Bannon the Leninist, the QAnon Shaman and Justice, and GOP Voter Fraud

Plus, a great recipe if you're not cooking Turkey for Thanksgiving...

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TIM MILLER on why the QAnon Shaman getting 41 months in the clink is not justice.

Here’s the reasoning offered by the U.S. attorney who was prosecuting the Shaman, as reported by the Huffington Post:

[Prosecutors] asked the court to send a message to the “flag-bearer” of Jan. 6 and any other people, regardless of their political beliefs, that there are consequences for trying to obstruct American democracy. . . . [They] asked for a sentence of 51 months in federal prison, saying his criminal acts had “made him the public face of the Capitol riot.”

No. No. No. No. No.

This argument is illiberal madness. The justice system is supposed to be blind, not drop the hammer on the guy whose outfit got the most TV coverage. According to this logic, if Chansley had just worn a camo jacket and a MAGA hat like all the other idiots, the prosecutors would have sought a lesser sentence. You’re supposed to be sentenced according to your crimes, not your wardrobe.

The prosecutors also argue Chansley was violent based on the fact that others around him were violent and that he wrote a mean, threatening note to the vice president. Is this really a standard of justice we want meted out across the board?

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RON RADOSH writes today about Steve Bannon and MAGA Martyrdom.

Bannon spelled out his plans and strategy to me way back on November 12, 2013, at a book party held at his D.C. townhouse (the so-called “Breitbart Embassy”). “I’m a Leninist,” he told me as he introduced himself. He then went on, as I recounted in a 2016 Daily Beast article, to inform me that “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.” The “establishment” included the GOP leaders and what others considered the conservative press. National Review and the Weekly Standard were, in Bannon’s eyes, “left-wing magazines.” I ended my article with a prediction that, sadly, has proven correct. I wrote that should Bannon succeed, there would be “a hostile takeover of the GOP.”

In attempting to create his revolutionary movement for a kind of populist nationalism, Bannon took ideas from both the left and the right. His claim to populism extended to praising Bernie Sanders’s call for limiting immigration because he thought it hurt American workers. In a 2018 interview with Ben Schreckinger of GQ magazine, Bannon proclaimed that “the greatest power on earth is the working men and women in this country,” which might as well have come from Eugene V. Debs in the 1920s. Schreckinger responded that Bannon’s words reminded him of Woody Guthrie. Bannon responded that although “the populist left” had taken Guthrie’s most famous song as their own anthem, “This Land is Your Land,” is “still one of the most powerful songs written in this country. So I’m a big fan.” Were he living, Guthrie, a self-proclaimed Communist and Marxist, would have been horrified.

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"If you persuade people that we cannot rely on our elections to decide who should govern, then what is left but violence?" Rep. Adam Schiff joins Charlie Sykes on today's podcast. More quotes from the transcript in Morning Shots.

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DENNIS AFTERGUT has this detailed item about the pattern of GOP voter fraud in the 2020 election on the site today. Make sure to share it with your friends.

A review of the database reveals an astonishing fact: In every listed indictment and conviction for voter fraud or other malfeasance in connection with the 2020 presidential general election, when the culprit’s political affiliation is known he or she turns out to be a Republican or “unabashed conservative.”

In May 2021, Arizona indicted Tracy Lee McKay for voting in her dead mother’s name last November. McKay is a registered Republican. “Voter fraud cases are rare,” the Arizona Mirror reported.

Still, there appears to have been a bit of an epidemic of Republican dead mothers voting. In Pennsylvania, Robert Richard Lynn pleaded guilty in August to doing the same thing as McKay with his deceased mother’s ballot in the 2020 presidential election. In May, Bruce Bartman, to borrow poker vernacular, “saw Lynn and raised him one”: He pleaded guilty to registering to vote in both his dead mother’s name and that of his dead mother-in-law. He registered both women as Republicans, and actually cast a ballot as his mother. “I listened to too much propaganda and made a stupid mistake,” he told the judge at his sentencing.

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One week until Turkey Day. I’m sure if you’re having company (like I am right now) you’ve begun your preparations to make sure your house doesn’t look like a COVID cabin. Tomorrow’s OVERTIME might be a little shorter, as we’re going to a burial ceremony for a family member at a national cemetery. I have never attended one of these, only having seen them in the movies. While death is sad, I’m looking forward to this family member being honored for serving his country. Tempus Fugit, Memento Mori, they say.

This great recipe for rigatoni with white bolognese is on the menu tonight. It’s one of my favorites, so if you don’t do Turkey for Thanksgiving, do this instead. And it’s got a great origin story.

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Daycare, the broken industry. COVID has changed our economy in many ways, but daycare, while it is no different, has long been broken. COVID broke it even more. Take this deep dive at Bloomberg Businessweek for more.

Here’s a line that stuck with me. And when our twin daughters were born, the cost of childcare was something to grapple with, as D.C. is an expensive area in which to live:

Cohen accepts infants, charging just below $2,000 a month for babies younger than 2 and $1,500 for older kids. That doesn’t leave her much money to pay employees. Before Covid, Wow & Flutterville assistants started off at $15 an hour, barely above Portland’s minimum wage. Experienced teachers made $17. “That’s not a living wage,” she admits. “You really have to love children to do this. I always tell people, ‘If you are deciding whether to be a barista or do this, you should be a barista.’ ”

A while back a lawyer friend of mine and I were chatting and he wondered aloud whether or not he should quit practicing and become a journalist. I’m sure you can guess what my answer was: pay off your student loans while it’s easier. You really have to love writing and journalism to do this job with the heavy student loan debt lawyers have.

Death comes to the boxing ring… At The Atlantic, here’s a must-read long form item on how a boxer whose blows contributed to the death of his opponent. The boxer, Charles Conwell, is from my neck of the woods, having grown up in neighboring Cleveland Heights. And on the same day his opponent succumbed to his fight-related wounds, Conwell found out he was going to be a father. A masterfully written story.

The history of the Cheez-It. There are four types of Americans:

  1. Those who prefer Cheez-Its

  2. Those who prefer Cheese Nips

  3. People who don’t care about brands

  4. Lactose intolerant people.

For the record, my family is firmly in category #1. But what I didn’t know was the history of the cracker, and Smithsonian Magazine has us covered.

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Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.