Finally Friday Reads: A Neoconfederacy of Elephant-riding Corrupt DuncesPosted: April 14, 2023 Filed under: A thread for Ranting, abortion rights, American Fascists, Donald Trump, double-speak, fundamentalist Christians, Psychopaths in charge, Right Wing Angst, Uncle Clarence Thomas, War on Women, White Christian Nationalism, white nationalists 13 Comments
Good Day, Sky Dancers!
So what does a Florida-based Dotard Ex-President have in common with a Massachusetts-based Computer Geeky Junior Airman? They both have a need to share Top-Secret Documents to impress their friends.
The biggest difference is that the Geek was frog-marched into court and arrested for posting them on Discord. He was charged under the Espionage Act. The Dotard is still at large, and likely so are some Top Secret Documents. We know he flaunted them around The Donny Dotard Clubhouse, but what other things happened with them? There are so many questions about our classified documents processes now that we’re an international embarrassment.
There’s other news too. Ron DeSantis quietly–and in the dead of night– signed a six-week ban on abortion in Florida. Florida used to have abortion access making the South a death zone for fertile women. Attorney General Garland has asked the Supreme Court to block the order by the Texas Grand Inquisitor on the status of mifepristone. Regulatory chaos is likely to result in the FDA and could spread to other agencies, given the implications of the judge’s lunatic rationale. It’s the one day you can be happy there is such a thing as Big Pharma. The manufacturer of the pill has also filed for an immediate stay. We’re on Supreme Court Watch now. If they do nothing, the chaos will start at midnight with this decision and the conflicting one from Washington State. All of these restrictions are highly unpopular with voters.
Oh, and have I mentioned Uncle Clarence Thomas sold his mother’s house to his billionaire buddy without reporting it, so he broke the law? She still lives in the house, and her new landlord takes care of the place.
Welcome to the Neoconfederacy of Dunces or, as JJ mentioned yesterday, the Dawning of the Age of Idiocracy.
This one comes pretty directly out of some weirdo world. This is from Hans Nichols, writing for AXIOS. “Conservatives plot text warnings on “woke” products.” Yes, this does seem like a direct assault on the first amendment rights of businesses granted by Scalia et al. not that long ago.
A conservative group is offering a new service that texts “Woke Alerts” straight to the phones of grocery shoppers who want to know which brands are accused of taking political positions that are offensive to the right.
So, you can see that we have so much to write about this week that we’re torn between leaving something uncovered or quoting so much we run up the word counts. And, of course, JJ shows us that the political cartoon crowd has a lot of fodder.
So, there are a lot of links up top. Let me just highlight a few things.
Here is more detail on the Supreme Court Watch for the ruling on mifepristone. This is from NBC News.” The Justice Department and the drugmaker are asking the Supreme Court to block the abortion pill ruling. The Biden administration and Danco Laboratories want to freeze a court decision that curbs access to the abortion pill mifepristone.”
The Biden administration on Friday asked the Supreme Court to block part of a court decision that prevents pregnant women from obtaining the key abortion drug mifepristone by mail.
Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, representing the Food and Drug Administration, urged the court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, to put on hold the entirety of a decision issued by Texas-based U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk that handed a sweeping victory to abortion opponents.
“This application concerns unprecedented lower court orders countermanding FDA’s scientific judgment and unleashing regulatory chaos by suspending the existing FDA-approved conditions of use for mifepristone,” Prelogar wrote in court papers.
Danco Laboratories, which makes Mifeprex, the brand version of the pill, filed a similar request on Friday.
Danco said it would be “irreparably harmed” if the decision goes into effect because it “will be unable to both conduct its business nationwide and comply with its legal obligations.”
This is the latest set of witnesses to discuss Trump’s Classified Documents theft. This is from the New York Times. “Witnesses Asked About Trump’s Handling of Map With Classified Information. The map is just one element of the Justice Department’s inquiry into former President Donald Trump’s possession of sensitive documents and whether he obstructed justice in seeking to hold onto them.”
Federal investigators are asking witnesses whether former President Donald J. Trump showed off to aides and visitors a map he took with him when he left office that contains sensitive intelligence information, four people with knowledge of the matter said.
The map has been just one focus of the broad Justice Department investigation into Mr. Trump’s handling of classified documents after he departed the White House.
The nature of the map and the information it contained is not clear. But investigators have questioned a number of witnesses about it, according to the people with knowledge of the matter, as the special counsel overseeing the Justice Department’s Trump-focused inquiries, Jack Smith, examines the former president’s handling of classified material after leaving office and weighs charges that could include obstruction of justice.
