Rep Liz Cheney Discusses Primary Loss, Future Plans On ABC’s This Week Show

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Rep Liz Cheney(R-WY) sat down for an interview with ABC’s Jonathan Karl, three days after her landslide primary loss to Trump-backed challenger Harriet Hageman, to discuss her future political plans. The interview aired on ABC’s This Week show (08/21/22) and as many expected, Cheney’s lopsided loss was in no way shape or form, an end to her political career, but rather, a beginning of a new political chapter.

Rep Cheney said this moments after her loss to Hagenan on 08/16/22: “We must be very clear-eyed about the threat we face, and about what is required to defeat it. I have said since January 6th, that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office, and I mean that.”

Asked whether she regretted the fact that her staunch opposition to former President Trump had cost her a leadership position in the House and eventually her seat, Rep Cheney responded (2:51): “No regrets. You know, I feel sad about where my party is, I feel sad about the way that too many of my colleagues have responded to what I think is a great moral test and challenge of our time, a great moment to determine whether or not people are going to stand up on behalf of the democracy, and on behalf of our republic.” Rep Cheney added that she has heard from several prominent leaders after her primary loss, thanking her for putting the country over her party. One such call, she said, came from President Biden.

Asked what Trump’s continuing grip on the GOP says about the party, Rep Cheney said the party, both at the state and national level, “is very sick.” She specifically said(4:11):“I think one, it says that people continue to believe the lie, they continue to believe what he’s saying, which is very dangerous. I think it also tells you that large portions of our party, including the leadership of our party, both at the state level in Wyoming, as well as on a national level with RNC, is very sick, and that we really have got to decide whether or not we are going to be a party based on substance and policy, or whether we are going to remain as so many of our party are today, in the grips of a dangerous former president.”

Asked about the argument by former President Trump and others, that her landslide primary loss is proof that the principles she is fighting for are not shared by the GOP, Rep Cheney responded (5:03): “Well, doesn’t that tell you something? What I’m fighting for is the Constitution. What I’m fighting for is the perpetuation of the republic, what I’m fighting for is the fact that elections have to matter, and that when the election is over and the courts have ruled, and the electoral college has met, that the president of the United States has to respect the results of the election, and if Donald Trump’s spokesman says that those are principles that are inconsistent with Donald Trump’s views, and inconsistent with the Republican Party’s views, I think that ought to give every American pause about who Donald Trump is, and about what the Republican Party stands for today.”

Asked about what her new political organization is going to focus on, Rep Cheney said one of her primary objectives will be to campaign against “election deniers”.

Asked about her views on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and specifically, whether he should become Speaker if the GOP takes over the House, Rep Cheney said (6:22): “My views about Kevin McCarthy are very clear. The Speaker of the House is the second in line for the presidency. It requires somebody who understands and recognizes their duty, their oath, their obligation, and he’s been completely unfaithful to the constitution, and demonstrated a total lack of understanding of the significance and importance of the role of Speaker, so I don’t believe he should be Speaker of the House, and I think that’s been very clear.”

Asked whether she would support Trump’s acolytes like Senator Ted Cruz(R-TX) or Josh Hawley(R-MO) if one of them secured the GOP presidential nomination in 2024, Rep Cheney responded (9:50): “It would be very difficult when you look at somebody like Josh Hawley, or somebody like Ted Cruz, both of whom know better, both of whom know exactly what the role of Congress is in terms of our constitutional obligations with respect to presidential elections, and yet both of whom took steps that fundamentally threatened the constitutional order and structure in the aftermath of the last election, so in my view, they both have made themselves unfit for future office.”

Asked about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who many view as the number two contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination after Trump, Rep Cheney said(10:28): “DeSantis is somebody who is right now campaigning for election deniers, and I think that is something that people have to have real pause about. Either you fundamentally believe in and will support our constitutional structure, or you don’t.”

Asked whether if she runs for president in 2024, it will be out of a genuine desire to win, or simply sending a pro-democracy message, Rep Cheney responded in relevant part(10:59):“Any decision that I make about doing something that significant and that serious, would be with the intention of winning, and because I think I would be the best candidate.” She punted when asked whether running as an Independent remained an option for her saying(11:19), “I’m not going to go down that path anymore in terms of speculating.”

