< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 63 OF 68 ·
|Dec-05-22|| ||perfidious: Perhaps an underlying explanation of 'We fell in love!' below:|
<There is a "chance" Donald Trump didn't break the law by hiding debt from his 2016 presidential campaign's financial disclosure reports, according to Forbes.
Documents obtained by the outlet show that the then-candidate failed to disclose $19.8 million in debt to Daewoo, a South Korean company with a history of ties to North Korea.
"There is a chance that Trump's omission may have been legal," the report said, noting that Trump may have used a loophole in the law.
"Although officials have to list personal loans on their financial disclosures, the law does not require them to include loans to their companies, unless they are personally liable for the loans. The Trump Organization documents do not specify whether the former president, who owned 100% of the entities responsible for the debt, personally guaranteed the liability, leaving it unclear whether he broke the law or merely took advantage of a loophole."
Forbes also pointed out that Trump may have hidden the debt because Daewoo, at one time, "was the only South Korean company permitted to operate a business inside [North Korea]."
The documents, which were disclosed after being obtained by New York Attorney General Letitia James, said that Trump quickly eliminated the debt after taking office.
"Daewoo was bought out of its position on July 5, 2017," one document explained.>
|Dec-05-22|| ||perfidious: Last week proved ill-starred for the Orange Prevaricator, with, in all probability, yet more joys to come:|
<Appearing on MSNBC early Sunday morning, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said that in the past week Donald Trump suffered defeat after defeat in the courts and now the Department of Justice has all it needs to go after the former president on multiple fronts leading to indictments.
Speaking with MSNBC host Katie Phang, Vance called the past seven days "the worst legal week that Trump has ever seen."
"Let's shift to other investigations," host Phang prompted. "Now NBC News spotted former White House lawyers Pat Cipollone and Pat Philbin at the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., on Friday. Politico is reporting that they appeared in front of at least one grand jury; this is while there are several ongoing probes into Donald Trump. How concerned should Donald Trump and his team be, seeing those two attorneys again at that courthouse, right, now giving repeat performances before a grand jury?"
"Last week, in my judgment, was the worst legal week that Trump has ever seen," Vance replied. "The fact that these two are testifying in front of the grand jury is a big part of that."
"We do not know if they were testifying exclusively about January 6th," she elaborated. "There are reports that their subpoenas came from one of the DOJ lawyers who was reportedly working on that aspect of what is now the special counsel's investigation. They could also have testified about Mar-a-Lago and the documents case as well."
"This is a really intriguing part of what is going on here," she continued. "It is unprecedented for there to be a criminal investigation into a former president after he's out of office."
"I want to ask you: House select committee is meeting on Friday trying to decide if they will make referrals to the DOJ," host Phang asked. "Seems to me that the DOJ obviously doesn't have to wait for those referrals to happen. You've got special counsel Jack Smith now who's been appointed. Do you think the DOJ is actually going to wait for the possibility of referrals from the 1/6 committee at this point?"
"No. It is clear the DOJ is now full steam ahead," Vance replied. "There was that first year that Merrick Garland was attorney general and we did not see signs of active investigations. But the committee has done its job, has really jolted the seriousness of these issues into our awareness. We all knew that they were serious. The point here is the serious legal possibility of criminal exposure. DOJ is full steam ahead.">
|Dec-06-22|| ||perfidious: Hypocrisy and projection in motion:
<<Stop crying. Stop lying. Stop harassing. Here a member complains about you harassing AJ:
<Ive a problem with ZoboBear 000000001 comment on LIFE Master AJ: <"Once homeless, ALWAYS homeless!">
That was a dirty blow ZoboBear 000000001.
Your daily posts in this forum warrant a loud, clear response. If you don't want to be refuted, then stop crying, stop lying, stop harassing. This is all part of your scheme for negative attention and rule manipulation.>>
|Dec-06-22|| ||perfidious: Romney on Orange Poltroon: 'RINO!'
Is it not lovely?
<WASHINGTON ― Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) borrowed one of Donald Trump’s favorite nicknames for his critics when asked about the ex-president calling for the “termination” of the U.S. Constitution over the weekend.
“Well, the Republican Party is the Constitution party,” Romney told reporters on Capitol Hill on Monday. “So when he calls to suspend the Constitution, he goes from being MAGA to being RINO.”
Trump often refers to his Republican critics with the monicker “RINO,” which stands for “Republican In Name Only.” Over the years, he’s used it as a put-down against people like Romney, the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others in the GOP who dared to speak out against him.
The former president suggested a redo of the 2020 presidential election on Saturday because of newly released Twitter messages between the social media platform’s leaders in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. The messages discuss content moderation decisions, including the company’s decision to block a New York Post story involving Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
“A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” Trump wrote on his social media platform Truth Social.
Trump later tried to argue that he didn’t say what he said and accused the media of spreading lies.
GOP congressional reactions to Trump’s comments ranged from outright condemnation to lukewarm disagreement to obvious attempts to dodge the question. No Republican lawmaker flatly ruled out supporting Trump if he becomes the GOP presidential nominee in 2024, however.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Trump’s social media post was “not a responsible thing to say.”
“I don’t know why anybody would say something like that; certainly not an ex-president. I just think it’s irresponsible,” Cornyn added.
“It’s a fantasy,” added Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). “I consider it kind of a Hail Mary to maintain some hope when everybody knows it’s not the case. We’re the party of the Constitution; it’s not going to happen.”
Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who is retiring next month to become the president of the University of Florida, said his GOP colleagues “are going to have to choose if they’re for the circus clown or if they’re for the Constitution.”
Some of Trump’s biggest allies on Capitol Hill, including those who styled themselves as “constitutional conservatives,” offered little more than a few polite words in disagreement with the idea of torching the nation’s founding documents.
“There are no exceptions to the Constitution,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) told HuffPost. Asked if Trump should apologize or clarify his remarks, Paul simply reiterated his statement.
“The Constitution is enduring and it will be for millennia to come,” added Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another self-described constitutional conservative.
Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) chided reporters for focusing on Trump’s comments instead of other issues like the economy.
“I’m not going to waste my time trying to dissect when he said this and how he said that. We should be focused on problems that matter to us at home,” Marshall said.
A few GOP senators did offer more fulsome rebukes of Trump’s comments. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said that suggesting to terminate the Constitution “is not only a betrayal of our Oath of Office, it’s an affront to our Republic.”
And Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said in a statement that “anyone who desires to lead our country must commit to protecting the Constitution.” But when HuffPost asked if Trump’s comments should disqualify him from running for president, Rounds demurred.
“I think what happened on January 6  is something that he disqualified himself for, but the American voters are going to have to send that message,” he said.>
|Dec-06-22|| ||perfidious: Speaking of hypocrites, are the religious Right now casting their Fuehrer aside as they no longer consider him of use, same as many a spurned lover?|
<In recent weeks, key evangelical leaders who backed former President Donald Trump have begun to show signs of rejecting him, after years of staunch loyalty. But, wrote columnist Michelle Goldberg for The New York Times, there is no moral or spiritual basis for their change of heart — they have just decided he's no longer of any use to them.
"Religion News Service reported that David Lane, the leader of a group devoted to getting conservative Christian pastors into office, recently sent out an email criticizing Trump for subordinating his MAGA vision 'to personal grievances and self-importance,'" wrote Goldberg. "On Monday, Semafor quoted Bob Vander Plaats, a prominent Christian conservative activist in Iowa, saying that evangelicals weren’t sure that Trump could win. Even Robert Jeffress, a Dallas televangelist whom Texas Monthly once described as 'Trump’s Apostle,' is holding off on endorsing him again, telling Newsweek that he doesn’t want to be part of a Republican civil war."
Russell Moore, the editor of Christianity Today and one of the few key evangelical leaders who consistently opposed Trump's candidacy from the start, takes a dim view of the shift going on in the community — noting that among evangelical voters, they are still evenly divided on Trump and leaders could run right back to the former president if their parishioners do. And there is reason to think they could.
"The last six years, said Moore, has changed the character of conservative evangelicalism, making it at once more militant and more apocalyptic — in other words, more Trump-like," wrote Goldberg. "For some people, Trump may even be the impetus for their faith: a Pew survey found that 16 percent of white Trump supporters who didn’t identify as born-again or evangelical in 2016 had adopted those designations by 2020. 'I see much more dismissal of Sermon on the Mount characteristics among some Christians than we would have seen before,' Moore said, referring to Jesus’ exhortation to turn the other cheek and love your enemies."
Instead, Moore said, these evangelicals view "kindness as weakness" — and the community could get more radicalized in certain places, because those opposed to it are splitting off into their own faction.
A recent essay by evangelical leader Mike Evans in The Washington Post has gotten heavy traction; in it, Evans remarked that “He used us to win the White House. We had to close our mouths and eyes when he said things that horrified us.” But, wrote Goldberg, it's actually the opposite. "Contrary to Evans’s lament, no one had to close his mouth and eyes. The Republicans chose to because they wanted power, and their critique now is largely about power lost.">
|Dec-06-22|| ||perfidious: Mouth of the South in new role, this as dimwitted comedienne:|
<Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has some bizarre ideas about, well, everything.
The notoriously anti-LGBTQ lawmaker has said she believes straight people face extinction within 150 years, called for the end of Pride month, and regularly spews anti-trans rhetoric that’s best left unrepeated.
Now the far-right congresswoman has offered her hot take on electricity, and let’s just say she’s not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.
Specifically, she appears to be in disbelief about the existence of batteries — you know, those things that were invented in 1800 to provide power without the need for cords.
After learning that Air Canada recently placed an order for 30 electric airplanes, Greene expressed some rather dim concerns. True to form, she also managed to be as offensive as possible.
“Air Canada, get this, has ordered 30 electric airplanes…I mean, it shouldn’t surprise you, look who’s the president of — I mean, Justin Trudeau, right?” she told a crowd at the Texas Youth Summit.
It goes without saying, but Justin Trudeau is not affiliated with Air Canada.
Then she really went off the rails, comparing electric planes to… slave ships?
“We were talking, how is there an electric airplane and what does that look like?” she said. “Remember back a long time ago when you’ve seen movies where people in those slave ships and, they’re down there and they’re rowing, and they’re being whipped to row?”
“We’re saying, how are they gonna keep powering these electric airplanes, what are they gonna have, it’s like a spin class in a tube? Where they’ve got everybody riding spin cycles, and those mean nasty airline stewardesses that forced you to wear masks all the time on the plane…are they gonna be forcing you to like keep spinning to keep the airplane in the air? It’s absurd!”
She followed up by saying she wants a “big, capable airplane”:
Heart Aerospace, the manufacturer of the short-range planes, explained in a press release:
“The new airplane design, called the ES-30, is a regional electric airplane with a capacity of 30 passengers and it replaces the company’s earlier 19-seat design, the ES-19. It is driven by electric motors powered by batteries, which allows the airplane to operate with zero emissions and low noise.”>
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: While your humble poster is no partisan of McConnell the Obstructive, it is most welcome to see his condemnation of the Orange Prevaricator over the latter's remarks on the Constitution:|
<WASHINGTON – For the second time in as many weeks, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell rebuked former President Donald Trump over political extremism and said it will make it even harder for him to regain the presidency in 2024.
McConnell criticized Trump's suggestion that the U.S. Constitution be terminated and he be re-installed as president, saying anyone who believes that "would have a very hard time being sworn in as president of the United States."
McConnell, who criticized Trump last week for his dinner with an outspoken white supremacist, would not say whether he would support Trump should the Republicans re-nominate him for the presidency in two years.
The Senate GOP leader had not commented on Trump's Saturday statement until he opened a news conference with reporters with a brief statement following a Republican lunch meeting; other GOP leaders have also been reticent to discuss Trump's views of the U.S. Constitution.
Trump and McConnell have clashed frequently over the future of the Republican Party; the tension will only increase in the wake of GOP reversals in the midterm elections and Trump's announcement that he will seek the presidency again in 2024.
