Democracy Has Prevailed.

October 18, 2021

Parallels/Coincidences Or Connections (Frank Scavo and Doug Mastriano)

Good morning, it's Monday. Let's start here:

A Lackawanna County man who organized a protest outside state House Speaker Bryan Cutler’s house in late December is the latest Pennsylvanian to be charged by the federal government for participating in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Frank Scavo, a former state Senate candidate and controversial Old Forge, Pa., school board president, appeared in federal court on Thursday to face four misdemeanor charges related to his presence in Capitol.

Eight days before the Jan. 6 attack, Scavo and more than 100 people protested outside Cutler’s district office in Buck to call on one of the legislature’s top Republicans to take decisive action to overturn Pennsylvania’s election results. Scavo and other protesters then gathered outside Cutler’s home in Drumore Township.

So far so typical among the Trumpists.

It's the next paragraph where a whole mess of red flags began to be raised:

Scavo organized the bus that transported some protesters from Scranton to Lancaster County on Dec. 30. The group included members of an off-shoot of the Unification Church, which was founded in South Korea by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon whose followers are often referred to “Moonies.”

And then a couple of paragraphs later:

The following week, Scavo organized five buses to take 200 people to the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., responding to then-President Trump’s call for his supporters to join him in trying to stop Congress from counting the final Electoral College results.

So Scavo was in the Capitol (that's a crime) and there's video and the FBI is on the case. Yadda-yadda and so forth.

Right now I am more curious about that off-shoot of the Unification Church.

For that we go here:

A pro-gun, pro-Trump sect composed of U.S. and non-citizen zealots was involved in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and largely escaped attention. Known as Moonies, it is preparing for insurrection 2.0.

Look back to three weeks before the 2020 presidential election. Former White House senior counselor Steve Bannon addressed a crowd gathered on the grounds of Kahr Arms/Tommy Gun Warehouse in Greeley, Pa., by video.

And:

Frank Scavo, a local Republican politician who previously served on the Old Forge School Board in Lackawanna County, emceed the event. Following Bannon’s remarks, Scavo reinforced the previous speaker’s points.

“You heard Steve Bannon,” Scavo said. “Now is our time, now is your time. Working the polls — all you’re doing is making sure that it’s going straight, that it’s going according to plan. All you’re doing is making sure that there aren’t busloads of people which show up and just happen to vote.”

Then, Scavo introduced the next speaker — a man dressed in a camouflage-patterned suit and tie and wearing a crown of bullets with a gold-plated AR-15 rifle slung over his shoulder.

It was Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, leader of World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, more commonly known as Rod of Iron Ministries.

Rod of Iron.

Is any of this sounding familiar? 

If not, let me remind you:

From its beginning, the church wholeheartedly embraced former President Donald Trump and incorporated Trumpian culture war and conspiracies into its rhetoric. Moon told VICE News in late 2019 that he believed God was working through Trump to rid the world of “political satanism” (for example, the “deep state” and “the swamp”) and restore Eden. Through his gun-centric, MAGA-friendly outlook, Moon has been able to establish some fringe political alliances. Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon spoke at a recent event hosted by the church. Pennsylvania state senator and “Stop the Steal” organizer Doug Mastriano was also recently billed as a special guest at another church event. [Emphasis added.]
So we have two Pennsylvania politicians (one a little more prominent than the other) each Trumpists, each involved in busing people to the "Stop The Steal" rally on January 6 (which morphed into the Capitol insurrection where one of the to men was more involved than the other) and each tied to a pro-gun off-shoot of the Unification Church (which also was involved in storming the Capitol on January 6).

It's quite possible that these two gentlemen of Pennsylvania are simply running parallel political lives and it's all a coincidence and they've never ever even met.

And it's quite possible that they have.

Have they met?

Can someone please ask Doug about this?

October 16, 2021

Two Days In A Row! PA State Senator Doug Mastriano In The News

Today, it's Business Insider. And let me just say that it's never a good sign when the news about you opens with something like this:

A Pennsylvania Republican who tried to block his state's votes from being counted in the 2020 election held a fundraiser at a church on Thursday at which he mocked the notion of "herd immunity" and falsely suggested the vaccines against COVID-19 are not really vaccines at all.

Jeepers, there's absolutely nothing about any of this good qualities! For instance, I am pretty sure he lowers the seat whenever he's done in the bathroom and I would not at all be surprised to hear that he is, at the very least, an adequate tipper (assuming the service is good). 