Bottom line folks, Rep Liz Cheney is not going anywhere. Her primary loss will free her from the bondage that is Trump’s GOP, and allow her to pursue loftier goals–the fight for democracy. She said one of her primary goals will be to defeat “election deniers”, which Yours Truly hopes includes one Senator Ted Cruz, who is up for reelection in 2024. We’re going to need you Liz, in the Lone Star state.

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Jared Kushner Discusses His New Book “Breaking History” On Fox News’ Hannity Show

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Former President Trump’s Senior Adviser and Son-in-Law Jared Kushner, appeared on Fox News’ Hannity show (08/22/22) to discuss his new book, “Breaking History, A White House Memoir”. The basic premise of Kushner’s book is that his Father-in-Law accomplished quite a lot in four years, and would have done much more, had he not been subjected to “false investigations”.

Kushner specifically told host Hannity (1:50): “You were speaking earlier about all of the different accomplishments he was able to have economically. Those weren’t an accident. It’s been awful to watch the inflation that’s happened, the rising gas prices, but all that happened under the guise of all the investigations and attacks and I write extensively in the book. Every one who has read it says that it’s a very fast-paced read and that’s because I weave together all of the efforts to try to push forward on the different policies, while simultaneously dealing with all these false investigations that we had to fend off because even though they were based on crazy accusations from the beginning, whether it was the Russia hoax, or trying to get Trump, or impeach him for trying to  investigate corruption in Ukraine, they were serious accusations and we had to take it.”

Kushner also said his book lays out how former President Trump negotiated a deal between Russia and Saudi Arabia in order to save our oil and gas industry. He appeared to blame the current problem we have with high gas prices, on the fact that President Biden doesn’t get along with world leaders like his Father-in-Law did.

He specifically told host Hannity(2:47): “President Trump got along with people in the world. He got along with Vladimir Putin, he got along with President Xi. That didn’t mean he didn’t have tough discussions with them, but I really go through the way that he dealt with them, which is how he kept the world peaceful. All the critics who were lying about the Trump administration for four years, they were saying that if Trump was elected, he would lead to world war three, but we had six peace deals during Trump’s time, and the world was a very very safe place. We go through all that extensively in the book.”

Kushner also talked about his efforts to broker a peace deal in the Middle East. He said(4:10): “One of the efforts that I worked on, that I detail in the book, was the efforts in the Middle East to try to bring peace between Israel and the Arab countries, and that’s something that the conventional thinking was that it would never happen, but President Trump was an outsider. He brought a businessman’s approach to Washington. Businessmen are results-driven, unlike politicians who generally want to just process…I write about how an outsider without a lot of political experience, and a team, came in and were able to achieve results that the political career people were not able to achieve, and so the book really goes through that in detail.”

The interview then came to the million dollar question which every viewer had probably tuned in for, and that is, whether former President Trump would run again in 2024. I got the sense from Hannity’s questioning, that he was almost dissuading Trump from running again because of the toll his presidency has had on his family, but I’ll let you be the judge on that.

Hannity(4:54): “When you factor in all that your family went through, we’re talking about Don Jr, and Eric, and Lara, and Ivanka…when you factor all of that in, do you want him to? Would you want to go through that again?”

Kushner responded in relevant part(5:31): “I think that the way we all viewed it, is that the cost of service, and of the attacks, was very small relative to the impact that President Trump and his administration were able to make for so many people and their families…”

I think it’s safe to say that any reasonable person presented with Kushner’s “small cost” response to Hannity’s question, would conclude that he believes former President Trump will indeed run again in 2024.

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Taiwan’s Representative To The U.S. Slams China For Using Pelosi’s Visit As A Pretext To “Manufacture A Crisis”

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Taiwan’s Representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-Khim appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation to discuss House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent visit to her country, which has caused an uproar in China. Rep Bi-Khim slammed China saying it was using Speaker Pelosi’s visit a pretext to “manufacture a crisis.”