One person briefed on the matter said investigators have asked about Mr. Trump showing the map while aboard a plane. Another said that, based on the questions they were asking, investigators appeared to believe that Mr. Trump showed the map to at least one adviser after leaving office.
A third person with knowledge of the investigation said the map might also have been shown to a journalist writing a book. The Washington Post has previously reported that investigators have asked about Mr. Trump showing classified material, including maps, to political donors.
The question of whether Mr. Trump was displaying sensitive material in his possession after he lost the presidency and left office is crucial as investigators try to reconstruct what Mr. Trump was doing with boxes of documents that went with him to his Florida residence and private club, Mar-a-Lago.
Among the topics investigators have been focused on is precisely when Mr. Trump was at the club last year. In particular, they were interested in whether he remained at Mar-a-Lago to look at boxes of material that were still stored there before Justice Department counterintelligence officials seeking their return came to visit in early June, according to two people familiar with the questions.
Hannah Knowles writes on “How DeSantis backed a six-week abortion ban — while barely talking about it. The Florida governor went from signing a 15-week ban last year to signing a six-week ban late at night on Thursday.”
The governor’s quiet embrace of the six-week ban reflects his team’s political calculations heading into 2024, as he gears up for a presidential primary where hard-line activists and voters wield influence. It underlines the continued pressure in the GOP for politicians to embrace tighter laws — even as numerous Republicans, including some DeSantis allies, worry that abortion bans have helped sink their candidates in critical general elections. And it highlights DeSantis’s longtime reluctance to make abortion a signature part of his public profile, though he has enacted major changes to laws on the procedure.
“The numbers show that Florida is a destination” for abortion, said Chad Davis, a candidate for the state House who worked for ex-state senator Kelli Stargel, the sponsor of the 15-week ban. “That’s an embarrassment to him.”
DeSantis has generally avoided talking about abortion, even as he tours the country touting other legislation he’s signed. Rather than roll out the six-week bill as a major agenda item, he gave vague endorsements: “I’m willing to sign great life legislation,” he told one reporter who put him on the spot. A six-week ban has proved divisive in his orbit, with some donors strongly opposed and other Republicans eager to simply move on.
President Biden has put out a statement on the arrest of the Leaker and his plans to review the classified documents processes. Not let’s see hin do something about getting White Christian Nationalists out of the Military.
I’ll leave you with this from the High Priestess of QAnon.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Finally Friday ReadsPosted: September 23, 2022 Filed under: campaign financing, corporate money, corruption, court rulings, executive privilege, misogyny, Republican politics, Treason and Sedition Republican Style, tRump crimes against humanity, War on Women 22 Comments
Good Day Sky Dancers!
The headlines are filled with Republican Shenanigans. Holding them accountable for illegal actions appears difficult. This highlights the difference in treatment for everyone else and white men.
The case against Rep. Matt Gaetz has now been considered too difficult to prosecute because all of the witnesses are not upstanding citizens. What do you expect from a gang of sex traffickers of underage women? Devlin Barret, writing for The Washington Post, states: “Career prosecutors recommend no charges for Gaetz in the sex-trafficking probe. Investigators see credibility challenges for two of the main witnesses in the probe of the congressman’s past dealings with a 17-year-old.”
Career prosecutors have recommended against charging Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in a long-running sex-trafficking investigation — telling Justice Department superiors that a conviction is unlikely in part because of credibility questions with the two central witnesses, according to people familiar with the matter.
Senior department officials have not made a final decision on whether to charge Gaetz, but it is rare for such advice to be rejected, these people told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the deliberations. They added that it is always possible additional evidence emerges that could alter prosecutors’ understanding of the case.
Nevertheless, it is unlikely that federal authorities will charge Gaetz with a crime in an investigation that started in late 2020 and focused on his alleged involvement with a 17-year-old girlseveral years earlier. Gaetz,40, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing, saying he has never paid for sex. He has also said the only time he had sex with a 17-year-old was when he was also 17.
The congressman is likely a role model for these guys. Again, this is from The Washington Post, written by Taylor Lorenz. “The online incel movement is getting more violent and extreme, report says. The Center for Countering Digital Hate analyzed more than 1 million posts showing a rise in advocacy of rape, mass killings.”
The most prominent forum for men who consider themselves involuntarily celibate or “incels” has become significantly more radicalized over the past year and a half and is seeking to normalize child rape, a new report says.