Last week, after McConnell criticized the former president for hosting a dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes, Trump responded by calling the Senate GOP leader "a loser."
McConnell joined a slow-rising reaction among Republicans objecting to Trump's bizarre call for "termination" of the U.S. Constitution and his installation as president because of alleged problems with the 2020 election. Multiple investigations, court cases and audits have found no widespread voter fraud in 2020, although Trump continues to spread false claims.
Most Republicans did not make immediate comments on Trump's statement; some GOP members responded when asked by reporters on Sunday interview shows and after many returned to Washington, D.C., for congressional business.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., called the statement "irresponsible," and said Trump's re-nomination as president is “increasingly less likely given statements like that.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a Monday floor speech that more Republicans need to speak out: "We need nothing less than an avalanche of condemnation from Republicans but sadly all we’ve gotten so far are just a few flurries here and there."
"Republicans need to speak up," Schumer said, "because if America doesn’t extricate itself from Donald Trump and his MAGA ideology, it could undercut our American way of life."
In a Saturday post on Truth Social, Trump cited a Twitter report on how the social media giant handled news stories about Hunter Biden's laptop and posed an odd question: "Do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION?"
Trump went on to say that the situation "allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution."
In a Monday follow-up, Trump denied saying that "I wanted to 'terminate' the Constitution," even though the original post – complete with the word "termination" – remains on his Truth Social account.
In another follow-up, this one in all caps, Trump again said the election "SHOULD GO TO THE RIGHTFUL WINNER OR, AT A MINIMUM, BE REDONE."....>
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: Samuel Alito playing the role of village idiot, but on a far broader scale:|
<Justice Samuel Alito faced swift and intense pushback for comments he made Monday about a Black Santa, the KKK and an online dating site that encourages extramarital affairs.
His controversial remarks came during the Supreme Court’s marathon hearing on 303 Creative v. Elenis, which asks whether a Colorado web designer with free speech concerns can refuse to design wedding websites for same-sex couples.
If you’re wondering how Santa, a white supremacist organization and dating sites came up in reference to that case, it’s because the justices spent most of the 21⁄2-hour hearing presenting and then debating hypothetical scenarios with a loose connection to the web designer’s quandary.
For example, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson wondered if a photographer could refuse to photograph Black children with Santa for his “It’s a Wonderful Life”-themed photo package due to his belief that only white children work for the depiction — so long as the photographer was willing to work with Black children in other contexts.
What did Alito say about the KKK?
Alito’s most challenged comments came in response to Jackson’s Santa story. He put a twist on the hypothetical in an exchange with Eric Olson, Colorado’s solicitor general, asking whether Colorado law would allow a Black Santa to refuse to be pictured with a child wearing KKK robes.
Here’s the transcript of what he said:
Alito: “Justice Jackson’s example of the Santa in the mall who doesn’t want his picture taken with Black children. So, if there’s a Black Santa at the other end of the mall and he doesn’t want to have his picture taken with a child who’s dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan outfit, that Black Santa has to do that?
Olson: No, because Ku Klux Klan outfits are not protected characteristics under public accommodation laws.
Justice Elena Kagan: And presumably, that would be the same Ku Klux Klan outfit regardless whether the child was Black or white or any other characteristic.
Alito: You do see a lot of Black children in Ku Klux Klan outfits, right? All the — all the time.”
Court watchers denounced Alito for his joke about Black children in KKK robes, arguing that it had no place in a Supreme Court hearing.
“I’m going to need Justice Alito to stop joking about seeing ‘Black children in Ku Klux Klan costumes.’ Seriously, what am I listening to?,” tweeted Melissa Murray, a law professor at NYU, during Monday’s oral arguments.
Why did Alito reference Ashley Madison?
Alito has also faced pushback for referencing Ashley Madison, an online dating service for people seeking to have an extramarital affair, during Monday’s hearing.
More specifically, some court watchers criticized him for implying that his colleague, Justice Elena Kagan, would be familiar with the site.
Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript:
Alito: “OK. An unmarried Jewish person asks a Jewish photographer to take a photograph for his Jdate dating profile. It’s a dating service, I gather, for Jewish people.
Kagan: It is.
Alito: All right. Maybe Justice Kagan will also be familiar with the next website I’m going to mention. So next, a Jewish person asks a Jewish photographer to take a photograph for his ashleymadison.com dating profile.
Alito: I’m not suggesting that. I mean, she knows a lot of things.”
The transcript shows that Alito’s reference to Kagan did not come out of left field. He brought her up in reference to Ashley Madison because she had weighed in about Jdate.
Although Alito was almost certainly trying to be funny rather than insulting, HR professionals, among others, would still likely discourage listeners from doing a similar gag in their own office. It’s not hard to see how such a joke could cause offense....>
The rest on the way....
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: Here 'tis:
<....Alito has faced similar criticism in the past
This week’s kerfuffle [sic] comes just over four months after some other public remarks landed Alito in hot water. The justice was faulted for joking that world leaders have come to regret speaking out about the Supreme Court’s controversial abortion ruling during a speech at Notre Dame’s Religious Liberty Summit in Rome.
“I had the honor this term of writing, I think, the only Supreme Court decision in the history of that institution that has been lambasted by a whole string of foreign leaders who felt perfectly fine commenting on American law. One of these was former Prime Minister Boris Johnson — but he paid the price,” Alito said, referencing Johnson losing his position.
Citing the speech, commentators accused the justice of centering “himself and his own feelings” and ignoring the pain his ruling caused millions of women.
In other words, they argued he wasn’t being sensitive to how his comments might land among certain less conservative listeners.
Court watchers made similar observations this week, noting, for example, that Alito must not be aware of how his comments would sound to Black listeners.
“I’m listening but this is really upsetting. The joke about Black kids in KuKluxKlan outfits? No Justice Alito, these ‘jokes’ are so inappropriate, no matter how many in the courtroom chuckle mindlessly,” tweeted Sherrilyn Ifill, former president of the NAACP’s legal defense fund, on Monday.