Rep(0:24): “We have been living under the threat from China for decades, and we cannot let their ongoing threats define our desire to make friends internationally. If you have a kid being bullied at school, you don’t say, ‘you don’t go to school’, you try to find a way to deal with the bully, and that’s exactly what Taiwan is doing, working on making our society stronger and more resilient, fortifying our defenses so that we have means of managing risks. The risks are not posed by Taiwan, nor are they posed by the United States, the risks are posed by Beijing.”

Asked whether Taiwan is worried about a full scale military invasion from China, Rep Bi-Khim said (1:11): “The Chinese have not renounced the use of force. They have been intensifying threats towards Taiwan that is not only on a military level, it has involved a hybrid toolkit of public disinformation, cyberattacks, economic coercion, they have a broad toolkit that we have become more and more accustomed to. Again, that is not going to change our determination to defend our freedom.”

Asked whether she thought China’s military exercises at the Taiwanese coast following Speaker Pelosi’s visit were a drill, Rep Bi-Khim said it appears they have been preparing for this for a while, even before Speaker Pelosi decided to visit Taiwan.

Asked whether she had any assurances from the Biden administration that the U.S. will provide Taiwan with actual military protection as opposed to just providing them with weapons in the event China invaded, Rep Bi-Khim said (3:08): “We have a very strong security partnership that ensures the protection of our shared interest in the regional peace and stability”–which reasonable people will agree, is diplomat-speak for “yes”.

Asked about the criticism that Speaker Pelosi’s visit amounted to provocation, she responded (3:27): “I think the word provocation has only one place, and that’s with China right now. They are the ones that are provoking regional instability…Sometimes it’s hard for other countries from afar, to fully understand the feelings and perspectives of the Taiwanese people, and that is, for too long, we have been bullied, isolated, and surpressed, and banned from international organizations, so when friends come from afar, and wish to lend their support to Taiwan, we generally take that with gratitude.”

Asked about the reality that China’s invasion of Taiwan would be markedly different from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, given the fact that China is far more powerful militarily and economically, and thus difficult to sanction, Rep Bi-Khim said that was part of the reason Speaker Pelosi visited–to give them assurances of support. Rep Bi-Khim specifically said (5:11): “I think that was one of the messages that Speaker Pelosi was trying to convey, and that is, despite all challenges, we have friends in the international community who will stand with us.”

Asked about China’s threat to pull out of important global negotiations on climate etc, if it doesn’t get its way with Taiwan, and the effect that may have on other countries (discourage them from defending Taiwan), Rep Bi-Khim responded (5:50): “Are we concerned? Yes we are concerned about the disruption of these very important discussions on global issues that are matters of interest to not only the United States, but to China and everyone in the world, but the fact is, again, congressional visits to Taiwan have been going on for decades, and for decades it hasn’t prevented the United States and China from having constructive discussions on matters of mutual interest…” Rep Bi-Khim added that Beijing was using Speaker Pelosi’s visit as a pretext to “manufacture a crisis”, and finished with this powerful admonition: “If China is to evolve as a responsible stakeholder in the global community, it’s really up to Beijing to decide if China’s rejuvenation will evolve with international respect, or with international condemnation.”

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Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s Interview On CNN’s State Of The Union Show

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Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese appeared on CNN’s State of The Union show (07/31/22) for a wide ranging interview that touched on among other things climate change, and specifically, his pledge that Australia will achieve net zero carbon emission by 2050.

Asked whether Australia’s 2050 goal will be thwarted because of reluctance by India, China and the United States to come together, and address climate change with the urgency it deserves, PM Albanese responded(video at 0:38): “Well, I certainly hope not, and I’m very optimistic. At the Madrid NATO Summit, I had discussions with world leaders and also of course at the Quad leaders meeting, and I regard people as being very prepared to take much stronger action. There’s a greater recognition now as well, that dealing with the challenge of climate change represents also an economic opportunity. We will see the greatest transformation that we have seen in our economy since the industrial revolution, with the shift to clean energy, and clean energy will of course see jobs being created at the same time, something that the Biden administration recognizes, something that our European friends certainly recognize as well.”

Asked about the growing threat from China, and specifically, a troubling poll that shows 75% of Aussies believe China will attack Australia within the next 20 years, PM Albanese responded (1:44): “What we are preparing for is strengthening our alliances. We want to have good relationships with China and cooperate where we can, but we’ll stand up for Australian values where we must, and that is my approach to the relationship with China. Clearly it has changed in recent years. Under [President] Xi, China has become more forward-leaning, more aggressive in the region. We have strategic competition.”