The report, by the Center for Countering Digital Hate’s new Quant Lab, is the culmination of an investigation that analyzed more than 1 million posts on the site. It found a marked spike in conversations about mass murder and growing approval of sexually assaulting prepubescent girls.
The report also says that platforms including YouTube and Google, as well as internet infrastructure companies like Cloudflare are facilitating the growth of the forum, which the report said is visited by 2.6 million people every month. “These businesses should make a principled decision to withdraw their services from sites causing such significant harm,” the report says.
“This is a novel, new violent extremist movement born in the internet age, which defies the usual characteristics of violent extremist movements that law enforcement and the intelligence community are usually used to,” said Imran Ahmed, founder and CEO of CCDH, a US-based nonprofit. “Our study shows that it is organized, has a cogent ideology and has clearly concluded that raping women, killing women, and raping children is a clear part of the practice of their ideology.”
Incels blame women for their failings in life. The term originated decades ago, and while the first incel forum was founded by a woman in the mid 1990s, incel communities have since become almost exclusively male. Incel ideology has been linked to dozens of murders and assaults over the past decade, the most prominent one involving Elliot Rodger, a 22-year-old self-described incel who murdered six people in a stabbing and shooting rampage in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2014. Before killing himself, he posted a long manifesto and YouTube videos promoting incel ideology.
In March, the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center released a report warning that anti-woman violence was a growing terrorism threat.
According to the CCDH analysis, members of the forum post about rape every 29 minutes, and more than 89 percent of posters support rape and say it’s acceptable. The CCDH analysis also found that posters on the forum are seeking to normalize child rape. More than a quarter of members of the forum have posted pedophilia keywords, the analysis found, and more than half of the members of the forum support pedophilia.
I don’t believe this is necessarily a new thing. This is the problem with the internet. It lets the worst of society hang together and leads to an evil gestalt. These men gain confidence and ideas from their online cult. Also, they can see how easy it is for certain types of men to avoid legal entanglements.
This is written by Brian Bennet. Steal food or smoke a joint, and you wind up in jail for years. This is especially true if you’re a minority or a poor person. Steal millions via government grants; they ignore you. Like in sports, Colin Kaepernick and Michael Vick get demonized for their behaviors and dumped. Brett Favre steals millions for welfare recipients in Mississippi and crickets.
On Wednesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James compounded Trump’s legal woes, announcing that the state was suing Trump, his three adult children, the Trump Organization, and senior management in the company, alleging business fraud involving the value of assets to banks, insurance companies and the state tax authorities.
The sheer number of investigations and the increasingly tangled defenses his legal team is having to put on paper and argue in court amount to a stress test of Trump’s standard strategy to deny, deflect, delay, and not put anything in writing.
“I don’t think there’s any other president who was in a similar legal jeopardy” after leaving office, says Timothy Naftali, a historian at New York University and former director of the federal Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. Warren Harding was investigated by his own vice president and successor, Calvin Coolidge. Nixon would have been the target of investigations for years if Gerald Ford had not pardoned him in September 1974, a month after Nixon resigned from office.
“Even Nixon pales by comparison,” says Norman Eisen, an anti-corruption expert at Brookings Institution and the former special counsel to the Democrat’s House Judiciary Committee from 2019 to 2020 during Trump’s first impeachment. “Nixon just had one Watergate scandal. Trump has had a succession of them, each one more concerning than the last.”
In Georgia, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is looking into how Trump pressured election officials to swing the 2020 presidential election in his direction. The House Jan. 6 Committee and the Department of Justice are both looking at what role Trump played in the lead up to the deadly attack on the Capitol Building to stop the lawful counting of electoral college votes. Federal prosecutors have an active criminal investigation into how and why Trump took thousands of government documents—many containing state secrets—to his residence at Mar-a-Lago and why he refused repeated requests to return them.
And New York’s civil lawsuit announced by James on Wednesday is on top of a separate criminal investigation out of the Manhattan District Attorneys’ Office into the Trump Organization that is set to go to trial in October.
In all of the ongoing cases, Trump is employing the tried-and-true playbook he first learned all those years ago from Cohn for staying out of prison and staying in business, according to Jennifer Taub, a professor at Western New England University School of Law who has tracked the ways that Trump had evaded accountability for decades.
This exclusive headline from CNN really is fascinating. I imagine the move is to stop the prosecutors from being able to find and flip associates. “Exclusive: Trump’s secret court fight to stop grand jury from getting information from his inner circle.”
Former President Donald Trump‘s attorneys are fighting a secret court battle to block a federal grand jury from gathering information from an expanding circle of close Trump aides about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, people briefed on the matter told CNN.
