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Arizona SecState pleads with Kyrsten Sinema to reform the filibuster: 'We are running out of time'

Arizona's chief election's official called out a fellow Democrat from her own state as she pleaded with Senate Democrats to pass the For the People Act to protect voters from GOP voter suppression.

"Democracy is under siege in Arizona. As part of the 'big lie' that Republicans have been pushing about electoral fraud, they're conducting an "audit" in our largest county, Maricopa, to dig up nonexistent evidence. It's an absurd spectacle. The proliferation of conspiracy theories is staggering: ballots are being disqualified because of Sharpies; ballots were shipped in from China; ballots were burned in a chicken-farm fire," Secretary of State Katie Hobbs wrote in a new Washington Post op-ed.

"My office won a court order to send impartial observers to the audit, and I try to keep the public informed about its dangers. For insisting on straightforward truths, I and my family have received death threats. Armed protesters have shown up at my home. Twice, I've been assigned a security detail to protect me," she explained. "But Republicans aren't just protesting the results of our most recent presidential election; they are laying the groundwork to steal the next one. They are sowing doubt about our electoral process to justify a crackdown on voting rights: The 2020 election was insecure, they say, and so our next election must be airtight. This twisted logic has propelled voter-suppression laws across the country, in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Montana and other states."

Hobbs explained how her office is fighting GOP voter suppression, but that she needs help from Washington, DC.

"The U.S. Senate is currently considering two voting rights bills. One, the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, would prevent states from passing further measures to restrict ballot access that disproportionately target minority voters. But that legislation would do nothing to roll back anti-voting laws that are already on the books. Republicans have instituted 22 voter-suppression laws in 14 states so far this year. To simply let these regressive measures stand would be to abandon our duty as public officials," she explained. "Another federal bill, the For the People Act, would strike down the senseless restrictions that Republicans have rushed to impose. What's more, the bill includes many long overdue, common-sense ideas that would expand voting rights such as automatic national voter registration. Passing these provisions would be a huge victory — not for Democrats specifically but for democracy."

But as she noted, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) stands in the way.

"Yet the For the People Act is in jeopardy because 50 Republican senators and several Democratic ones are not taking the steps needed to pass it. Democrats including Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona either do not support the bill or refuse to touch the filibuster — an arcane Senate rule that has often been used to block voting rights — in order to bring the bill to a vote," Hobbs noted. "Sinema and I serve the same state. We both know that if we do nothing now, Arizonans' access to the ballot will be stripped away by Republican legislators."

Hobbs urged immediate action to protect democracy.

"Voter-suppression efforts in Arizona are part of a nationwide dismantling of voting rights — the most sustained and egregious assault on U.S. democracy since the Jim Crow era. I am taking what steps I can to fight back on a local level. But I cannot succeed without help from Congress. Please, act decisively and pass the For the People Act. We are running out of time," Hobbs wrote.

Read the full column.

Mother and grandmother found dead during investigation into police shootout suspect: report

Authorities in North Carolina made grim discoveries on Monday while investigating a man who allegedly shot at police.

"Shots were fired into a Winston-Salem Police Department office on Monday afternoon, a suspect is in custody and a homicide investigation is underway after the suspect's mother and grandmother were found dead in their homes, according to the WSPD and Forsyth County Sheriff's Office," WGHP-TV reports.

The shots were fired at approximately 3:34 p.m. and police traveled to Hanes Park in pursuit.

"The suspect, later identified as 26-year-old William Scott, got out of the vehicle and began firing at officers. Officers returned fire and chased the him on foot through the Hanes Park area," WGHP-TV reports.

The suspect was shot by police and is reportedly in stable condition at an area hospital. No officers were injured and Scott is in custody for attempted murder.

"After Scott was taken into custody, investigators with the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office tell FOX8 they traced the license plate from the vehicle he was in, and it came back to a home in the 1700 block of Curraghmore Road in Clemmons. Investigators responded to the home and found Scott's mother inside. They are investigating her death as a homicide," the station reported. "Scott's grandmother was also found dead in her home in Winston-Salem. Law enforcement officials are investigating her death as homicide as well."

Watch:


Utah Republican cornered on CNN over his lack of support for law enforcement

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) got tongue-tied on Monday attempting to reconcile his opposition to a 9/11-style commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection with his purported support for law enforcement.

CNN's Chris Cuomo noted Stewart's "supposed" support of law enforcement and said, "100 of them hurt — you don't even want to investigate it."

"Chris, that's just nuts for you to say something like 'people you supposedly love,'" Stewart replied, despite his vote against the commission being recorded in the Congressional Record.

"Don't you support the police?" Cuomo asked.

"Of course I do," Stewart claimed.

"Then why don't you want to investigate why 100 of them got beat up?" Cuomo asked.

"So why did you insert the word supposedly?" Stewart said, without answering the question the CNN host had asked.

