The Jury Talks Back

8/22/2019

Joe Walsh Believes He Is The Reasonable Alternative To Trump In 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:19 pm

[guest post by Dana]

He wants you to believe it too!

Joe Walsh says he is seriously considering a run against Trump because someone has to do it:

Former Illinois GOP Rep. Joe Walsh, who has been publicly mulling a 2020 primary challenge to President Donald Trump, said Thursday he is “strongly, strongly considering” entering the race.

“I’m strongly, strongly considering it. That’s — again, I’m not trying to be cute or coy. I’ve told you before — if somebody’s going to get in there and go after him … it’s got to be done soon,” Walsh told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.” “You’re running out of time. But more importantly, these are not conventional times. Look at the guy in the White House. These are urgent times.”

Now a conservative radio host, Walsh apologized last week for his role in helping elect an “unfit con man” to the presidency. During an interview on CNN, he said he voted for Trump in 2016 only because Trump wasn’t Hillary Clinton. His support for the President changed, he said, after Trump’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland, last year in which he sided with the Russian strongman over his own intelligence community’s assessments of interference in the 2016 election.

But is he a candidate worthy of your vote? Well, let’s just say that you might want to think long and hard about that:

It would be beneficial to the country and conservatism as a whole if a viable conservative candidate challenged President Trump for the 2020 nomination.

One-term congressman, conspiracist, right-wing provocateur, radio host, and supposed Tea Party stalwart Joe Walsh is not that person. Not even close.

[…]

Though the radio host tries now to present himself as some sort of compassionate and reasonable conservative alternative to Trump, not all of us have such short memories. Did Walsh really think people would forget that he made his name with the same sort of demagoguery, conspiracy-mongering, and right-wing bomb-throwing for which he now condemns Trump?

In 2014, for example, he tweeted: “It makes Dems seethe and my fellow Repubs uncomfortable when I say it out loud, but so what? It explains everything. Barack Obama is Muslim.” He was also very annoyed that year over the fact that he would most likely get into trouble for using racial slurs.

Later, in 2015, after a gunman murdered five servicemen at two separate military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Walsh said, “Obama won’t call Chattanooga what it was – Islamic terror. Not confusing at all. Obama is a Muslim.” He also said that year, “Barack Obama doesn’t love America & is Muslim,” adding elsewhere that the then-president is a “pussy” and a “traitor.”

“I’m sick of [Sean Hannity] not understanding why Obama wont’ criticize Islam. Sean just said Obama is clueless. He’s not clueless. He’s Muslim,” Walsh tweeted.

And then there was the time in 2016, when: “Walsh called the president of the United States an “enemy” and a “traitor” for skipping Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s funeral.”

Walsh also said in 2016 that “Obama is not on our side. He’s our enemy.”

We really also shouldn’t forget that in 2017, Walsh encouraged the Russia-sponsored Seth Rich murder conspiracy.

This is the person who believes he is the more reasonable and stable alternative to Trump in 2020.

Good luck, Republicans.

–Dana

Trump Mocks Allies Using Fake Asian Accents While Praising Kim Jong Un

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:34 pm

[guest post by Dana]

At a big dollar fundraiser held at a private home in the Hamptons, President Trump made news for reportedly mimicking the accents of the leaders of South Korea and Japan to mock them:

Trump also made fun of US allies South Korea, Japan and the European Union — mimicking Japanese and Korean accents — and talked about his love of dictators Kim Jong Un and the current ruler of Saudi Arabia.

[…]

Talking about South Korea, Trump said it makes great TVs and has a thriving economy, “So why are we paying for their defense. They’ve got to pay.” He then mimicked the accent of the leader Moon Jae-in while describing how he caved in to Trump’s tough negotiations.

On his remarkable friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, “I just got a beautiful letter from him this week. We are friends. People say he only smiles when he sees me.

“If I hadn’t been elected president, we would be in a big, fat, juicy war with North Korea.“

Turning to Japan, Trump then put on a fake Japanese accent to recount his conversations with Shinzo Abe over their conversations over trade tariffs.

Trump’s mockery of various groups is nothing new, but this time it has rankled Asian-American voters:

When Amanda Berg heard that President Donald Trump mocked the accents of the leaders of South Korea and Japan at a recent fundraiser, it brought back painful memories from her childhood.

Berg, a Korean-American who grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado, recalled kids doing the “stereotypical pulling at the eyes and the mocking accent.” It made her feel like she was a foreigner in her own community.