Some observers went as far as advocating for Alito to lose his seat on the Supreme Court.
Neither Alito nor other justices have publicly commented yet on the pushback to Alito’s remarks during Monday’s hearing.>
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: Mouth of the South casts Fuentes aside, he and white supremacist coterie have hissy fit:|
<According to a report from Vice's Tess Owen, the romance between Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and followers of notorious Holocaust-denier Nick Fuentes is irreparably on the rocks after she put some distance between herself and him following his dinner with Donald Trump.
While the former president has been circumspect in attacking the young far-right anti-semitic demagogue, the equally controversial Taylor Greene fired off a tweet stating, "Of course I denounce Nick Fuentes and his racists anti-semitic ideology. I can’t comprehend why the media is obsessed with him."
That, in turn, led Fuentes to lash back out at her, and his followers have since piled on the one-time darling of the Christian nationalist movement.
As Vice's Owen reported, Fuentes told his supporters, "She’s just weak. She goes and says something edgy to get attention, and then when the pressure comes, she buckles. You know, she’s gonna be a MAGA-mom and QAnon and all that, and then the second Kevin McCarthy reprimands her and she loses her committee, she goes and apologizes.”
Noting that Fuentes has taken to referring to her as "Large Marge" in his diatribes, Owen writes that she has become a central topic among the "groypers" tied to Fuentes' extremist movement.
According to fringe conservative Laura Loomer, "MTG is no longer an ally to America First. She may have claimed to be so that she could climb the political ladder, but she has shown she is all talk and zero action, unless of course the action is selling t-shirts and wine glasses.”
Holocaust denier Vince James added, "You are their slave Marjorie, a slave to the Democrats and the Media that you constantly talk about. By that statement [disavowing Fuentes] it just got to show you're living according to the rules of their game, that they've completely rigged against us."
"Here’s my take: grifters are gonna grift, and it’s just sad that we have to go through that kind of betrayal,” far-right podcaster Dalton Clodfelter proclaimed.
According to Owen, Taylor Greene isn't taking the backlash against her lying down, calling Fuentes "immature" and then adding, "What has he ever done in his life? He knows nothing more than anyone else.”>
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: Another SCOTUS justice putting personal views before principle and looking to circumscribe the First Amendment:|
<During oral arguments in 303 Creative v. Elenis at the Supreme Court on Monday, Justice Neil Gorsuch cornered Colorado Solicitor General Eric Olson with an unforeseeable question. After noting that a state “can’t change” someone’s “religious beliefs,” Gorsuch brought up Jack Phillips, a Christian baker who was sanctioned for discriminating against same-sex couples.
“Mr. Phillips did go through a reeducation training program pursuant to Colorado law, did he not, Mr. Olson?” Gorsuch asked. Olson began to reply, but the justice cut him off, pressing him again: “It was a reeducation program, right?”
“It was not a reeducation program,” Olson said. Gorsuch asked him what he called it. Olson told him: “It was a process to make sure he was familiar with Colorado law.”
“Someone might be excused for calling that a reeducation program,” Gorsuch retorted. Olson stood his ground, responding: “I strongly disagree.”
In the moment, this exchange came out of nowhere: The justice was harking back to Masterpiece Cakeshop, a 2018 case in which the Supreme Court sided with Phillips (albeit narrowly). And it really wasn’t fair for Gorsuch to ambush Olson with a hostile left-field question about a previous case in which he wasn’t involved. But this grievance is not a new one. The justice has previously signaled his belief that mandatory training for businesses that engage in unlawful discrimination violates the First Amendment. It seems this conviction has only grown stronger. What’s most notable is that today, there may be four or five other justices who agree with him.
To hear Gorsuch tell it, Colorado put Jack Phillips through Soviet-style brainwashing, forcing him to abandon his deeply held beliefs at pain of punishment and embrace the state’s orthodoxy. (He appears to have lifted the “reeducation” language from a brief by Alliance Defending Freedom, the far-right organization representing the discriminatory business in 303 Creative.) The truth is far more banal. For about as long as the law has restricted employment discrimination, it has also provided various tools to ensure compliance with those rules. Among other things, civil rights laws often require employers to inform their workers about what conduct, exactly, crosses the line into illegal discrimination.
Consider, for instance, a department store in which employees rush to help white customers while blatantly ignoring Black customers. A state might order the store to train its employees in the importance of serving all customers equally, regardless of race. Or imagine a hotel whose receptionists falsely claim they have no vacancies when Muslims try to book a room. A state might order the hotel to train receptionists not to turn away customers because of religion. If the discrimination is especially blatant or severe, a state might order employers to provide periodic updates about these corrective measures.
And that’s pretty much what the Colorado Civil Rights Commission did after it found Phillips in violation of the state’s nondiscrimination law. As the Supreme Court itself explained in Masterpiece Cakeshop, the commission told Phillips to “cease and desist from discriminating against” same-sex couples. It ordered “comprehensive staff training” in Colorado’s civil rights law and told Phillips to update company policies “to comply with” its order. The commission also directed Phillips to file “quarterly compliance reports” for two years documenting “the number of patrons denied service,” the reasons why, and the business’ response.
This mandate perturbed Gorsuch so greatly that he brought it up during oral arguments with Olson’s predecessor, Colorado Solicitor General Frederick Yarger. “As I understand it, Colorado ordered Mr. Phillips to provide comprehensive training to his staff—and it didn’t order him to attend a class of the government’s own creation or anything like that, but to provide comprehensive staff training,” Gorsuch said. “Why isn’t that compelled speech and possibly in violation of his free-exercise rights? Because presumably he has to tell his staff, including his family members, that his Christian beliefs are discriminatory.”
When Yarger responded that “a training requirement is a common remedy that is used in many civil rights cases,” the justice was not placated. “But this isn’t attending your training, Mr. Yarger,” he said. “This order was ordering him to provide training and presumably compelling him to speak, therefore, and to speak in ways that maybe offend his religion and certainly compel him to speak.”....>
Gosuck ridin' high again!
