxists” are infiltrating schools to promote “LGBTQ degeneracy.” These people are not good. These people are hateful, bigoted, racist, paranoid, cruel, paranoid, compulsively lying, paranoid, and paranoid people. This is a whole party that’s made a game of finding the people in America most willing to work themselves up into an absolutely batshit froth, then put Republicanism’s official backing behind the lot of them.

I don’t know how you find someone like Kim Crockett. That takes some doing. I’m also stunned the Republican Party found her before Fox News signed her to host her own evening show.

Daily Kos has endorsed Democrat Steve Simon in this race. Donate to his campaign and other Democratic secretary of state candidates now to stop Republican attempts to subvert our elections from the inside.

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‘You don’t deserve a light sentence:’ All three sentences handed down in Ahmaud Arbery murder

The white father-son duo already sentenced to life in prison in the death of Ahmaud Arbery were handed down additional life sentences on Monday for federal hate-crime convictions in Arbery’s death. Former prosecutorial investigator Gregory McMichael got life plus seven years, and his son Travis, who fired the gun who killed Arbery, got life plus 10 years, according to WSB Radio. William “Roddie” Bryan, who filmed moments of the murder and helped the McMichaels corner Arbery, was also sentenced in federal court to more than 37 years in prison. With time-served being counted toward his sentence, it translates to 35 more years in prison. That’s in addition to the life sentence Bryan was handed down in the state case against him.

“By the time you’ve served your federal sentence, you will be close to 90 years old, but Mr. Ahmaud Arbery never got the chance to be 26,” U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood reportedly told Bryan. “You didn’t brandish a gun; you preserved what ended up being the crucial video of the trial.”

RELATED STORY: Men who gunned down and killed Ahmaud Arbery sentenced to life in prison

Wood also told Bryan he was “not a model of citizenship even after this happened,” but the one thing that he did “was explain you had that crucial evidence.”

“The sentence is lengthy and one that has been earned,” the judge told Bryan.

Her ruling means Bryan, a white man, is the only murderer who could be eligible for parole. Wood, however, said the sentence she delivered him isn’t a light sentence “because you don’t deserve a light sentence.”

Gregory and Travis armed themselves with guns, got into a truck, and chased 25-year-old Arbery on Feb. 23, 2020 through the Satilla Shores neighborhood in South Georgia after accusing Arbery of breaking into a home under construction in the community, according to a federal indictment.  Bryan used his truck to block Arbery’s path. 

Assistant U.S. District Attorney Tara Lyons said Bryan’s perceptions of Black people “absolutely influenced his decisions on the day he chased Ahmaud Arbery.”

“This never, ever, ever would’ve happened if Ahmaud had been white,” Lyons said and WSB Radio journalist Veronica Waters captured.

RELATED STORY: ‘I wish they’d all die’: Trial for Arbery exposes vile racism and it’s not the only ‘despicable’ one

Bryan did take an opportunity to speak during the sentencing and apologized to Arbery’s family and friends, Waters reported.

“I would like to say to Mr. Ahmaud Arbery’s family and friends how sorry I am for what happened to him on that day,” Bryan said. “I never intended any harm to him, and never would’ve played any role if I knew then what I know now.” 

Roddie Bryan atty Pete Theodocion is doing his best to distance Bryan from the McMichaels and their “special breed of racial animosity…They knew #AhmaudArbery had done nothing wrong; they both made sure to grab firearms. These are not small differences in defendants” @wsbradio

— Veronica Waters (@MissVWaters) August 8, 2022

Marcus Arbery, Ahmaud’s father, scoffed at the killers asking for mercy and said “it was hard to look at” the three murderers “everyday as a father.”

“And they show no remorse for how they took his life,” Marcus Arbery said. “That’s the thing that really bothers me real bad, and then they ask for mercy. They didn’t give him no mercy that day.”

Arbery was shot with a shotgun three times, twice in the chest and once in a wrist, according to autopsy results.

“They didn’t even give him a chance to finish his run,” Marcus Arbery said.