"Because you won't investigate the event," Cuomo noted. "How are they supposed to think you support them?"

At that point Stewart became tongue-tied as he tried to argue he'd explained himself.

Watch:

WATCH: Lauren Boebert among the small crowd celebrating Trump's 75th birthday at Bedminster

Donald Trump, Jr. posted a clip to Instagram showing a small group at Trump National Golf Club Bedminister gathered to celebrate his father's 75th birthday.

The video showed Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) — although they were the only two members of Congress tagged in the video.

Former football player Herschel Walker was also seen, along with Trump's youngest son.

The video is in sharp contrast to the large crowds Trump enjoyed as president.

Watch:


Racist and QAnon Trump fans rally in Montana with 'Trump won' message

Pickup trucks blared their horns in downtown Bozeman, MT on Monday as they rallied for the former president on his 75th birthday.

Trump lost the county by 7% points in November, but as has been happening across the country, some of the former reality TV show stars fans refuse to accept the fact he decisively lost the 2020 election.

They have been emboldened by Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), who voted with the insurrectionists to overturn the election results following the January 6th insurrection.

One Trump supporter flew the flag of the racist traitors of the Confederacy.C

Confederate flag in Bozeman, MT.Bob Brigham.


Another participant flew the flag of the Three Percenters militia group:

Three percenters militia group.Bob Brigham


And another flew the flag of the QAnon conspiracy theory:


QAnon cultist in Bozeman, MT.Bob Brigham.

QAnon pickups in Bozeman, MT.Bob Brigham


Many pushed the lie that "Trump won" the 2020 election:


Towed vehicle with a false "Trump won" message.Bob Brigham

Boeing blasted for 'stupid and short sighted' funding of Republicans opposed to free and fair elections

Boeing was blasted on Monday for making political contributions who voted to overturn the 2020 presidential election only hours after the January 6th insurrection by supporters of Donald Trump.

"We have been reporting, for months now, on this slow-motion insurrection being carried out by Republicans in Congress and state houses and state parties all across the country, putting the pieces in place to do in the next election what the mob failed to do on January 6th," MSNBC's Chris Hayes said. "But the mob, itself, at least, is facing some consequences -- consequences for their actions."

"By the Justice Department's count, we now have more than 450 people who have been charged with federal crimes in connection with the attack," he noted. "On Friiday for example, a Chicago Police officer was arrested and accused of breaking into Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley's office with a mob while wearing a hoodie with the Chicago Police Department logo on it."

"But the other half the equation, right, that hangs over the country is accountability for the political leaders that incited or abetted it after the fact," he explained. "The slow-motion insurrection being carried out by Republicans in suits and ties, who basically winked and nudged their way before January 6th and attempted to overturn a democratic election afterwards. The majority of the House Republican caucus — the majority — and these eight Republican senators, including the likes of Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley and Rick Scott — who now runs the Republican Senate campaign arm — voted to overturn the election."

Hayes noted Boeing has "restarted its donations to three republicans who did, indeed, vote to overturn the election. That is, they voted to install the loser over the winner. to keep him in place running the country, against the will of the majority of the American people."

The list inclues Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) and Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI).

"We can infer Boeing thinks it's in the interest of the company to support politicians, who, themselves, do not support democratic elections — free and fair elections. That's the message Boeing and others are sending," Hayes explained. "It's a pretty dangerous one, not to mention, I think, pretty stupid and short sighted. It gives aid and comfort to the people who are working, right now, in every state in this union, to plan for the next insurrection."

Watch:

Senate Republicans are setting a trap to kill Biden’s agenda: report

Joe Biden's focus on bipartisanship over public policy outcomes could be leading him into a trap.

"Senate Republicans are mulling support for a massive amount of new spending on infrastructure — in part because they think it'll help kill President Joe Biden's liberal agenda," Politico reported Monday. "Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to tip his hand on whether he supports the bipartisan negotiations on Biden's plan for roads and bridges that are being led by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Rob Portman (R-OH). But a growing number of Senate Republicans are betting that if a deal is reached on that sort of physical infrastructure, Democrats won't have the votes needed to pass the rest of Biden's 'soft infrastructure' priorities, such as child care and clean energy."

"Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD) surmised Monday that if a bipartisan package comes to fruition, the only remaining ways for Democrats to pay for a second bill on social spending programs are tax increases — too toxic to pursue. Democrats can pass a spending bill with only Democratic votes, but they need all 50 of their members to be on board," Politico has explained.

Democrats failing to deliver could damper enthusiasm for the party during the 2022 midterm elections.