Berg, a registered Democrat, is among a growing and crucial bloc of Asian-American voters leaning further to the left in the age of Trump, and his stunt angered her and many others.

“It empowers people who would be predisposed to doing that kind of thing anyway,” said Berg, a high school English teacher in Denver. “And it makes it acceptable to be openly, increasingly discriminating.”

Here is quick look at American-Asian voters and their current party preferences. Bear in mind that not long ago George H. W. Bush received 55% of the Asian-American vote while Bill Clinton received 31%. Fast forward to 2016, where Hillary Clinton won approximately two-thirds of the Asian-American vote and Trump pulled in just 27%:

The Asian-American voting-age population has more than doubled in the past two decades, leaping from 4.3 million in 1998 to 11.1 million in 2018 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A majority of those new voters lean Democratic.

By 2016, some Asian ethnic groups that had leaned Republican shifted into the Democratic camp, said Natalie Masuoka, an associate professor of political science and Asian-American studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. A Pew Research Center survey said 53 percent of Asian-American registered voters in 1998 identified with the Democratic Party. That figure rose to 65 percent in 2017.

“They are adding more and more new voters to the electorate,” Masuoka said. “Alongside Latino immigrants, they’re important for candidates to mobilize.”

This especially as Asians are the fastest growing racial group in the U.S.

However, with the presidential election around the corner and Trump’s aggregate polling hovering around 41%, incidents like like this, while amusing his base, may come with a risk. Especially in swing states:

Asian-American voters also could become a key factor in swing states. In Nevada, Asians make up 5 percent of registered voters and 9 percent of the eligible voting population. They comprise 5 percent of registered voters in Virginia and are 6 percent of the eligible voting population.

Coupled with the current refusal to just “look the other way” when one is racially offended, especially when the offender is the President of the United States, Trump’s lack of decorum comes with yet another risk:

The GOP, meanwhile, remains appealing to Asian-Americans who are strongly anti-communist, as many are in Vietnamese communities. Some data also suggests that a large proportion of Filipinos and wealthy, higher-educated Chinese-Americans are more likely to go Republican, Masuoka said.

But it may be hard for some to look past Trump’s words.

“He’s willing to use Asian stereotypes, Asian accents in his public speeches,” Masuoka said. “In that way … the way Americans are talking about race is now shifting possibly back to what historically was effective before the civil rights revolution” — explicit and sometimes offensive talk about race.

I would think that the Asian-Americans offended by this would be all the more offended given that he pulled this stunt while raising money for his reelection campaign.

At the end of the day, however, while I understand Asian-Americans being offended by Trump’s behavior, what is far more disturbing is that the President of the United States publicly mimicked and mocked our close allies while he lavishly praised a vile enemy of the United States. In what delusional world does this murderous madman, who does not hesitate for one second to imprison, torture and kill his people at will, deserve the adoration of the President? Were any of the deep-pocketed Trump supporters in the audience shocked when they heard this? Did they walk out of the event, so great was their offense? Likely not, because they weren’t at all shocked or offended because this is just business as usual with Trump. Likely they reacted like as Trump supporters do when the President makes outrageous comments and elevates evil over good: they listen with admiration believing that Trump is just telling it like it is.

–Dana

David French Declares Woman Innocent Who May or May Not Be Innocent

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:59 am

David French states this on Twitter:

Below his tweet, you can read the outraged cries from people angry about the supposedly clear injustice here, based on the language of his tweet. Imprisoned, baby ripped away, after acting in self-defense? That’s racism! One person after another states that obviously she was convicted because she was black; the system is evil; nobody in the system cares about justice, etc. etc. etc. Here’s one example among many:

Here’s the thing: French has loaded the dice in his tweet by declaring, as a matter of established fact, that the woman acted in self-defense. But if you read his actual article (which is interesting and mostly well done, until the end), you’ll see that this “fact” is not clearly the case at all, but instead is very much in dispute:

What do I mean? Hang with me for a moment, because this case is a bit complicated. At its heart is a dispute between Siwatu-Salama Ra, an African-American concealed-carry permit holder from Detroit, and a woman named Channel Harvey. Ra was put on trial for assault with a dangerous weapon and possessing a firearm while committing a felony after she brandished her unloaded pistol at Harvey during a heated confrontation outside Ra’s mother’s house.

The facts are hotly disputed, but Ra claimed that during the course of an argument, Harvey backed her car into into Ra’s vehicle — while Ra’s two-year-old daughter was inside, playing. Ra claims she grabbed her daughter out of the car, then grabbed her unloaded gun, “pointed the gun at Harvey’s car” and then again demanded that Harvey leave. Harvey testified that Ra was the aggressor, and that she hit Ra’s car on accident only after Ra pointed the gun at her. The jury apparently believed Harvey’s version of events, and Ra received a two-year prison sentence.