Asked whether Australia would defend Taiwan if it was invaded by China, PM Albanese punted, saying he did not want to deal with hypotheticals. He then went on to say(2:38): “Australia supports a One China policy, but we also support the status quo when it comes to the issue of Taiwan, that people respect the existing structures which are there. I believe that clearly is in the interest of all parties, and I have taken the view as well, that it is not in the interest of peace and security, to talk up those issues of potential conflict.”

Asked what Australians think about “the health” of democracy the United States in light of the ongoing January 6th investigation, PM Albanese responded (3:57): “Democracy in the United States remains strong. The United States remains a beacon for the world in terms of democratic nations, I firmly believe that. And whilst the assault on democracy that we saw on January 6th was of real concern to all those who hold democratic processes dear around the world, the fact that you are having an open and transparent process, these hearings are being broadcast to the world, indeed underlies, in my view, the strength of U.S. democracy, the strength of those institutions.”

Asked what America can learn from Australia regarding how to deal with gun violence, PM Albanese responded(5:26): “In Australia we had a bipartisan response to the Port Arthur massacre, and we haven’t had once [mass shooting] since, and I just say that people should look at our experience. It’s up to the United States as a sovereign nation what direction it takes of course, but the truth is that Australia’s experience shows that less guns, particularly less automatic weapons, the less crime occurs, and the less tragedy occurs.”

Asked whether he supports the growing sentiment among Aussies to break away from the Queen of England and become a republic, PM Albanese responded(6:24): “Well, I do support a republic, but that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the Queen, who has presided over the Commonwealth for 70 years, it’s quite an extraordinary achievement. Our priority this term, is the recognition of First Nations people in our constitution. Our history didn’t begin in 1788 with the arrival of the British First Fleet, it goes back some 65,000 years with Aboriginal and Torre Strait Islander people, the oldest continuous civilization on the planet. It should be a source of great pride, and my priority is getting that constitutional change done first.” Hmm, very interesting.

Bottom line folks, interviews with world leaders are always interesting(at least to Your Truly-a nerd), because they give you a glimpse into how others view/deal with the same issues confronting us here in the United States. I think reasonable people will agree that by far, the biggest takeaway from PM Alabanese’s interview, is how politicians in Australia came together to stump out mass shootings after the Port Arthur massacre(1996). Simply put, there is zero excuse for the nonsense we get from Congress, when it comes to addressing gun violence in the United States. Zero!!

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What is Christian Nationalism? An Interesting CNN Segment Delved Into It

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An interesting segment on CNN’s Reliable Sources show (07/31/22) delved into the new hot political topic, and that is, Christian Nationalism. So what is Christian Nationalism? Host Brian Stelter brought in Katherine Stewart, who has studied this topic for years, to shed some light on the issue. Stewart is the author of the book “The Power Worshippers–Inside The Dangerous Rise Of Religious Nationalism”.

This intro by host Brian Stelter is important for establishing the context for the ensuing debate:“Roughly 70% of Americans identify as Christian, and this segment is not about most of them. This segment is about the rise of a White Christian Nationalist movement in the U.S. It’s emerging in the news more and more, you are probably hearing the term Christian Nationalism more and more. Here is one expert’s definition:’Christian Nationalism is the belief that the American nation is defined by Christianity, and that the government should take active steps to keep it that way.’ Many observers feel that would threaten our diverse, healthy democracy in the U.S. We are seeing some Republicans in the U.S. embrace the term Christian Nationalism, for example [Reps] Marjorie Taylor Greene…Lauren Boebert…”

Here’s how Katherine Stewart defined Christian Nationalism (video at ):“Christian Nationalism is basically the idea that America was founded as a so-called Christian nation, our law should be based on the Bible, and supposedly right-thinking believers need to reclaim America’s past.”

Stewart said this is dangerous because “it’s a radically anti-democratic ideology. It rejects the principles of pluralism and equality, that represent the best of the American promise. The movement, it’s not just an ideology, it’s also an organized quest for political power.. it’s a political movement. This movement has built up…a sort of a dense organizational infrastructure over decades, that includes right wing policy groups, legal advocacy groups, networking initiatives, that get the leadership on the same page…[including] Supreme Court Justices.”

