Climate activist Greta Thunberg criticized "political inaction" by European leaders on Wednesday, ahead of a planned meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Thursday.Two years of school strikes had spurred political commitments and "big speeches" but "the climate and ecological crisis has never once been treated as a crisis," Thunberg and three other youth climate activists wrote in The Guardian."The gap between what we need to do and what’s actually being done is widening by the minute," they wrote. "Effectively, we have lost another two crucial years to political inaction."...
'Self-humiliation': GOP House leader torched by conservative for 'bending the knee' to Marjorie Taylor Greene
On Monday, writing for The Bulwark, conservative commentator Charlie Sykes slammed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for his powerlessness in the face of extremist demands from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) for support to elect him as speaker if Republicans win control of the House next year.
Sykes described McCarthy’s deference to the controversial congresswoman as “an example of the depth of self-humiliation required to be a ‘leader’ in the party these days.”
"He calculates that bending the knee to Greene is simply the price he has to pay to wield the gavel," wrote Sykes. "He is confident that Republicans will win back the House next year, putting him within tantalizing reach of the object of his desire. If sucking up to Gaetz/Greene/Boebert/Gosar & Co. is the price he has to pay for power… he’s more than willing."
Among Greene's demands include expelling Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) from the House Republican Conference — even though Kinzinger, at least, will not be in the next Congress at all — and removing the Homeland Security Committee leadership from Rep. John Katko (R-NY), who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump and strip Greene herself of committee assignments.
The problem for McCarthy, noted Sykes, is that this kind of deal-cutting is likely to leave him more impotent than ever.
"One suspects that McCarthy is not much given to introspection, so it’s not likely he’s asked the question: After he comes to his throne, what then?" wrote Sykes. "What will happen to a speaker who rose to power by shrinking himself? What sort of power will be wielded by a man who obtained it through displays of weakness?"
"Trump holds the GOP leadership hostage; and that leadership is held hostage by its most junior members, who in turn, are creatures of a political culture that is increasingly inflamed," concluded Sykes. "In the GOP, it’s humiliation all the way down."
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On Monday, NBC4 Washington's Scott MacFarlane reported that a member of the Oath Keepers group accused of participating in the January 6 Capitol attack released new court filing accusing the Justice Department of behaving like the KGB.
"The Government ... [is] roving all over the country assaulting innocent people in their homes at dawn in 'secret police' tactics not seen since the Soviet Union collapsed, unless one counts Venezuela," complained the filing.
In weekend court filing, accused Jan 6 OathKeeper conspirator accuses the US Justice Dept. of Soviet-style "secret police" tactics in arrest US Capitol riot defendants \n\n(The argument uses the phrase "innocent people" to characterize people arrested for roles in an Insurrection)pic.twitter.com/BixSyca1UL— Scott MacFarlane (@Scott MacFarlane) 1638193260
The FBI has conducted home raids against several people accused of involvement in the Capitol attack — but with lawful warrants approved by judges as part of constitutional due process.
The Oath Keepers are a far-right paramilitary group known for recruiting current and former military and law enforcement. They have rushed to the defense of right-wing standoffs with federal agents over the years, including the Bundy Ranch incident in 2014. A number of Oath Keepers are being prosecuted for their involvement in the Capitol insurrection, with many turning on each other to secure plea deals.
Democratic Rep. Aaron Coleman’s second arrest in less than one month prompted calls Sunday night for his immediate resignation from office by the governor of Kansas and the top Democratic and Republican leaders of the Kansas House.
Coleman, serving his first year in the House representing a district in Kansas City, Kan., was arrested Saturday in Douglas County on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. In late October, he was arrested in a misdemeanor domestic battery incident involving a sibling in Johnson County.
Before taking office in January, a handful of House Democrats insisted that he not be seated given reports of past violent and threatening relationships with women.
Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat who served in the Kansas Senate, said Coleman’s latest encounter with law enforcement provided additional evidence of his lack of fitness to be part of the Legislature.
“His continued presence in the Legislature is a disservice to his constituents,” Kelly said. “He should resign immediately and seek the treatment that he needs. If he does not resign, the Legislature should use its process to remove him from office.”
House Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe, and House Minority Leader Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, said Coleman should resign because he was a detriment to himself and the voters who elected him.
“I want to reiterate what I have said in the past: It is clear Representative Coleman is in dire need of help,” Sawyer said. “For the sake of the state of Kansas, his constituents, and himself, he should resign and concentrate on getting the help he badly needs,” Sawyer said.
Sawyer said the Legislature was “not a healthy environment for someone in this mental state.” In the domestic violence case, a judge ordered Coleman to undergo a mental evaluation.
On social media, Coleman recently challenged the notion that his conduct required resignation from the Kansas House. He made reference to Rep. Vic Miller, a Topeka Democrat who accepted a diversion agreement in July 2020 for driving under the influence.
“Vic Miller. DUI while in office? Very intriguing,” Coleman posted.
Coleman went on to ask Sawyer why there was no public campaign to run Miller out of the Legislature. Miller had been involved in a one-vehicle crash on I-70 in Topeka.
In addition to pending legal troubles, Coleman was instructed earlier this month not to visit office of the Kansas Department of Labor . He was accused of attempting to improperly enter the agency’s office through an employee entrance. He asserted he was there at the behest of constituents regarding unemployment benefit claims.
In August 2020, Coleman defeated seven-term incumbent Democratic state Rep. Stan Frownfelter, losing to the teenager by 14 votes. Coleman won the general election race. Following the November 2020 election, seven Democratic legislators urged him to resign. An official Kansas House inquiry into complaints about Coleman produced a reprimand.
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