Act II a-comin'!
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: Continuation of one man's journey through Wretched Bayou at the hands of SCOTUS:|
<....Gorsuch’s comment reflected a misunderstanding of how civil rights law actually works. The justice appears to believe that states force discriminatory employers to attend “a class of the government’s own creation.” Perhaps he envisions some kind of community college–type course (How to Interact With Gays for Beginners). In reality, though, states frequently outsource compliance training to private businesses; indeed, many law firms specialize in helping companies develop nondiscrimination training to stave off future lawsuits. Gorsuch seems to believe that when the state orders an employer to conduct this kind of training, it has violated the First Amendment.
The consequences of this theory would be vast and severe. As I wrote in 2018, a hotel supervisor who thinks interracial relationships are sinful could refuse to tell employees to let mixed-race couples book rooms. A restaurant manager with spiritual objections to interfaith marriage could decline to train employees in their duty to serve customers without regard to religion. Gorsuch’s theory would extend beyond public accommodations into the realm of employment. Right now, a supervisor can be held liable when they do not stop employees from discriminating. Under Gorsuch’s theory, supervisors could refuse to educate their workers about illegal discriminatory behaviors by claiming that such instruction would violate their beliefs. Imagine, for example, a manager who says he holds the religious view that women belong in the home. He could claim a First Amendment right not to tell workers they must treat their female colleagues equally, citing his faith-based convictions about women’s inferiority.
In truth, a vast amount of unlawful discrimination involves speech. Workplace harassment is speech. Passing over a qualified Black employee for promotion is speech. Firing a worker for becoming pregnant is speech. Giving a student an F because she’s Muslim is speech. Which is why an absolutist interpretation of the First Amendment would destroy broad swathes of modern civil rights law.
It might seem strange that Gorsuch would wish to be the author of this destruction. After all, he wrote the landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County recognizing that federal law bars employment discrimination against LGBTQ people. But the justice has a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde quality: His occasional progressive rulings are countered and undermined by his extremism on issues like religion. And now, unlike in 2018, there is a real chance that a majority of the court shares his belief that nondiscrimination training requirements amount to an unconstitutional “reeducation program.” The court can wreak a lot of havoc with 303 Creative, most obviously by freeing companies to turn away customers on the basis of their identity. As Gorsuch’s angry tangent indicated, however, the conservative bloc has even more options at its disposal—including an assault on the remedies necessary to make civil rights laws more than an empty promise.>
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: As <fredthebore> continues to gaze into the looking-glass:|
<Still manipulating, always manipulating, looking to make trouble for others....>
Give it a rest, kid: we all understand you have trouble separating others from yourself. Perhaps a spot of analysis will help.
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: The hits keep on comin' for the Orange Poltroon:|
<Donald Trump’s legal woes are going from bad to worse, as he’s just been hit with another bombshell; this time as a spate of court rulings have rejected claims by the former president and some of his allies for executive privilege preventing them from testifying in court. Omg!
Trump’s Court Issues In Georgia
The US Justice Department and a special Georgia grand jury have been investigating whether the 76-year-old twice-impeached former president broke the law as he desperately tried to overturn the results of the 2020 election; and now several key Trump backers as well as ex-administration lawyers, such as ex-chief of staff Mark Meadows and legal adviser John Eastman, will no longer be able to avoid testifying before grand juries in Washington DC and Georgia. Specifically they are wanted regarding their knowledge of – or roles in – Trump’s mission to block Biden’s route to the White House with false claims of fraud.
Following these court decisions, Meadows, Eastman, Lindsey Graham and others will be forced to testify before the Georgia grand jury working with the Fulton County district attorney, who are focussing on the efforts of Trump and his allies to put pressure on the Georgia Secretary of State, amongst other officials, to deny Biden his crucial win there.
What Else Is Trump Fighting In Court?
As well as trying to dodge giving testimony in court, Trump has had courts rule against him for the hundreds of classified documents that were taken to his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort when he left office, helping an investigation into whether he broke laws by holding onto documents that should have gone to the National Archives. There is also the January 6th committee pursuing him for testimony regarding his supporters’ attacks on the Capitol last year. He was meant to appear in court but did not show up, instead filing a lawsuit seeking to avoid having to give testimony or provide any documentation supporting the committee’s investigation.
"Trump’s multipronged efforts to keep former advisers from testifying or providing documents to federal and state grand juries, as well as the January 6 committee, has met with repeated failure as judge after judge has rejected his legal arguments," said ex-justice department prosecutor Michael Zeldin. "Obtaining this testimony is a critical step, perhaps the last step, before state and federal prosecutors determine whether the former president should be indicted. It allows prosecutors for the first time to question these witnesses about their direct conversations with the former president."
Other former lawyers have also weighed in on Trump’s recent court rulings, agreeing that his situation is getting worse with the latest decisions. "Favorable rulings by judges on issues like executive privilege and the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege bode well for agencies investigating Trump," said Barbara McQuade, a former US attorney for eastern Michigan. "Legal challenges may create delay, but on the merits, with rare exception, judges are consistently ruling against him."
Of course, the former president has responded in his typical manner. "I have been going through this for six years – for six years I have been going through this, and I am not going to go through it anymore," he told Fox News Digital in an interview the same day special counsel Jack Smith was appointed by attorney general Merrick Garland to oversee the investigations. "And I hope the Republicans have the courage to fight this," he added.
It does look like the circle is closing in on Donald Trump! Will he be able to fight these court decisions or will he finally be prosecuted for his actions surrounding his exit from the White House? Stay tuned!>
|Dec-07-22|| ||chancho: <Charlie Sykes: Despite the evidence to the contrary we are not, in fact, living through an alternative reality simulation. |
This all actually happened:
In the last two weeks, Donald Trump pledged solidarity with the January 6 rioters, dined with two Holocaust-denying fans of Adolf Hitler, and called for the termination of the Constitution.
And he remains the front-runner and clear favorite for the GOP nomination for president in 2024.