The case was immediately controversial, with critics of the verdict claiming that the case represented “yet another instance of a black gun owner, with the permits to legally carry, defending themselves against violence — and getting punished for it.”

(My emphasis.)

The case may represent that — and French clearly thinks it does — or it may represent someone brandishing a gun in anger with no justification.

What the case is really about is the legal standard to apply. The trial court told the jury that Ra, the defendant, could not succeed with a claim of self-defense unless she reasonably believed she had the right to use deadly force to prevent death or great bodily harm. The appellate court held that this was the wrong standard. The appellate court said that brandishing a gun is not deadly force, and thus can be an appropriate response to non-deadly force. This is certainly a very rational rule, and Ra was convicted under an improper standard under the laws of the state of Michigan. It’s an interesting topic and worthy of a post and a tweet. Because the jury was instructed on the wrong standard, it could have decided that Ra was not the aggressor, but still convicted her. (This means French may be wrong that the jury accepted Harvey’s view of the facts, by the way.)

Here’s the problem: if another jury applied the correct standard, Ra still might properly be found guilty. Based only on French’s post (I’ve not had time to read the court opinion or any other coverage) it appears to me that there remain two versions: Ra was the aggressor and pointed a gun with no justification, or she acted in self-defense by using non-lethal force to deter further unlawful force by witness Harvey. In other words, Ra may not have acted in self-defense after all. We just don’t know.

French goes overboard in his tweet when he says Ra was convicted “after brandishing a gun in self-defense.” That may be true — but based on French’s article, it also may well be false. French is putting his thumb on the scale, and irresponsibly overdramatizing a potential injustice by labeling the defendant innocent when she still might be guilty.

I tried bringing this to French’s attention in tweets yesterday, but he ignored me, so I am writing this post.

This is also why I say French’s article is mostly well done until the end — because at the end, he pronounces:

Prosecutors have a right to appeal the decision to their state supreme court. They should not. Ra has suffered immensely. She gave birth while imprisoned, and her child was taken from her two days later. She spent months separated from her newborn – after a conviction under the wrong legal standard. The court of appeals reached the just result. Ra’s legal ordeal needs to end.

One can conclude that prosecutors should not appeal the case and that the appellate court reached the right decision without concluding that “Ra’s legal ordeal needs to end.” If the evidence justifies a retrial (and it might), then she needs to be retried under the proper standard. If innocent, she should be acquitted. If guilty, she should be convicted.

Too many stories about the criminal justice system these days tweak the facts to make things seem more outrageous than they really are. This is what French has done here. I respect him as a general rule, but unless he is operating off of facts that he did not disclose in his column, he has overreached here and needs to rein in his outrage a bit. He is ginning up a storm of discontent (again, read the replies to his tweet) that may or may not be appropriate. I hope he finally sees my complaints, which I will bring to his attention by tweeting this post at him, and takes some corrective action.

8/21/2019

Trump Reconsidering Birthright Citizenship

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 3:50 pm

[guest post by Dana]

While immigration has been a central plank of his presidency, and in light of the 14th Amendment, Trump said today that he is once again considering an end to birthright citizenship:

Donald Trump has said the government is weighing whether to abolish birth right citizenship, calling the constitutional right “ridiculous”.

Currently a child born in the US is entitled to a US passport. The constitution’s 14th amendment, passed after the civil war to ensure that black Americans had full citizenship rights, grants citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States”.

Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, Trump said: “We are looking at birthright citizenship very seriously. It’s frankly ridiculous.”

Trump did not elaborate any further.

The 14th Amendment:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Back in October, right before the midterms, Trump said that he would abolish birthright citizenship via executive order:

“You can definitely do it with an act of Congress. But now they’re saying I can do it just with an executive order,” he said at the time.

Uncoincidentally:

The president’s announcement came hours after the White House said it would move to scrap a major court agreement in order to allow for migrant families to be detained longer as their cases are being considered, instead of having to release them after 20 days.

And then there are the legal issue involved:

Legal experts say the ultimate question regarding birthright citizenship is whether the 14th Amendment – which affords citizenship to “[a]ll persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside” – encompasses the children of illegal immigrants.

The unresolved legal dispute centers on whether those children are “subject” to the jurisdiction of the United States.

You can read the opinions of legal experts here, here, here and here.