Stewart went on to expound on her argument re the U.S. Supreme Court saying, all the six conservative justices on the high court are either current or former members of the Federalist Society, which she says “is an organization that plays an outsized role in shaping our courts.” Just so you know, the Federalist Society is part of the “dense organizational infrastructure” Stewart alluded to earlier.

Stewart said Trump’s presidency was key to the Christian Nationalist movement because he “threw open the doors to leaders of this movement. It’s a leadership-driven movement, it’s not defined by the attitudes of the rank and file. Those attitudes are actually shaped by the leadership of the movement. He [Trump] offered them unprecedented political access, offered them of course the justices they wanted. This is a movement that represents the minority of our country. Most American Christians reject the politics of conquest and division this movement represents.”

There’s no other way to interpret Katherine Stewart’s remarks on CNN’s Reliable Sources other than(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course), power hungry conservatives have schemed for decades on how to use Chritianity to achieve political power, and they finally got their opening with the Trump presidency. Trump elevated the leaders of this movement, and what we’re witnessing today with Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and others, are simply efforts to make Christian Nationalism a mainstream movement in America. Remember, as Katen Stewart correctly pointed out, a majority of Christians don’t agree with this effort to essentially hijack Christianity for political gain.

The CNN segment singled out Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene(R-GA) and Lauren Boebert(R-CO) as illustrations of this budding Christian Nationalist movement, but if anyone out there is looking for the classic example to date, it is, in my humble opinion, none other than former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, a former Pastor, who has now fully embraced Trumpism. Mike Huckabee not only got his daughter Sarah to work in Trump’s White House, but also made sure she secured Trump’s endorsement for her run for Arkansas Governor, a job she is largely expected to bag.

Huckabee has also recently authored “christian” books themed around the Trump presidency. If Mike Huckabee, and his daughter Sarah for that matter, are not the classic examples of the abuse-Christianity-for-political-power-movement, I don’t know who is.

An important piece of advice Karen Stewart gave to the mainstream media when covering this Christian Nationalism movement, is to never forget that it is a leadership-driven movement. In other words, don’t focus too much on what the rank and file go out there and do in furtherance of the movement(often viral videos on social media attacking gays, pro-choice activists, etc), but rather, on the leaders of the movement, who indoctrinate them into doing this stuff. Hmm, very interesting.

Bottom line folks, many Christians, including Yours Truly, regarded former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura (Texas pride–deal with it), as very good representations of a Christian family–despite whatever differences one might have had with their political beliefs. Interestingly, Trump, the leader of the “christian” nationalist movement, has never humbled himself to say anything good about the God-fearing Bushes. That, my friends, is all you need to know about this “christian” nationalist movement. It is anything, but Christian.

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AOC Slams SCOTUS After Roe v Wade Decision Saying The High Court Has A “Crisis Of Legitimacy”

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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) appeared on NBC’s Meet The Press(06/26/22) to discuss this week’s bombshell Supreme Court decision overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which made abortion legal in the United States. During her interview, Rep Ocasio-Cortez slammed the recently appointed Supreme Court justices behind the 6-3 decision, essentially accusing them of lying to Senators during their confirmation hearings and thus causing a “crisis of legitimacy” within the high court. She also tied longstanding Justice Clarence Thomas to the “crisis of legitimacy” charge, saying Justice Thomas violated the law by not disclosing his income from political organizations.

Rep Ocasio-Cortez said(video at 2:47): “What I believe that the president and the Democatic Party needs to come to terms with, is that this is not just a crisis of Roe, this is a crisis of our democracy. The Supreme Court has dramatically overreached its authority. We had two conservative senators in the United States Senate–Senator Manchin and Senator Collins–come out with a very explosive allegation that several Supreme Court justices misled them during their confirmation hearings and in the lead up to their confirmation. This is a crisis of legitimacy. We have a Supreme Court justice whose wife participated in January 6th, and who used his seat to vote against providing documents that potentially led to evidence of such to investigators in Congress. This is a crisis of legitimacy, and President Biden must address that.”

