House fire in Sambro Head mostly confined to attic, fire chief says

The Canadian press

The run house draws a line and kicks Greene off the committees

WASHINGTON – A violently divided house kicked Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from their two committees Thursday, an unprecedented sentence the Democrats earned for spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories. Almost all Republicans have voted against the Democratic move, but none have defended their long history of outrageous social media posts. But at an exciting moment, the newly crowned Republican from a deep red corner of Georgia entered the house in her own name. She offered a mixture of back pedaling and pointing when she wore a dark mask adorned with the words “FREE SPEECH”. The chamber’s partisan vote between 230 and 199 was the latest example of conspiracy theories turning into political battlegrounds, something that became more popular during Donald Trump’s presidency. He will be tried in the Senate next week for incitement to riot after a mob fueled by his misrepresentation of a stolen election attacked the Capitol. Thursday’s fight also underscored the turmoil and political complexity that Greene – a master of provoking Democrats, promoting herself, and raising campaign funds – has sparked since she ran as a house candidate last year. Greene spoke to her colleagues and tried to distance herself from her “words of the past”. She contradicted previous social media posts, saying she believes the 9/11 attacks and the school mass shootings were real and no longer believes in QAnon conspiracy theories that involve lies about democratically run pedophile rings. However, she did not specifically apologize for online supportive remarks on other subjects, such as when she contemplated that House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi had been murdered or that Jewish-controlled space rays could cause forest fires. And she portrayed herself as a victim of unscrupulous “big media companies.” News organizations “can take tiny words that I said, that you said, each of us, and present us as who we are not,” she said. She added that “we are in a really big problem” if the House punishes them, but “tolerates members who tolerate the riots that have hurt the American people” – a clear reference to the anti-social justice protests last summer who in some cases became violent. Greene served on the Education, Labor, and Household Committees. Democrats were particularly appalled by her assignment to the Education Committee, given the doubts she had expressed in the past about shootings in Florida and Connecticut. The political imperative for Democrats was clear: Greene’s support for violence and fiction was dangerous and deserved punishment. Democrats and researchers said there was no apparent precedent for the entire House to remove a lawmaker from a committee, a move normally taken by their party leaders. The calculation was more complicated for Republicans. Although Trump left the White House two weeks ago, his loyal supporters are numerous among the party’s voters, and he and Greene are allies. Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Hopes GOP victories in the 2022 elections will make him the spokesperson. Republicans could undermine this scenario by alienating Trump and Greene’s ardent supporters, and McCarthy took no action to punish them. “If any of our members were to compromise the safety of other members, we would be the first to remove them from a committee,” Pelosi angrily told reporters. She said she was “deeply concerned” about the GOP leaders’ acceptance of an “extreme conspiracy theorist”. “The Lincoln Party is becoming a party of violent conspiracy theories and it does not appear that the Republican Party leaders in this House will do anything about it,” said Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass. Republicans step cautiously, but rally points found. McCarthy said Greene’s previous opinions “do not represent my party’s views.” But without naming the perpetrators, he said Pelosi did not revoke any committee membership of the Democrats involved in the controversy. Among those he implicated was Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Who made anti-Israel slurs for which she later apologized. “If that’s the new standard,” he said of the Democrats’ move against Greene, “we have a long list.” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., Said Democrats had set a precedent by punishing lawmakers for statements made before they were even candidates for Congress. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio warned, “You are speaking wrong, you are in the Thunder Dome,” a term used for an enclosed wrestling arena. The duties of the committee are vital to the legislature in shaping legislation for its districts, building a national reputation, and increasing contributions to the campaign. Even social media stars like Greene might find it harder to define themselves without the committee spotlights. Not all Republicans were in a forgiving mood, especially in the Senate. There, fringe GOP candidates have lost winning races in recent years, and leaders fear a continued association with Trump and conspirators will do more damage. The leader of that chamber, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Called Greene’s words a “cancer” for the GOP and the country this week. On Thursday, Senate No. 2 GOP Chairman John Thune of South Dakota reinforced that thinking. Thune said the House Republicans needed to issue a “really strong” reprimand for Greene’s conspiratorial language. Republicans must “get away from members who deal with conspiracy theories,” said Thune. “I don’t think that this is a productive course of action or that it will lead to too much political prosperity in the future.” The fight came the day after the Republicans decided another battle and voted to keep Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., In their leadership. Pro-Trump Conservatives tried to remove her for supporting Trump’s impeachment. The House resolution to punish Greene was little more than a page long. House rules were said to require that legislature’s behavior be “credibly” reflected on the Chamber and that Greene should be removed “given the behavior it exhibited”. News organizations have discovered countless social media videos and “likes” in which Greene pioneered absurd theories, such as the suspicion that Hillary Clinton was behind the 1999 death of John F. Kennedy Jr. Greene replied, “The stage is set,” when someone asked a question about hanging Clinton and former President Barack Obama. Alan Fram and Brian Slodysko, The Associated Press

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