–Dana

Trump Elated By Comparison To King Of Israel

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:33 am

[guest post by Dana]

After Rep. Ilhan Omar suggested that aid to Israel should be reconsidered after not being allowed to make a planned official visit with Rep. Tlaib because of the congresswomen’s public advocacy for the boycott of Israel, Trump made a jarring comment:

“I can’t even believe that we’re having this conversation. Five years ago, the concept of even talking about this — even three years ago — of cutting off aid to Israel because of two people that hate Israel and hate Jewish people. I can’t believe we’re even having this conversation,” Trump fumed.

“Where has the Democratic Party gone? Where have they gone where they’re defending these two people over the state of Israel? And I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat — I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty, alright?”

As we discussed briefly in the comments, it’s a little bit difficult to ascertain exactly who Trump thinks the Jews would be being disloyal to because his thought process is, well, difficult to follow at best. However, Phillip Klein has a good examination of the president’s “disloyalty” comment and why it is troubling:

Was he talking about disloyalty to America? Disloyalty to Trump? Disloyalty to Israel? Disloyalty to Jews? No matter which way one wants to interpret this comment, it’s sickening coming from an American president — all the more bizarre coming as he has been unleashing a barrage of attacks on Tlaib and Omar for anti-Semitism.

Among the litany of anti-Semitic remarks made by Tlaib and Omar, the most horrific involved accusations of dual loyalty (see background here and here). Accusations of dual loyalty have been at the center of anti-Semitic attacks on Jews for centuries. Yet here is Trump throwing out the “disloyalty” charge.

One potential interpretation is that he was suggesting it would be disloyal to Israel to vote Democrat. But American Jews are first and foremost American, not Israeli. Suggesting that Jewish votes should be determined primarily by U.S. policy toward Israel is in fact to suggest divided loyalties.

If he was trying to say Jews would be disloyal to their faith by voting Democrat, he needs to shut right the heck up, because he is in no position to criticize somebody’s relationship to their faith.

As a conservative, I have found it difficult to get behind Trump despite supporting a number of his policies, and a big reason why is the manner in which he speaks about many minority groups. He has up to this point avoided turning his wrath on Jews, but given his history of flipping on people he views as “disloyal,” his comments make me wonder what would happen if, as is most likely, Jews overwhelmingly vote against him despite his pro-Israel policies. Is there a point at which American Jews essentially become the next Anthony Scaramucci?

As a result of his remarks receiving criticism, conspiracy theorist and Newsmax TV host Wayne Allyn Root pushed back in support of Trump:

“I happen to be Jewish by birth and 75% of all Jews vote Democrat, and they don’t like Trump,” Root said Tuesday. “This is the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world. Not just in America, Trump is the best president for Israel in the history of the world. And the Jewish people love him like he is the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.”

“In America, American Jews don’t like him,” he continued. “They don’t even know what they’re doing or saying anymore. It makes no sense. But that’s okay. He keeps doing what he’s doing. He’s good for all of us. Good for Jews, good for blacks, good for gays.”

“He is good for everyone in America who wants a job,” Root finished.

This morning, unsurprisingly, Trump enthusiastically retweeted Root’s comments:

Untitled

Untitled2

Some of Wayne Allyn Root’s conspiracy theories involved the suggestion that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary Clinton, Donna Brazile, Bill Clinton, etc. were involved in the murder of Seth Rich, falsely claiming white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr. who killed Heather Heyer was a paid actor hired by Soros, and that the mass shooting in Las Vegas was a coordinated Muslim terror attack.

–Dana

8/20/2019

For The Umpteenth Time: Deport Criminals First And Make Sure They Can’t Re-Enter The US

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

While we are discussing the situation with detained immigrants in ICE facilities, I read two reports today, and was left wondering how anyone could possibly object to simultaneously doing everything to tighten up security at the Southern border, come down on sanctuary cities, and most importantly, deport criminal aliens before anyone else. Does the open borders crowd believe that these criminal aliens shouldn’t be immediately deported? It seems like common sense that this specific group should be the priority of ICE deportations, not families who have been here for years, work hard, and already integrated into cities and towns across the nation.

First:

An illegal alien who was convicted in 2007 of sexually abusing a 7-year-old girl, who also had three convictions for driving under the influence, was removed from the country in 2013, but then reentered the United States in 2015 and was found in 2019—after a traffic stop—to be living near “a community swimming pool, elementary school, middle school, high school and nursery school.”