But it just looks so so bad when the first bullet out of the barrel is about Doug's part in Trump's Big Lie and the second is about how the COVID-19 vaccines really aren't vaccines.

The brother can't catch a break at all, can he?

BI continues:

At a political fundraiser hosted by the tax-exempt, evangelical Time Ministries Church in central Pennsylvania, Mastriano appeared to gear up for a potential run for governor in 2022, having previously claimed that former President Donald Trump personally asked him to do so. His remarks, aired live on Facebook, touched on opposition to vaccine mandates — a bill he introduced prohibits requiring any immunization — and rehashing claims that the 2020 election stolen.

Wait - a political fundraiser at a tax-exempt church?

Well, the church did post this on it's FB page

And the IRS does say:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances.  For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

So when it says that "Refreshments will be provided by" the church, isn't that a donation in kind? And when it suggests "donations to Friends of Doug Mastriano" isn't that participating in the political campaign?

Doesn't all that violate the IRS rules for tax-exempt status?

You can watch Doug's fundraising speech here.

Business Insider continues:

"So now the healthcare workers, you're in a bad spot there," Mastriano said, blasting "Joe Biden's edicts" that "you need to get the shot."

"I guess I shouldn't call it a 'vaccine,'" Mastriano continued, a reference to false claims and disinformation that mRNA vaccines, such as the ones from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are not true vaccines because they rely on a new medical technology to spur antibody production. The inoculation from Johnson & Johnson is a more traditional vector vaccine.

The vaccines, one of which has full FDA approval (Pfizer), and two others that have FDA emergency authorization (Moderna and J&J), are safe and effective at staving off severe cases of COVID-19, per Johns Hopkins.

Of Doug's many college degrees, none are in any way scientific so his opinion as to whether the vaccines are, in fact, vaccines is moot.

A point further proved by this:

"And who ever heard this idea that you need to get the shot to protect other people?" Mastriano asked the small audience at the church. "You know when I was deployed overseas, and then you get all of these things shoved into your body, like any veteran does, it's not there to protect the Afghans or Iraqis, it protects you. This is not even reasonable or logical," he said.

Despite Mastriano's suggestion that the benefits of mass inoculation are a novel argument for the COVID-19 vaccines, it is a basic tenet of modern immunology and a reason why, for example, schools in Pennsylvania require all students to be vaccinated against diseases such as polio, with few exemptions for medical and religious reasons.

He also lied about the 2020 election:

At Thursday's fundraiser, the state senator also pushed false claims about the 2020 election. Although Pennsylvania Republicans actually passed a ballot measure this year, limiting Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's ability to issue public health orders during a pandemic, Mastriano insisted the state's elections are fraudulent, citing a debunked story about ballots being trucked in from New York reiterating his demand for a "forensic audit" like that carried out in Maricopa County, Arizona, which he witnessed over the summer.

"They had magnifying glasses on one of the machines, they could tell — apparently photocopies are pixelated…. it's very clear that's a compromised ballot," he claimed.

But the partisan review in Arizona, commissioned by the state's Republicans, did not find any such "compromised ballots," despite being led by a group, Cyber Ninjas, that was committed to finding them. A third-party review of results in Pennsylvania's Fulton County, pushed by Mastriano, likewise found no evidence of fraud.

Isn't there a Commandment against bearing false witness?

So why is Doug Mastriano lying in church?

October 15, 2021

Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano In The News!

First, there's CNN:

Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano went out of his way to help advance former President Donald Trump's election lies: He spearheaded a "hearing" at a hotel in Gettysburg a few weeks after the 2020 election, where Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani made false claims about election fraud. He chartered buses to ferry his supporters to Washington on January 6. And he was briefly in charge of the Pennsylvania state Senate's partisan "audit" of the 2020 election.

Now Mastriano's role behind the scenes helping Trump try to overturn his loss to Joe Biden is under renewed scrutiny after a Democrat-led Senate Judiciary report released last week revealed his correspondence with the Justice Department spreading debunked claims of fraud. Mastriano is one of three under-the-radar figures the report singles out for further investigation for their efforts helping Trump try to subvert the election. [Emphasis added.]

Mastriano, one of three singled out for further investigation. 