"What's at stake is perhaps trillions of dollars in spending sought by Democrats to provide paid family leave, raise taxes on corporations and act on climate change. Those policies are more likely to fall by the wayside because, though there's bipartisan hope for physical infrastructure, Democrats' more progressive priorities have no chance of attracting GOP support," Politico reported. "Progressives for weeks have urged Democrats to move swiftly and ditch Republicans in the hopes of getting the most ambitious package possible. A spokesperson for Senate Budget Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) confirmed he'd oppose a bipartisan package, increasing the number of Republicans needed to sign on. But as of now, it's not clear that Biden's party has the votes to proceed along party lines while sidestepping a filibuster through the so-called budget reconciliation process, regardless of what it includes."

Read the full report.


QAnon congresswoman holds press conference to apologize for likening coronavirus rules to Holocaust

Weeks after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) compared mask mandates to the Holocaust, the controversial Republican is finally apologizing for her outrageous comments.

Greene had initially doubled-down on her remarks, but changed her tune on Monday.

She said she was taught by her father "when you make a mistake, you should own it."

"And I have made a mistake and it's really bothered me for a couple of weeks now and so I definitely want to own it," she said. "This afternoon, I visited the Holocaust Museum. The Holocaust is — there's nothing comparable to it."

"The horrors of the holocaust are something that some people don't even believe happened," said the QAnon cultist who believes in the conspiracy theory Trump won.

Watch:

Newsmax honors Trump on his 75th birthday — and hilarity ensues

The far-right cable network Newsmax attempted to honor former President Donald Trump by asking people for their birthday messages.

Trump turned 75-years-old on Monday, which was also Flag Day.

But one woman asked for her birthday message had different feelings that she conveyed on-air.

"I'm not going to to wish you a happy birthday," the woman said. "Because I think you're a jerk."

"And I think you should be in jail for all the laws that you broke," she added.

Trump is celebrating his birthday at his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Officer Fanone blown off by GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy for more than a month: report

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has still not made arrangements to meet with Capitol Police Officer Michael Fanone.

During a May 13th event at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to celebrate Police Week, McCarthy addressed criticism that his office had hung up on Fanone and refused to meet with him.

"I would like to meet with him," McCarthy claimed.

According to Rep. Eric Swalwell, McCarthy is still refusing to meet with Fanone:

Watch Officer Fanone describe his injuries:

Officer Michael Fanone: I see a whole team of doctors for injuries sustained at Capitol www.youtube.com


Watch McCarthy's comments:


Trump-endorsed candidate proud to announce he’s losing GOP primary by 26% points: report

The candidate Donald Trump endorsed in the GOP primary to replace retiring North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr released an internal poll showing him losing the Republican nomination by 26% points.

Earlier this month, Trump made a surprise endorsement of Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC) after his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, announced she would not be seeking the seat.

Shortly after the endorsement, former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory — who is also running in the GOP primary — declared Budd unelectable.

Budd released a poll showing McCrory leading the race by receiving 45% of the primary vote, while Budd only received 19% of the vote.

Trump has repeatedly hyped the power of his endorsements, even though it hasn't always reflected reality.

"For all his power within the GOP, Trump does not have a perfect record as a kingmaker," New York magazine writer Ed Kilgore noted on Saturday, before the poll was released.

"In deep-red and very Trump-y Alabama in 2017 in the special election created when Jeff Sessions (briefly) became attorney general, the president endorsed the appointed senator Luther Strange in the GOP primary and a runoff, and then endorsed the wild man who beat Strange, Judge Roy Moore, in the general election. He went zero-for-three," Kilgore noted.

Russian state TV debuts insurrectionist who raided Pelosi's office ahead of Biden's meeting with Putin

Russia is seeking to exploit rifts between the capitol insurrectionists and America's government ahead of the upcoming summit between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.

"The looming summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin—set to take place in Geneva on Wednesday—has unleashed a flurry of threats from the Kremlin's propaganda machine, and a promise of staunch resistance to American demands on everything from cyber attacks to human rights abuses. It has also triggered another bizarre press strategy: The debut and glorification of an infamous Capitol rioter on Russian airwaves," The Daily Beast reported Monday.

"On Sunday, Russian state TV aired an interview with insurrectionist Richard Barnett—notoriously pictured with his feet up at Nancy Pelosi's desk on Jan. 6—and his attorney, Joseph McBride," The Beast reported. "Barnett, a self-proclaimed white nationalist, was introduced as a 'colorful' individual, the same expression Putin frequently uses to describe Trump. McBride welcomed Rossiya-1 special correspondent Valentin Bogdanov into his office and FaceTimed his client, who appeared cheerful and at ease at his Arkansas ranch, flashing a big smile and showing off his car collection."

It is key how Russian state media is describing the January 6th insurrection.