The high-stakes legal dispute — which included the appearance of three attorneys representing Trump at the Washington, DC, federal courthouse on Thursday afternoon — is the most aggressive step taken by the former President to assert executive and attorney-client privileges in order to prevent some witnesses from sharing information in the criminal investigation events surrounding January 6, 2021.
The court fight over privilege, which has not been previously reported and is under seal, is a turning point for Trump’s post-presidency legal woes.
How the fight is resolved could determine whether prosecutors can tear down the firewall Trump has tried to keep around his conversations in the West Wing and with attorneys he spoke to as he sought to overturn the 2020 election and they worked to help him hold onto the presidency.
This dispute came to light as former Trump White House adviser and lawyer Eric Herschmann received a grand jury subpoena seeking testimony, the people briefed said.
Other former senior Trump White House officials, including former White House counsel Pat Cipollone and his deputy Patrick Philbin, appeared before the grand jury in recent weeks, after negotiating specific subjects they would decline to answer question about, because of Trump’s privilege claims.
Have you ever seen anyone claim privilege this many times? Nixon didn’t get away with it, so what’s the deal with the Trump claims? This Trumper candidate seems pretty audacious with the lies too. Uh, that’s not how this works JR, this is not how any of this works.
But these folks will be bankrolled! Check out these links!
Alex Isenstadt / Politico: Trump to unleash millions in the midterms in possible prelude to 2024
Peter Stone / The Guardian: Alarm as Koch bankrolls dozens of election denier candidates
Former Justice Stephan Breyer warns the current Supreme Court Cartel not to take its backward-facing privilege too seriously. This is also from CNN, and then I am done with all these bad boys. “Breyer warns justices that some opinions could ‘bite you in the back’ in exclusive interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace.”
Retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is warning his colleagues against “writing too rigidly” in their opinions, saying that such decisions could “bite you in the back” in a world that is constantly changing.
In a wide-ranging interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace on “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace,” which debuted Friday on HBOMax and airs Sunday night on CNN, Breyer also bemoaned his position in the court’s minority liberal bloc during his final year on the bench, addressed the court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade and spoke about the ongoing controversy regarding Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas.
Breyer said it was a “very frustrating” spot to be in as he found himself in dissent in a number of historically consequential cases where he said the majority side (conservatives — although the retired justice did not use that description) was unwilling to bend.
“You start writing too rigidly and you will see, the world will come around and bite you in the back,” Breyer said in his first televised interview since leaving the bench earlier this year. “Because you will find something you see just doesn’t work at all. And the Supreme Court, somewhat to the difference of others, has that kind of problem in spades.”
“Life is complex, life changes,” Breyer added. “And we want to maintain insofar as we can — everybody does — certain key moral political values: democracy, human rights, equality, rule of law, etc. To try to do that in an ever-changing world. If you think you can do that by writing 16 computer programs — I just disagree.
The comments from Breyer come days before the Supreme Court begins its first term without him in nearly 30 years. In the new term, the justices will consider issues including voting rights, immigration, affirmative action, environmental regulations and religious liberty — areas where the solid conservative majority can easily control the outcomes.
Okay, that’s “all I can stands and I can’t stands no more.” (To quote my childhood hero.)
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
The great nations of Europe were standing on the shore.
They’d conquered what was behind them
And now they wanted more
So they looked to the mighty ocean
And took to the Western sea
The great nations of Europe in the 16th century
Hide your wives and daughters, hide the groceries too
The great nations of Europe comin’ through
Wednesday Reads: Fairy visitors…Posted: July 27, 2022 Filed under: 2022 Elections, 2024 Elections, abortion rights, birth control, Black Lives Matter, Black Women Lead, Civil Rights, Climate change, court rulings, Discrimination against women, Donald Trump, Economy, Fox News, fundamentalist Christians, House of Representatives, Joe Manchin, LGBTQIA+, Marriage Equality, morning reads, open thread, Political and Editorial Cartoons, QAnon Queen Marjorie Taylor Greene, racism, Real Life Horror, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights, Republican presidential politics, the GOP, Violence against women, Voting Rights, Voting Rights and Voter Suppression, War on Women, Women's Healthcare 17 Comments
Good morning. I’ve been visited by the migraine fairy, so just a quick post today.
Cartoons via Cagle website:
Now that is a pretty purple bird.
This is an open thread.