“Martin Mejia Ramos aka Ricardo Morales Rodriguez and Martin Jose Romes-Ramirez pleaded guilty May 10, 2019, to illegally re-entering the United States following an aggravated felony conviction,” said a statement from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

“At the hearing, the court heard that in 2007, Ramos was convicted in Los Angeles, California, for continuous sexual abuse and lewd act upon a child,” said the statement. “He was ordered to serve six years in prison and required to register as a sex offender for life. He was removed from the country in 2013.

“In that case, Ramos had engaged in more than three sexual acts with a seven-year-old with whom he was residing,” the statement said. “The victim claimed Ramos had touched her vagina on multiple occasions and exposed himself to her. A physical examination revealed irritation in her vagina. His hair was also found in that area. Ramos had told her not to tell anyone and threatened to hit her if she did.

“Ramos had six other convictions, three of which were driving under the influence of alcohol,” said the statement from the U.S. attorney. “In one instance, he caused a traffic accident with two other vehicles. His blood alcohol was more than twice the legal limit.

“Ramos illegally re-entered the United States Dec. 31, 2015,” said the statement. “On Jan. 30, 2019, authorities discovered Ramos in New Caney during a traffic stop, at which time he provided a false address. The investigation later revealed his residence was near a community swimming pool, elementary school, middle school, high school and nursery school.”

The second article is about a Maryland sanctuary city that released an illegal alien accused of rape despite an immigration detainer:

A suburban Maryland county with a notorious history as a sanctuary jurisdiction is facing criticism from federal authorities for releasing an illegal alien accused of rape despite an immigration detainer.

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement lodged a detainer on Aug. 12 with the Montgomery County (Maryland) Detention Center on unlawfully present Salvadoran national Rodrigo Castro-Montejo following his arrest for rape and other related charges,” reads a statement from ICE’s Maryland office to Blaze Media. “On Aug. 13, the facility failed to honor the detainer, and released Castro from custody.”

According to local WJLA-TV, Montgomery County’s policy allows jail officials to contact ICE if the suspect has committed a “serious crime” and has had an ICE detainer filed previously. ICE says that local officials violated the policy in order to release the suspect.

The WJLA story details the factors that led to Castro-Montejo’s arrest. Castro-Montejo is a Salvadoran national residing in Florida. His accuser says that before he came to Maryland for a wedding last weekend, he had organized a meetup with her on social media. She claims the two went out drinking and dancing, she blacked out, then woke up to to him raping her.

Castro-Montejo was charged with second-degree rape and second-degree assault Saturday, August 10, and was later granted a $10,000 bail by a judge. He posted the 10 percent, $1,000 bond and walked out.

Neither of these criminals would have been here to commit the atrocious crimes for which they were charged, and do the unspeakable damage that they did had our Southern border not been so porous.

–Dana

Tlaib: I Will Obey Israeli Law. Israel: Welcome! Tlaib: I’m Not Going But I Will Fundraise Off Your Oppression

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:23 pm

[guest post by Dana]

I would be shocked if she didn’t tried to make a buck off her aborted trip. It was baked in:

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) is fundraising off her aborted trip to Israel, just days after she refused an Israeli invitation permitting her to visit her ailing grandmother and, instead, shared an anti-Semitic cartoon about the Jewish state.

A fundraising email sent by Democracy for America, a far left political action committee, implores readers to “chip in whatever you can to stand with her and [Rep.] Ilhan [Omar (D., Minn.)] now as they continue to fight for justice for all.”

The fundraising plea, which includes a direct pitch from Tlaib, falsely states that the lawmakers “were banned from traveling to Israel and Palestine.” Israel granted Tlaib special permission to enter the country to visit her grandmother. Moreover, Palestine does not, in fact, exist.

“I’ve dealt with sexism, racism, and Islamophobia my entire life—so I knew that would continue if I pursued a high-profile public office and won. What I didn’t anticipate was for that discrimination to come from the President of the United States,” Tlaib writes in the fundraising email.

Benjamin Netanyahu also came under fire in the email:

It’s very telling when a so-called democratic ally bans elected members of Congress from visiting because of our political views and values,” the lawmaker writes. “It’s even more disturbing and completely unprecedented that our own president encouraged this undemocratic action. What is Netanyahu afraid that we will witness, that we will bring to light?”

“Not only am I heartbroken that I cannot meet the people of Israel and Palestine to witness their struggles firsthand, but I am heartbroken I can no longer visit my Palestinian grandmother [Ed. Liar! You could have gone, you chose not to go!], who just days ago was excited to decide which fig tree we’d pick from together,” Tlaib continues.