No wonder the right would rather talk about Hunter Biden’s dick pix.>
That and comparing Biden with the Nazis (rinse and repeat), and oh the irony of ironies, fascism happening all over their own little paaahtee...
Bonhoffer's theory of stupidity in action.
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: <chancho>, I have nothing to add to Bonhoeffer's summation you posted in the Rogovian miasma. |
On a side note, <fredthebore> has no right to dictate content here; he doesn't like it, he can pound sand.
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: One comment in <pete>'s forum having been excised, <fredthebore> whinges anew:|
< The comments about ohio member are inappropriate, crossing boundaries, true or otherwise. Singling out individuals for public broadcast is so very wrong....>
I have no idea what comments are meant here, but agree that calling people out is in poor form.
<....Open discussions of others through forums is very unfair. Targeting others is CYBERSTALKING.>
Yet you had no trouble posting screeds against <zed> and myself in your actual page before it was closed down.
Guess y'all want different rules for others, a fixed set for yourself.
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: Time for Walker to break out the coat hanger:
<In the runoff for the last Senate race of the cycle, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock defeated Republican Herschel Walker in Georgia, earning a full six-year term and adding a 51st seat to Democrats’ Senate majority.
Networks began to call the race in Warnock’s favor around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, as Warnock had taken the lead and the vast number of remaining ballots to be counted were from Democratic counties.
Warnock, like the rest of over-politicked Georgia, can now take a breather after three years of endless campaigning. He, as Georgia’s first multiple Senate campaign-winning Democrat in some time, has provided the roadmap for other statewide candidates: Raise what one Democratic source working on the race described to me as “more money than God,” and also, run campaign ads with a dog.
Senate Republicans, meanwhile, now get to relive their recent trauma from Nov. 8
They have just lost their third Georgia Senate race in a row after not losing any for decades. There’s no need to overcomplicate the reason: It’s the same story this cycle of how Republicans lost Senate races in Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Hampshire, and Nevada. In each case, the Republican candidate—for all of the midterm election advantages the party enjoyed—was simply bad.
And Herschel Walker, to quote the Republican lieutenant governor of Georgia, “will probably go down as one of the worst candidates in our party’s history.”
Well, he’s certainly had challenges. There were the repeated bombshells late in the campaign regarding… inconsistencies in his posture towards abortion rights. Early in the campaign—before he’d even announced—court documents showed allegations from his ex-wife that he repeatedly threatened to kill her. It wasn’t the only allegation of violence that would emerge from an ex.
Walker displayed a limited understanding of public policy, and, in the last weekend of the campaign, even for which chamber of Congress he was running. Clips of him saying nonsense at campaign stops regularly went viral. It remained unclear through the day of the runoff the extent to which Walker lives in Georgia.
So why, exactly, did Republicans nominate a candidate as lousy as Walker for this prized seat? It’s complicated.
Just kidding, it’s mostly Trump’s fault.
Herschel Walker is famous in Georgia, and he liked Trump. And if you’re a famous person who likes Trump, it’s almost automatic that Trump will push you to run for Senate in any given state. This wasn’t one of those primaries where a slew of relatively competitive candidates entered the race and Trump pushed his favorite over the top with a late-race endorsement, as he did with Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, Blake Masters in Arizona, or J.D. Vance in Ohio. Walker entered the race with Trump’s backing, giving him a formidable presence in the beginning. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s team was, as Politico wrote in 2021, initially “worried that revelations about his past behavior would make him a weak nominee.” But McConnell fell in line in the fall of 2021, endorsing Walker as “the only one who can unite the party, defeat Senator Warnock, and help us take back the Senate.”
Walker, though, it turns out, was the only Republican who could not win Georgia in 2022.…>
More on da way....
|Dec-07-22|| ||perfidious: Walker, Georgia dumbass, part deux:
<....This is still a state that was comfortably red until 2020, and Republicans swept every other statewide race on the ballot in this year’s midterms—seven of them—without a runoff. Once they got through their primaries against Trump-backed challengers, sitting statewide officeholders like Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger—who had refused, with unknown powers, to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election results—coasted to general election wins. Walker eluded a meaningful primary challenge because he had Trump’s support, and then lost a general election with it.
Trump, with surprising discipline, kept out of Georgia during the runoff to avoid damaging Walker any further. Instead it was Kemp, fresh off a strong reelection as governor, who tried to drag Walker over the finish line. Kemp rallied with Walker for the first time during the runoff, and he appeared in campaign ads to boost Walker. Kemp also lent the Senate Leadership Fund, the McConnell-aligned super PAC, his formidable get-out-the-vote operation.
But Walker couldn’t ride Kemp’s coattails to a victory on Nov. 8 when Kemp was actually on the ballot—and Kemp’s help in the runoff also wasn’t enough.
Walker’s win won’t come as a surprise to leading Republicans at this point. Officials were already well underway dishing out pre-election blame to the New York Times about Walker’s “pace” of campaigning. Warnock had more money, a better ground game, better ad-makers, a better grasp of the issues, and a better public image. Walker had a better college football career in Georgia.
But it must make it sting all over again for Senate Republicans, you know? These midterms, in which Joe Biden was unpopular, the economy was viewed poorly, and Republicans won the national popular vote in House races, Democrats actually expanded their Senate majority. Republicans do have a juicy Senate map to look forward to in 2024. But 2024 is in two whole years. And Chuck Schumer will spend those next two years confirming judges.
The silver lining Republicans can hope for after this final dagger of the 2022 midterms, though, is that after yet another Trump-backed candidate’s loss—following a Nov. 8 election night defined by them—the average Republican primary voter may want to move on from Trump. Republican leaders, themselves, can never convince a base that doesn’t want to hear it that Trump, and everyone he touches, is a loser. But maybe the staggering amount of data in the 2022 midterms can.