"Bogdanov introduced Barnett, who was arrested following the Capitol raid and subsequently released pending trial, as 'an American patriot' who protested against 'the stolen election.' The network showcased clips from his exploits at the Capitol, where he wielded a stun-gun, stole mail from Pelosi's office, and left a threatening note to the House Speaker," The Beast reported. "Russian state media have consistently claimed that the Capitol rioters were arrested merely for supporting Trump. Speaking at a business forum in St Petersburg on June 4th, Vladimir Putin made clear his intent to rebuff Biden's concerns about human rights in Russia by labeling prosecutions of the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol as unjust."

WATCH:

Соединенные Штаты: тех, кого не любит власть, запирают и бьют – Россия 24 www.youtube.com

Columnist destroys conservative claim liberal 'wokeness' is worse than their fascism

Republican efforts to deflect from their authoritarianism and insurrection by arguing Democrats are actually worse was dealt a major blow in a new Washington Post column by former George W. Bush advisor Michael Gerson.

"The dreams of conservatives are currently troubled by 'wokeness' and critical race theory. As with most nightmares, there is a grain of truth within such terrors," he wrote. "In contrast, the nightmares of progressives are currently dominated by the growth of right-wing authoritarianism and fascism. In these fears, there is more than a grain of truth."

"Large elements of the American populist right mythologize the nation's past rather than face its failures. They dismiss real news as fake and embrace obvious propaganda. They are anti-intellectual to the point of denying lifesaving scientific truths. They fear diversity and target racial, ethnic and religious minorities for resentment. They cultivate a sense of victimhood by warning of arrogant elites and vast conspiracies. These are not isolated ailments; they are the textbook symptoms of a fascist political infection," he explained.

Reality matters in comparing each side's fears.

"In comparing the right's fear of extreme critical race theory and the left's fear of fascism, it is not really useful to ask which horror would be worse if implemented. Both ideologies are ultimately at war with liberal democracy — the pursuit of a common good, the practice of incremental reform, the cultivation of social trust and the acceptance of democratic outcomes. But it is crucial to ask which nightmare is currently most likely to be implemented. And here there is no question," he wrote. "Only one of these nightmares has taken over a major political party, which is in the process of purging all dissent. Only one of these delusions is the governing vision of a former president who just might be president again. Only one of these developments has turned the backbones of the minority leader of the House, the minority leader of the Senate and almost every other Republican leader into gelatinous goo. Only one of these ideologies produced a crowd that sacked the U.S. Capitol and threatened violence against political leaders. Only one of these movements is working in state legislatures across the country to make electoral systems more vulnerable to manipulation and mob rule."

"Right-wing authoritarianism is the force that could undo the American system. In a contest of nightmares, it is not even a contest," Gerson concluded.

Read the full column.

Arizona State Police admit it is not possible to know immigration status by smelling someone: report

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is admitting that it is not possible for state troopers to learn a person's immigration status by smelling them.

"On April 16, 2021 at 0617 hours, an Arizona Department of Public Safety state trooper initiated a traffic stop on Interstate 10 at Milepost 159 (in the cities of Chandler/Phoenix)," the department announced on Twitter at the time. "Upon contact with the driver, a U.S. citizen, the trooper observed 17 undocumented aliens in the vehicle."

However, the Arizona Mirror obtained a copy of the incident report that shows the trooper was focused on the smell of the individuals after stopping the van for driving 5 miles below the speed limit and not making eye contact.

"I exited my patrol car and approached the side of the van," wrote Sergeant Travis Smith in the incident report. "The passenger window was rolled down and I immediately smelled an odor that was consistent with smuggling of illegal aliens from past experiences. Once I was at the passenger window, I noticed numerous persons in the van and the driver looked scared."

The stop was blasted by American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona attorney Yvette Borja.

"That sounds racist to me. I don't know how somebody smells like an immigrant," she said.

Bart Graves, a spokesperson for the department, said the sergeant who initiated the stop has 20 years of experience.

"The Department does not consider the 'odor that's consistent with smuggling of illegal aliens' as an acceptable factor to establish reasonable suspicion that a person is a noncitizen and unlawfully present in the United States," Graves said in an email. "The Department acknowledges that the information in Sergeant Smith's report should have been better articulated."

Here's how the department initially described the stop:


Three shootings in two cities results in arrest of 39-year-old man: police

Authorities in Georgia have arrested a suspect in a spree of shootings.

Columbus Police Chief Chief Freddie Blackmon announced at a Saturday press conference that Justin Tyran Roberts, 39, was arrested, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reports.

Roberts reportedly traveled to Columbus after an initial shooting in Phenix City outside the Courtyard by Marriott, where he is expected to face additional charges.

He then allegedly committed two more shootings in Columbus.

"In the Broadway shooting, Roberts faces three counts of aggravated assault, and one count each of using a firearm to commit a crime and being a convicted felon with a firearm. In the Oglethorpe Bridge shooting, he faces one count each of aggravated assault, using a gun to commit a crime, being a convicted felon with a firearm, and theft by receiving stolen property," the newspaper reported.

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