On Mastriano's pressuring the DOJ, CNN has this:

Behind the scenes, Mastriano was helping Trump try to convince the Justice Department of election fraud. The Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic report shows Mastriano forwarded Donoghue a letter in December 2020 with numerous false and debunked claims about election fraud in Pennsylvania, which was later sent to Rosen, according to the panel. 
 
"This election is an embarrassment to our nation," Mastriano wrote in his memo.
Trump, in a December 27 call with Rosen, cited both Mastriano and Perry when he urged Rosen to say there was fraud in the election.
 
"The President said something to the effect of, you know, 'People were trying to address this problem, Scott Perry and Mastriano. Jim Jordan, he's a big fighter, but they can't do it in their own capacities,'" Donoghue told the committee.

Then, more locally, there's KDKA

A Pennsylvania state senator from the Gettysburg area is being accused of playing a critical role in the lead-up to the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. 

State Senator Doug Mastriano is being accused of also passing barricades and police lines as the mob took over the Capitol.

A new Senate Judiciary Report highlighted former President Donald Trump’s faith that Sen. Mastriano was in his corner. 

The report also says that Mastriano and his wife also took part in the insurrection and organized buses to travel to Washington D.C. that day.

Now the committee believes that Mastriano’s actions warrant further investigation. 

Nothing we haven't posted here, but still it's good to know KDKA is catching up.

Finally, in a piece about AG Josh Shapiro announcing his candidacy, The Morning Call has this about our bff, Douggiemast:

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, another Trump ally, has discussed a possible run, but he’s fallen out of favor with party leaders and may be damaged through his links to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

 May be damaged? Huh?

Looks to me like the man's deeply embedded in whatever shenanigans Trump engineered to stay in power despite losing in November, 2020.

The only question is when he gets called to testify before Congress and what (if any) charges he'll face for participating in the Trump's attempted coup.

 

 

October 14, 2021

Another Congressional Subpoena (And Of Course, The PENNSYLVANIA Connection!)

The AP is reporting:

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol has issued a subpoena to a former Justice Department lawyer who positioned himself as an ally of Donald Trump and aided the Republican president’s efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election.

The subpoena to Jeffrey Clark, revealed Wednesday, came amid signs of a rapidly escalating congressional inquiry. At least three of the people who were involved in organizing and running the rally that preceded the violent riot are handing over documents in response to subpoenas from the committee.

The Hill has roughly the same story but adds:

An otherwise little-known figure in the Justice Department, Clark was introduced to Trump by Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), another person the Senate Committee recommended the House focus on.

There it is.

The NYTimes has some more on Rep. Perry: 

It was Mr. Perry, a member of the hard-line Freedom Caucus, who first made Mr. Trump aware that a relatively obscure Justice Department official, Jeffrey Clark, the acting chief of the civil division, was sympathetic to Mr. Trump’s view that the election had been stolen, according to former administration officials who spoke with Mr. Clark and Mr. Trump.

Mr. Perry introduced the president to Mr. Clark, whose openness to conspiracy theories about election fraud presented Mr. Trump with a welcome change from the acting attorney general, Jeffrey A. Rosen, who stood by the results of the election and had repeatedly resisted the president’s efforts to undo them.

Adding:

It is unclear when Mr. Perry, who represents the Harrisburg area, met Mr. Clark, a Philadelphia native, or how well they knew each other before the introduction to Mr. Trump. Former Trump administration officials said that it was only in late December that Mr. Clark told Mr. Rosen about the introduction brokered by Mr. Perry, who was among the scores of people feeding Mr. Trump false hope that he had won the election.

But it is highly unlikely that Mr. Trump would have known Mr. Clark otherwise.

And:

As the date for Congress to affirm Mr. Biden’s victory neared, Mr. Perry and Mr. Clark discussed a plan to have the Justice Department send a letter to Georgia state lawmakers informing them of an investigation into voter fraud that could invalidate the state’s Electoral College results.
The Times also points out that they discussed the plan with Trump himself.

You can read the Committee's letter to Clark here.

A key take-away:


You might have to click on the image to read it, sorry.

Jeffrey Clark is under investigation for his role in the events leading up to the January 6 insurgency. And Jeffrey Clark was introduced to Donald Trump by Rep Scott Perry.

What did Scott Perry know and when did he know it? How deeply enmeshed in the coup is he?

October 13, 2021

CNN Has The Scott Perry Story (Oh, And Doug Mastriano's Name Shows Up, Too!)