Marcus Arbery reacts to the sentencing of Travis McMichael, who received a second life sentence for the killing of Ahmaud Arbery. “They show no remorse for how they took his life… And then they ask for mercy. They didn’t give him no mercy that day.” pic.twitter.com/bfCkiz0TwE

— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 8, 2022

The McMichaels must serve their sentences in state prison—a request Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones advocated for when the McMichaels pleaded guilty to the federal count against them in February— according to WSB Radio. “Granting these men their preferred conditions of confinement will defeat me,” Arbery’s mother, Wanda Cooper-Jones, told Wood at the time. “It gives them one last chance to spit in my face after murdering my son.”

Amy Lee Copeland, Travis McMichael’s attorney, said in federal court that his client already has received hundreds of threats and a state prison would mean “an effective back-door death penalty.”

Cooper-Jones said during a news conference that whether he served in federal or state prison, it wasn’t going to bring Ahmaud home, “and that’s a pain that we live with everyday.”

She said she’s proud to say “we finally got justice for Ahmaud on the federal level” but that she was waiting for “just a simple I’m sorry” from Travis.

“But evidently he wasn’t sorry,” the mother said.

Cooper-Jones also mentioned the fact that although her son’s murderers were sentenced, the alleged corruption that shielded them from accountability for months has not been addressed fully.

It took 74 days after Arbery’s death for charges to be filed against the McMichaels. Former Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson was indicted on counts of obstruction and violating her oath of office. Johnson, the applicable prosecutor at the time, recused herself from the case because Gregory McMichael used to work as an investigator in her office, but she also involved Waycross Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Barnhill to act in her place. His son worked in the same office. Barnhill wrote in his eventual recusal letter that the Arbery family “are not strangers to the local criminal justice system,” according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“So the journey is not over,” Cooper-Jones said. “We still have some more people to deal with.”

RELATED STORIES:

Three white men who murdered Ahmaud Arbery found guilty of hate crime and kidnapping charges

‘I wish they’d all die’: Trial for Arbery exposes vile racism and it’s not the only ‘despicable’ one

Same day jury seated, disgusting remarks unearthed in federal trial of Ahmaud Arbery’s killers

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McConnell says people being forced to have children don’t deserve any more financial help

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), to his very minimal credit, wants to ensure that some of the people being forced to have children get some financial support from the government, albeit minimal. He has a few Republican takers, a very few. And absolutely no support from leadership. According to Sen. Mitch McConnell, people are being coddled enough already.

“There are actually a lot of resources for expecting and new Moms, including Medicaid and S-CHIP for health care, maternal nutrition and child care programs,” McConnell spokesman Scott Sloofman told The Washington Post. “What we shouldn’t do is expand massive government stimulus programs which would exacerbate the runaway inflation that is crushing Kentucky’s working families.”

Get that? Kentucky’s working families don’t need any more help for those children Republicans are forcing them to have. Because all those programs exist, despite repeated efforts by Republicans to end them.

Donate now to protect abortion rights in Kentucky.

One of the main reasons people have been having abortions since, well, forever, is economic. Having a child upends work, education, ability to care for other family members, and just costs a lot of money. 

That’s one reason why a group of 154 distinguished economists and researchers filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in advance of the Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, where the court overturned Roe and ended federal protection of abortion rights.

  • That’s what passes for family-friendly among the death cult Republicans, the ones including Romney and Rubio who just voted against making insulin affordable for people with private insurance. 

Some Republicans kind of get it. Along with Romney, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has been thinking about helping working families. “We have a history of laissez faire economic policies in the Republican Party,” he told the Post. “But there are things that are important for the well-being of our country, and one of them is the strength of our families.” Rubio has one proposal that’s blatantly anti-abortion for that, allowing pregnant people to claim a child tax credit for an unborn child—that’s essentially an outgrowth of the “personhood” movement giving a fetus rights at least equal to that of the person carrying it. He also has what he calls a “pro-work” child tax credit proposal, meaning the help would come with a work requirement.

You would think last week’s lesson on abortion rights from Kansas  might make McConnell rethink his stance on abortion rights and all of the politics around it. You’d think wrong.

“Republicans have a major, major problem right now with women, exacerbated by abortion but made a lot worse by their refusal to balance that liability with support for any kind of family benefits,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake told the Post. “That could really make them pay a price in the fall, particularly with women, but there’s no evidence they’re going to change.”

Thanks to the voters in Kansas, they’re not going to be able to avoid that discussion this fall.

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