Asked whether the House Judiciary Committee should begin an investigation into whether Supreme Court justices lied under oath during their confirmation hearings, Rep Ocasio-Cortez responded: “If we allow Supreme Court nominees to lie under oath and secure lifetime appointments to the highest court of the land, and then issue without basis…rulings that deeply undermine the human and civil rights of the majority of Americans, we must see that through. There must be consequences for such a deeply destabilizing action and hostile takeover of our democratic institutions. To allow that to stand, is to allow it to happen, and what makes it particularly dangerous, is that it sends a blaring signal to all future nominees that they can now lie to duly elected members of the United States Senate in order to secure Supreme Court confirmations…”

Asked whether she believed lying during confirmation hearings is an impeachable offense, she responded: “I believe so. I believe lying under oath is an impeachable offense. I believe that violating federal law in not disclosing income from political organizations, as [Justice] Clarence Thomas did years ago, is also potentially an impeachable offense. I believe that not recusing from cases that one clearly has family members involved in, with very deep violations of conflict of interest, are also impeachable offenses, and I believe that this is something that should be very seriously considered, including by Senators like Joe Manchin and Susan Collins.”

There’s no other way to interpret Rep Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks on Meet The Press(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course) other than, she’s calling on fellow House Democrats to pursue impeachment proceedings against sitting Supreme Court justices for among other things, lying under oath during their confirmation hearings. It will be interesting to see whether her fellow Democrats will take her up on the impeachment suggestion.

Bottom line folks, public confidence in the Roberts Supreme Court was already waning even before the bombshell decision striking down Roe v Wade. There is no question however, that the global condemnation that has followed the Roe decision, will renew calls for the high court’s restructuring/expansion. Even impeachment calls like the one by Rep Ocasio-Cortez, which would have previously been ignored, or dismissed out of hand, will now be taken seriously. Simply put, there’s a growing perception among the public, that the Roberts Supreme Court, does not resemble previous high courts, which were generally deemed to be above the political fray. Chief Justice Roberts would be best advised to step in, and address these concerns, hopefully via a public address to the nation. Ignoring these problems, will not make them go away.

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Senator Collins Slams Justices Kavanaugh & Gorsuch Over “Inconsistent” Roe v Wade Decision

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An interesting segment on Fox News’ The Story w/Martha MacCallum(06/24/22) delved into the feud brewing between Senator Susan Collins(R-Maine) and conservative Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch over the decision by the high court to overturn Roe v Wade, a 1973 precedent that legalized abortion in the United States. According to Fox News Congressional Correspondent Aishah Hasni, Senator Collins is not just upset because she was misled during the Senate confirmation hearings on questions about respecting precedents, but also because this bombshell decision comes at a time of great division in the country, and she fears the decision will only widen the divisions.

Senator Collins issued a statement saying:“This ill-considered action will further divide the country at a moment when, more than ever in modern times, we need the Court to show more consistency and restraint. Throwing out a precedent overnight that the country has relied upon for half a century is not conservative. It is a sudden and radical jolt to the country that will lead to chaos, anger, and a further loss of confidence in our government.”

Senators Collins and Lisa Murkowski(R-Alaska) have apparently introduced a bill which aims to codify Roe v Wade, so we’ll see how far that goes.

Bottom line folks, Republicans routinely dismiss criticisms of the out-of-touch Roberts Supreme Court as simply “rantings of the radical left.” it will be interesting to see how they deal with the very sharp criticisms leveled at the high court by moderate Republican Susan Collins, and especially, her written assertion–not AOC’s or The Squad’s–that what the court engaged in re Roe v wade was “not conservative” but rather, “a sudden and radical jolt to the country that will lead to chaos, anger, and a further loss of confidence in our government”, which essentially translates to an extremist court.

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Dahlia Lithwick: 1/6 Hearing Established Requisite Intent For Trump’s Criminal Prosecution

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Slate writer Dahlia Lithwick appeared on MSNBC’s The Beat w/Ari Melber(06/10/22) where she made the most compelling legal case yet, for criminally prosecuting Trump. Lithwick told host Ari Melber that the televised January 6th hearings established the mens rea–the requisite intent for such criminal prosecution. Put another way, DOJ has enough evidence to initiate a criminal prosecution against Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 elections because he was told by people he trusts that what he was doing was wrong, potentially criminal, but he proceeded to do it anyway. The only question left is whether AG Merrick Garland wants to criminally prosecute him.