Take a look:

Or you can read about it here:

Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry is under renewed scrutiny after a Senate report released last week provided fresh details about Perry's role in helping former President Donald Trump try to overturn the 2020 election.

The report from the Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats zeroes in on Perry as a key player in Trump's attempts to pressure the Justice Department to support his false voter fraud conspiracies, which Trump had hoped would lead to Congress overturning his 2020 loss to Joe Biden. Perry connected Trump with a Justice Department lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, who was open to his claims of voter fraud, while Trump dispatched Perry to try to convince the top DOJ brass that the election had been stolen, according to the committee.

And, as we're learning, as goes Scott Perry, so goes PA State Senator Doug Mastriano. First the visual:

And now the readable:
Perry and the other two officials singled out by the report, Trump campaign legal adviser Cleta Mitchell and Pennsylvania state GOP Rep. Doug Mastriano, could all have firsthand knowledge about Trump's efforts behind the scenes in the lead-up to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
 
Perry was among roughly a dozen GOP lawmakers whose phone records the committee instructed telecom companies to preserve in August.

I wonder if any of those calls were to Mastriano. I wonder. I wonder if they talked, whether they traded Army stories or just simply coup-cooed late at night.

But back to the Über-patriot Scott Perry:

In the months since January 6, Perry has not backed off his claims that the election results should have been thrown out in Pennsylvania. He also voted against creating an independent commission or a select committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and he was part of a group of nearly two-dozen House Republicans who voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the officers who defended the Capitol on January 6.

Great guy, Scott Perry. One of Trump's guys. 

Another is Doug Mastriano.

October 12, 2021

PA State Senator Doug Mastriano's VIP Recognition on 1/6

The entwining is getting entwinier!

This bubbled up on the interwebs recently:

The Uprising has obtained internal documents from the planning of the January 6 “March To Save America” rally at the White House Ellipse that immediately preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol building.

These documents, which you can read below, include a four page list of 109 “important guests” from at least 18 states. The guests were invited to the rally by the pro-Trump organization Women For America First, which “largely organized” the event.

A House select committee dedicated to the attack is investigating the organizers of that event at the Ellipse. The Uprising is publishing these documents due to the apparent interest in organizers and participants in the rally that has been shown by the select committee.

 Guess who's on the above mentioned "important guests" list?

You got it:

See that? Right at the bottom of the image? That's right. Pennsylvania State Senator Doug Mastriano.

So not only was he listed as among the "Invited Speaker & Featured Guests" at the rally, he was a completely different list of event "Important Guests."

How deeply was Doug Mastriano involved with the attempted coup? We know he wandered around the Capitol while the Trump-mob stormed it (he also lied about his Capitol grounds wanderlust).

Seeing as the House Committee has subpoenaed the organizers of those rallies, how long can we expect to wait before PA State Senator Mastriano will be called to testify (under oath) about what he knew about the attempted coup?

Is he expecting a knock on his door anytime soon?

October 11, 2021

Message To Wendy Bell (Ivermectin in India)

This has happened a number of times. Wendy Bell (SW PA's Angel of Death) points to the "proof" of the effectiveness of Ivermectin by point out a story or two coming out of India.

She's doing this to point her many adorings away from the vaccines and to bolster their skepticism in the FDA, medical science, the news media and so on.

Her argument runs basically like this:

There's proof that Ivermectin works against Covid-19 only the media/deep state guv'ment/Big Pharma don't want you to know about it! Only I'll tell you the truth. And the truth can be found in India.

And then she'll read to you an article about Uttar Pradesh.

Next time that happens (and it might be today, it might be next week, it might not ever happen) I am hoping someone in her increasingly madding crowd will let her know about this from India Today:

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Task Force on Covid-19 have dropped the use of Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) drugs from their revised guidelines for the treatment of the infection.

The decision was taken after experts found that these drugs have little to no effect on Covid-related mortality or clinical recovery of the patient.

And:

Studies...found there was no clarity on mortality benefit, no effect on length of hospital stay and recovery in case of Ivermectin. 

Recommending that Ivermectin be dropped from the clinical guidance, experts cited 13 systematic reviews of which “7/13 showed mortality benefit, 4/13 no mortality benefit, 2/13 inconclusive/unclear.”

Additionally, there was a high risk of bias in many of the studies, particularly with the ones showing mortality benefit, as the level of certainty is low in them.

No mortality benefit, Wendy. Even the experts in India say so.