Sunday Reads: Maybe we should call it, Embryonic Cardiac Activity?Posted: July 24, 2022 Filed under: A thread for Ranting, abortion rights, birth control, Discrimination against women, Donald Trump, January 6 Committee Public Hearings, Joe Manchin, Journalism, legislation, morning reads, open thread, PLUB Pro-Life-Until-Birth, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights, Republican Code Words and Concepts, the GOP, War on Women, Women's Healthcare | Tags: Georgia Fetal Cardiac Activity Law 18 Comments
Hello…and good morning.
…as I’ve watched media coverage of abortion rights in America after the demise of Roe v. Wade, and as I’ve watched conservative politicians and interest groups pen anti-abortion legislation, it’s became clear that the American anti-abortion movement has been at the forefront of redefining reality — and that they’ve succeeded in radically reshaping our understanding of human life, pregnancy, and parenthood to be far outside of the bounds of scientific consensus, of common sense, and of anything human beings have believed for most of human history.
Read the rest of the thread at the link above…but here’s some more thoughts on the “heartbeat” laws. Here in Georgia, many Abortion Activists are referring to these draconian laws as “Fetal Cardiac Activity” Laws, but I think even that is a bit too friendly. It should be called out for what they are…Embryonic Cardiac Activity Laws! because embryos don’t have hearts.
…obstetricians say the term “fetal heartbeat” is misleading, and that this scientific misunderstanding, among countless others, may contribute to negative public opinion toward abortion.
To wit: though pulsing cells can be detected in embryos as early as six weeks, this rhythm — detected by a doctor, via ultrasound — cannot be called a “heartbeat,” because embryos don’t have hearts. What is detectable at or around six weeks can more accurately be called “cardiac activity,” says Robyn Schickler, OB/GYN and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Health. The difference between “cardiac activity” and “heartbeat” may seem linguistically minimal, but Schickler and others argue otherwise. At this stage, she says, what doctors can detect is essentially communication between a group of what will eventually become cardiac cells.
“From very early on, different cells are programmed to do different things for what is eventually a fully functioning human body,” says Jennifer Kerns, an OB/GYN and professor at the University of California in San Francisco. “These are cells that are programmed with electrical activity, which will eventually control the heart rate — they send a signal telling the heart to contract, once there is a heart.” It is this early activity which ultrasounds detect — not a heartbeat.
In fact, “fetus” isn’t technically accurate at six weeks of gestation either, says Kerns, since “embryo” is the scientific term for that stage of development. Obstetricians don’t usually start using the term “fetus” until at least eight weeks into the pregnancy.
But “fetus” may have an appeal that the word “embryo” does not, Kern says: “The term ‘fetus’ certainly evokes images of a well-formed baby, so it’s advantageous to use that term instead of ’embryo’ — which may not be as easy for the public to feel strongly about, since embryos don’t look like a baby,” she explains. “So those terms are very purposefully used [in these laws] — and are also misleading.”
“It is very common to use non-medical language to publicly talk about a medical procedure,” said David Cohen, professor of law at Drexel University’s Kline School of Law.“The law needs precision in order to know exactly what is being regulated,” Cohen said. “So in medicine it would be by using medical terminology.”
Cackovic, the fetal medicine specialist, said the current “heartbeat laws,” are based only on “our amazing technological advances” that allow detection of the earliest signs of embryonic cardiac activity, “and nothing else.”
On to the cartoons:
Yes, I know it is a bit heavy on Georgia stuff…
So this is the actual cover:
One last link, and yes it’s a Georgia one:
That’s all for today, this is an open thread.
Sunday Reads: Together AgainPosted: July 17, 2022 Filed under: 2022 Elections, 2022 Primaries, 2024 Elections, abortion rights, birth control, black women's reproductive health, child sexual abuse, children, Climate change, Congress, Crimes against Children, Discrimination against women, Donald Trump, January 6 Committee Public Hearings, Joe Manchin, morning reads, open thread, PLUB Pro-Life-Until-Birth, Political and Editorial Cartoons, Rape Culture, Reproductive Health, Reproductive Justice, Reproductive Rights, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the GOP, Ukraine, Violence against women, War on Women, Women's Healthcare 21 Comments
Good morning, my Daddy and I laughed like hell at that image up top.
Cartoons via Cagle website:
I know it isn’t much, but I do donate to a few abortion organizations each month… SisterSong, ARC-SouthEast, Abortion Access Front, NARAL. Here are some abortion orgs for 15 different states, check them out.
I loved that song when I was little….I even had my hair cut in a page boy hairstyle like Tennille when I was 5 years old.
This is an open thread.