Dahlia Lithwick(1:30):“When[Rep] Liz Cheney said he lit the match, he set the fuse, that is Donald Trump, and it seemed to me the entire organizing theme of last night’s hearing was, this starts at the top…this starts with Trump. And I think it’s almost impossible to look at the videos you just sort of showed in that montage, and not see this animating theme, which is, everyone around Donald Trump told him no. Mark Short, Joint Chiefs, Vice President Pence, his own Attorney General said this is unlawful, you have no basis for this, and he went forward, and so to the extent that there is mens rea–the intent to do something that you know is illegal–we’ve always heard, ‘Oh, Donald Trump can’t form the requisite intent, he didn’t know what was going on, he’s delusional’, well now we know, that’s why Ivanka is important, that the one person he listened to, evidently told him no, and when you have everyone around him telling him no, he can no longer say, ‘I’m not culpable because I didn’t understand what was happening’…”

It cannot be restated enough just how significant, Lithwick’s legal analysis is. The decision by most prosecutors on whether or not to pursue criminal charges against someone, almost always comes down to that Latin phrase–mens rea. If they can show that you knew the conduct you are about to engage in is illegal, and you did it anyway, then that is a case they can secure a conviction for, and you are almost definitely getting prosecuted/charged with a crime. This by the way, is also the reason insane people get off the hook even for serious crimes–prosecutors can’t establish the requisite intent(that the insane person knew what they were doing was wrong). 

Bottom line folks, as Dahlia Lithwick brilliantly laid it out on MSNBC’s The Beat show, after only one public hearing by the January 6th Committee, the mens rea requirements for a potential criminal prosecution of Trump for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results have already been met and surpassed, meaning DOJ can easily secure a conviction against Trump if it chooses to criminally prosecute him. The only question left is whether AG Garland has the fortitude, or desire, to do so. 

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Uvalde Police Enlisted A Biker Group To Harass Members Of The Media

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Members of a Texas biker group seemingly harassing a photojournalist covering the Uvalde school shooting incident

As if the senseless massacre of 19 innocent fourth graders, and two of their teachers in their classrooms in Uvalde Texas is not shocking enough, we now find out that the people whose job it was to keep the little kids safe, Uvalde police, are also caught up in a shocking story of their own–an attempted cover up. Norah Lopez, Executive Editor of the San Antonio Express-News, and President of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said on CNN’s Reliable  Sources(06/05/22) that police in Uvalde have apparently enlisted a biker group to harass and intimidate journalists trying to make sense of their(police)conflicting public statements regarding the shooting–a shocking development indeed. Needless to say, this Uvalde incident has also raised serious questions as to whether moving forward, the mainstream media should treat initial incident reports from police as Gospel truth, as it sadly happens often.

Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter opened the segment with these remarks:“The children had to hide from the attacker at Robb Elementary. They had to run, they had to jump, they had to hide so they would not be shot to pieces. And now it’s the police that are hiding. They are hiding from the press. They have to hide from what? The truth? The public getting the truth?”

Stelter continued:“I think everybody is pretty angry at this point, some truly shocking state of affairs in Texas, because at first the officials misled the public, shared incorrect information about the massacre, now they are not sharing much at all. In Uvalde this week, reporters have been stonewalled, doors shut in their faces, some even threatened with arrest just for standing on school property…Most outrageous of all, police apparently sent some bikers to intimidate journalists and prevent them from doing their jobs…”

Asked by host Stelter whether, given what has transpired thus far, the public can trust anything they are told by law enforcement in Uvalde, Norah Lopez responded(video at 1:31):“It’s become increasingly difficult for us to trust what authorities and what the police are telling us, and as a former police reporter, that’s just extraordinary to me that I’m actually saying that, because I’ve always trusted what the police was telling us, what the sergent on duty was telling you was happening. But every day it seems like we get one more little bit of information that directly contradicts what was initially told to us…They are trying to control the narrative, it looks like, keeping us away from talking to people who can help clarify the situation, and what’s happening on the ground.”