Yeah, they can always hope…>
|Dec-08-22|| ||perfidious: 'I can tell them to burn down Congress!! Nyah nyah!!'|
<Donald Trump’s lawyer argued that presidential immunity would protect him from lawsuits even if he had urged his supporters to “burn Congress down” while in office.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a "Save America Rally" near the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Trump's months-long effort to toss out the election results and extend his presidency will meet its formal end this week, but not without exposing political rifts in the Republican Party that have pitted future contenders for the White House against one another.
Trump has asserted sweeping immunity against suits by both police officers and Democratic members of Congress accusing the former president of inciting the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol in his final days in office. A federal judge in Washington previously rejected Trump’s claim, but his lawyer, Jesse Binnall, on Wednesday made a renewed argument before the DC Circuit US Court of Appeals.
The three-judge appellate panel probed the outer limits of the immunity that Trump was claiming, posing a series of dramatic hypothetical scenarios to Binnall. The lawyer denounced some of the conduct the judges posited but held firm in maintaining that a president would be immune for undertaking such actions.
Presidents do typically enjoy immunity from lawsuits over official acts, which includes election-related activity. Chief Circuit Judge Sri Srinivasan on Wednesday asked Binnall if that should apply to a president who urged supporters in a private meeting to go to the polls and intimidate voters to prevent them from exercising their right to vote.
Binnall said that would be “horrible” but that, yes, immunity would apply. He said the line for liability for a sitting president should be drawn at “purely personal” conduct and interests, such as sexual assault allegations or a conversation between a president and their stockbroker about financial holdings. But he suggested a president urging his supporters to question the electoral vote count was merely using the office’s well-established “bully pulpit.”
Circuit Judge Greg Katsas said he was struggling with the fact that the case against Trump involved “at least colorable” allegations that he incited the mob that attacked the Capitol. Katsas then posed the hypothetical of a president urging supporters to “burn down Congress.”
Binnall said civil immunity would apply in that instance too, but he said impeachment and possible post-presidency criminal charges would offer other avenues for accountability.
Building off her colleagues’ hypotheticals, Judge Judith Rogers asked if Trump’s position was that there was no role for the courts even if there was a finding that a president was “seeking to destroy our constitutional system.” Binnall replied that, based on such facts, such acts shouldn’t be subject to civil litigation.
The suits at issue accuse Trump of being part of a conspiracy to interfere with Congress’s certification of the 2020 election results. The complaints focused on his tweets exhorting supporters to come to Washington, citing baseless claims that the election was stolen, and then his speech at the Ellipse the day of the riot in which he told the crowd to “fight” and march to the Capitol.
In questioning Joseph Sellers, the lawyer arguing for the plaintiffs, Srinivasan noted that presidents routinely encouraged people to express opposition to legislation before Congress. Sellers responded that Trump’s interference with the peaceful transfer of power was an “extreme” situation.
Katsas asked if a president would be immune from suits if they urged supporters to peacefully protest and, “unforeseeably,” some “bad apples” engaged in violence.
Sellers said immunity would probably apply, but that Trump’s situation was different because there was a “continuous course of conduct” for which he was responsible.>
|Dec-08-22|| ||perfidious: Would running stronger candidates on, ie, those actually committed to issues other than shilling their master's line 'the election was stolen' have made the difference in the midterms for the GOP?|
<Republicans on Wednesday blamed their loss in Georgia's U.S. Senate runoff election on several factors directly tied to former President Donald Trump, beginning with the scandal-plagued celebrity he chose as their candidate.
Herschel Walker, a former University of Georgia football star with no political experience, failed to unseat Democratic incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock after being plagued by questions about his fitness for office. Warnock's win gave Democrats a 51-49 majority in the 100-member chamber.
"You have to have candidates that appeal to the general public," Republican Senator Mike Rounds told reporters. "Herschel Walker worked as hard as he could."
Senate Republicans largely avoided citing Trump by name, but made it clear they saw Walker's loss as the latest in a series, in a year that began with party hopes of capturing the Senate and House of Representatives. Trump's party succeeded in winning a House majority, but by a smaller margin than it had expected.
The Georgia runoff followed losses in Arizona, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, where Trump-endorsed novice candidates succeeded in party primaries only to fall to Democrats in the Nov. 8 midterms.
"Candidates matter, and I think we've lost two or three or four races we didn't have to lose this year," Republican Senator Roy Blunt told reporters.
Republicans said party losses this year also stemmed from Trump's repeated false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him and his use of election denial as a litmus test for candidate endorsements.
"Forcing candidates to take positions that the 2020 election was stolen and making that the principal issue is a losing strategy," said Senator John Thune, the chamber's No. 2 Republican.
"Among the voters in the middle of the electorate, which are the ones that decide national elections and certainly swing-state elections, they just weren't having it."
Trump did not travel to Georgia to campaign with Walker during the runoff campaign, but did launch his own run for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic President Joe Biden in 2024 and drew a flurry of criticism for meeting with a white nationalist and musing about suspending the Constitution.
Republicans also said it was time to reinvigorate their ground game by embracing mail-in ballots and early voting, which Trump has falsely blamed as vehicles for fraud.
"We just need to be able to be aggressive," said Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis.
Walker was one of Trump's earliest 2022 endorsements. The former football star had support on the campaign trail from prominent Senate Republicans including Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott, who chairs the Senate Republican campaign arm.
But Walker, a staunch opponent of abortion, faced claims that he paid for two women to have abortions after getting them pregnant, which he denied. He was also widely known for gaffes on policy issues and sometimes confusing musings, including one riff on werewolves and vampires.
Warnock, who like Walker is Black, is pastor of the historic Atlanta church where assassinated civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preached. In a state that was reliably Republican only a few years ago, Warnock spent much of the campaign showcasing his ability to work across the aisle.
Asked if Trump's influence had been a factor, Scott told Reuters: "Whenever you lose, everybody's responsible for figuring out what they could do better ... whatever people do on their endorsements, you've got to figure out how to get your voters out to vote."
Some of Trump's staunchest allies blamed the loss on lopsided campaign spending and the power of Warnock's incumbency, though the Democrat assumed office less that two years ago in a January 2021 runoff.