There’s no other way to interpret Norah Lopez’s statements on CNN(I’ll be happy to stand corrected of course) other than police in Uvalde are not only lying to the media about circumstances surrounding the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School, but they are shockingly, also preventing the media from getting the truth directly from the grieving families. The extent of the attempted cover up is so severe, that they’ve even enlisted a biker group to intimidate and harass journalists who try to talk directly to the grieving families. This is truly shocking, even by Texas standards, where reports of these proxy harassment tactics by law enforcement are prevalent. For law enforcement in Uvalde to engage in such despicable conduct towards the media, knowing full well that the eyes of the world are currently on the city, speaks to a much deeper problem with Uvalde Police Department specifically, and Texas law enforcement generally–a culture of impunity.

Put another way. It’s one thing for Texas law enforcement to enlist some biker gang to harass some local whistleblower who say, sued the department, or exposed some shady dealings within the department(quite common in Texas), but when you start pulling such moves on the mainstream media, covering a huge national story, then reasonable people will agree that something is seriously wrong with the police department.

Norah Lopez specifically said regarding the biker harassment(video at 3:21):“The bikers are the ones who told us that they were there on the invitation of the police…We’ve tried to reach out to the police chief to register these concerns about how they are treating the media out there. We’ve not gotten a response from them yet. It has just been a really incredible difficult situation the way they are trying to control access…Reporters are getting told ‘You can’t be here, this is private property’…”

According to Nora, the bikers are apparently also discouraging families who are willing to speak to the media, from doing so. So they are not just harassing members of the media, they are also actively discouraging  grieving families who wish to speak to the media from doing so. A sad state of affairs indeed.

Bottom line folks, proxy harassment and intimidation by Texas law enforcement, towards those who raise issues that cast them in negative light–lawsuits, grievances etc–is nothing new. Reasonable people will agree however, that when such despicable police tactics are directed towards members of the media, just trying to do their job covering a huge story of national/international significance–the senseless massacre of 19 elementary school children and two teachers in their classrooms–then the ethical breach is so flagrant, that it calls for an immediate dismissal of the officers involved. Simply put, a thorough investigation needs to be conducted into who in the Uvalde Police Department, brought in the bikers to harass journalists, after which the officers implicated need to be fired immediately.  

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Rep Mo Brooks Says Teaching Proper Moral Values Is The Solution To Our Gun Violence Problem

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Rep Mo Brooks(R-AL) on Fox News Sunday(05/29/22) with host Sandra Smith

Rep Mo Brooks(R-AL), who has an A rating from the National Rifle Association, appeared on Fox News Sunday(05/29/22) to discuss the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Asked by host Sandra Smith whether he would support stricter laws regarding the sale of firearms as a way of reducing gun violence, Rep Brooks gave an interesting response, saying the solution to our gun problems is to teach our young people proper moral values. Yup, lax Republican laws that make it easier for teens to acquire deadly weapons are not the problem, just teach the young ones proper moral values.

Host Sandra Smith(2:40):“Gallup research does find that a majority of Americans, 52% of them, are in favor of stricter gun laws when it comes to the sale of firearms. So to the majority of Americans who feel that way, you say what?”

Rep Mo Brooks:“Back when I was growing up we didn’t have these mass killings, okay, they weren’t there, they didn’t occur, or if they did, I certainly was not cognisant of them, and they were very very very rare, so rare, that I cannot recall a single instant in which one of those things occured during my youth. Today they are much more common. What’s the big difference between when I was growing up and today? The big difference is a decline in the moral values, a decline in the respect for human life. If we teach proper moral values, if we teach respect for human life, if we properly address mental health issues that may somehow or another be associated with all these things, then that is the way to fix the problem.”

Now, folks, one doesn’t have to be a Havard educated genius to realize that the kind of fix Rep Brooks is recommending(moral values reset) for our clear and present gun violence problem, will take generations to materialize, if it ever materializes. It this is the GOP’s position(moral values reset), even after the horrific Uvalde shooting, where we witnessed innocent 4th graders getting slaughtered in their classroom, then I hate to say it folks, get ready for more mass shooting horrors. There is no solution coming from Congress.

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