Warnock's campaign had raised more than $175 million as of Nov. 16, versus a Walker warchest of just over $58 million, according to records filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Trump himself faced some criticism from within the party for raising at least $170 million over the past two years and spending little of it on midterm candidates.
"We're losing close elections, and part of it is that we're getting outspent three to one," Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters.
Senator Tommy Tuberville, the former Auburn University football coach first elected in 2020 with the help of Trump's endorsement, denied that Trump played a role in the Georgia loss.
"President Trump wasn't an issue in this," Tuberville said. "It's hard to beat experience. It really is. It's hard to unseat somebody.">
|Dec-08-22|| ||perfidious: Liz Cheney calls out Gosar and the Orange Prevaricator:|
<....Cheney weighed in on the discourse on Twitter later Wednesday, sharing a screenshot of Gosar's deleted tweet and tagging House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
"Did you see this tweet before @RepGosar deleted it?" she wrote, addressing McCarthy. "Time to condemn Trump yet?"
Last week, Cheney also addressed McCarthy on Twitter, asking the House GOP leader for his "condemnation of Donald Trump for meeting with neo-Nazi Nick Fuentes, the pro-Putin leader of the America First Political Action Conference."
"Last week you wouldn't condemn Trump for dining with Fuentes & West," Cheney tweeted Tuesday. "This week Trump said we should terminate all rules, regulations etc 'even those in the Constitution' to overturn the election. Are you so utterly without principle that you won't condemn this either?">
|Dec-08-22|| ||perfidious: It seems there is one poster who imagines himself privileged to demand the admins remove content which exposes his attacks on others, all while claiming to be simon-pure:|
<Blatant guideline violations above. More of the same abuse of the forum. Take that garbage down.>
|Dec-09-22|| ||perfidious: Another piece on <short-fingered vulgarian, aka big liar>, with a nod to <chancho>:|
<Picking Donald Trump’s worst week is a mug’s game—there are so many from which to choose, and compelling arguments for several—but simply because they encompass so many parts of the Trump experience, the last few days are emblematic.
On Saturday, the former president called for the United States Constitution to be “terminate[d]” in response to his own fake claims of election fraud in 2020. On Monday, he lied about what he’d said and blamed the media. On Tuesday, his handpicked candidate for U.S. Senate in the once reliably ruby state of Georgia lost to the Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock, concluding a midterm cycle in which Democrats defied precedent, thanks in large part to the president’s presence and primary meddling. And then there are Trump’s problems with the law.
On Tuesday, a jury in Manhattan found the Trump Organization guilty of 17 crimes, led by tax fraud and including conspiracy and falsifying business records, all as part of a scheme to avoid paying taxes on the salaries of top officers. On Wednesday, The Washington Post broke the news (soon matched by other outlets) that an outside search team hired by Trump’s lawyers had turned up still more classified documents he took with him when he left office, these ones in a West Palm Beach storage unit.
Together, these two news items show the sweep of Trump’s lawlessness, from the mundane to the unique. The business crimes are a classic small-time offense. The only remarkable thing about that case is that it happens to involve the former president’s company. Meanwhile, in the case of classified documents, the evidence suggests he committed a crime that nearly no person other than a former president could commit.
The revelation of the documents in the storage facility is the latest twist in the ongoing saga of Trump’s removal of public records from the White House. Although evidence that the former president had not complied with preservation laws emerged even before he left office, the story cracked open in August with a very unusual FBI search at Mar-a-Lago. Not only did agents turn up boxes full of documents that seem to have been improperly taken, but some of them were labeled as extremely sensitive, potentially vital to national security.
The newly discovered classified documents were turned over to the FBI, the Post reports. The search appears to represent his legal team scrambling to ensure full compliance with a subpoena, under pressure from a federal judge. Teams also combed other Trump sites to see if materials turned up, according to The New York Times. The Post reports that the unit “had a mix of boxes, gifts, suits and clothes, among other things”—an indication of the chaotic and careless manner in which Trump handles, well, pretty much everything....>
More ta come....
|Dec-09-22|| ||perfidious: Deuxieme partie:
<....In practice, only a former president could possibly have gotten into this situation. Many federal employees have classified or top-secret clearance (and overclassification of documents is a real problem), but when other federal employees are caught removing secret documents, they are clearly subject to sanctions. Trump, meanwhile, has tried to insist that before leaving office, he exercised his presidential prerogative to declassify the documents, despite there being no evidence of this beyond his word, such as that is.
But although Trump has leaned on the declassification excuse, it doesn’t have much bearing on the simpler matter that Trump took records that belong to the American people, not to himself—and other federal employees who removed such documents would be unable to claim brazenly, as he has, that he is the rightful owner of the documents and even demand that the Justice Department return them. His taking of documents and shoddy handling of them is a gross abuse of the trust placed in him as president.
If the details of the document case are jaw-droppingly unusual, the Manhattan tax case is yawn-inducingly typical. The jury found that the Trump Organization gamed the tax system to try to avoid paying taxes on executive salaries: The company gave top employees free cars, apartments, and other perks but didn’t include them in their reported compensation. That’s a simple and straightforward violation of the law—the kind of nickel-and-dime scam that happens all the time, because it’s very easy to do and often not caught. If Trump hadn’t been president, the fraud at his company wouldn’t be national news, and it might not have been been noticed; his prominence drew new scrutiny to his business.
The former president himself was neither charged nor convicted in the fraud case, although prosecutors argued in the trial that he was in on the scheme and personally approved parts of it. (Trump has denied wrongdoing and promised to appeal the ruling.) The Trump Organization was fined $1.6 million, a tiny amount compared with its revenues. Meanwhile, the New York attorney general has accused Trump of a different fraud scheme in which he offered widely fluctuating valuations on properties, allegedly in an attempt to save on tax bills or reduce his loan costs.
For now, however, the Manhattan verdict is largely symbolic—although symbolism matters in politics, as Trump has long grasped. And together with the new classified documents, it demonstrates how no trespass is too large—or too small—to tempt him.>
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