Leaving no stone unturned, she also recapped the recent events leading up to her fundraising, while conveniently neglecting to mention a few key points:

“The Israeli government ultimately decided they would let me visit, but under one condition: that I sign a letter restricting my freedom of speech in order to stop me from speaking out against the inhumane conditions Palestinians like my grandmother are forced to face by the Israeli military occupation,” she writes in another statement riddled with factual inaccuracies.

“No matter how badly I wish to see my grandmother, I know she would not want me to do so under such degrading circumstances that go against everything I believe in: fighting racism, oppression, and injustice,” she writes.

Let’s be accurate here since Tlaib is apparently unwilling to be: The congresswoman voluntarily signed a letter in which she promised not to promote boycotting Israel and to be respectful of their laws. But of course, she’s not interested in accuracy, she’s interested only in advocacy.

Further demonstrating her problems with telling the truth as well as an unattractive unwillingness to assume responsibility, Tlaib claimed ignorance about Miftah, the non-profit Palestinian, anti-Semitic advocacy group that was sponsoring the trip, and instead threw her colleagues under the bus:

Tlaib and Omar distanced themselves from Miftah, emphasizing that they weren’t aware of the group’s background when they decided to attend the trip, and adding that they implicitly trusted the group because other Democratic members of Congress participated in similar trip sponsored by it in 2016.

“Our colleagues that are senior members, some of whom have served multiple terms, actually told us about the organization. We’re not the ones who chose the organization. A U.S.-based sponsor organization chose it. But I think there were five members of Congress that actually went on a trip sponsored by the same organization,” Tlaib said when asked about criticisms of Miftah.

The freshman Michigan lawmaker went on to argue that, while she was unaware of Miftah’s background, recent criticisms of the group represent a cynical attempt to distract from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

“We’re just as taken aback and learned from everybody else that there are some issues around the organization. I think these are just distractions into the fact that this had nothing to do really with the agenda or these other issues,” she continued. “I think the focus is the hiding of the truth and hiding that the occupation is happening. I think they knew that us setting foot there would basically bring attention to something that many of us feel is very much against international human rights.”

I’m taken aback that she thinks we’re stupid enough to believe her nonsense. Of course she knew about Miftah. As for those senior members who went on a trip to Irsrael in 2016 that was sponsored by the organization, they were: Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, Dan Kildee of Michigan, Hank Johnson of Georgia, Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin. Note: The five Democrats reportedly met with an alleged member of a Palestinian terrorist group during that trip.

David French has a great report on Miftah that you should read. In it, he notes that the group had: re-published neo-Nazi content and “actually published blood libel, posting an article that accused ‘the Jews [of using] the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.’”

–Dana

Detained Immigrants Sue Over Poor Medical Care In Facilities

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 8:52 am

[guest post by Dana]

The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 15 detainees from Sudan, Mexico, as well as non-profits:

Immigrants held in U.S. detention facilities filed a lawsuit Monday decrying what they called shoddy medical care and a failure by authorities to provide accommodations for disabilities.

In the suit filed by disability and civil rights advocates in U.S. District Court, immigrants said they’re placed in isolation as punishment and denied recommended medical treatment and surgery. Some said they’ve been denied wheelchairs and a deaf detainee who communicates in American Sign Language said he has not been provided an interpreter.

The problems harm disabled immigrants and threaten anyone in one of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s more than 50,000 detention beds who winds up getting sick or isolated from other detainees, said Monica Porter, staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, one of the organizations that filed the suit.

The agency clarified its position on medical care to detainees:

An agency official said comprehensive medical care is provided to all detainees including dental and 24-hour emergency care and studies have shown about 1 percent of detainees are held in segregated housing at a given time.

On top of concerns about infectious diseases, including outbreaks of mumps and chickenpox, which increase in the overcrowded facilities, here are some of the more specific medical concerns mentioned. These are indeed awful:

*Faour Abdullah Fraihat, has been detained in Adelanto for more than two years and lost vision in his left eye. While an off-site doctor recommended surgery in April, immigration authorities didn’t provide it and he was told last month his vision couldn’t be restored, according to the lawsuit. Fraihat, 57, who has back and knee pain, said he was given a wheelchair but it was taken away after a month. For more than a year, he relied on officers to bring him food, the suit said. He said he fears returning to Jordan because he was threatened after converting to Christianity.

*Another detainee at the facility about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles said he was placed in segregation for a week after filing a grievance against an officer, the suit said.

*Luis Manuel Delgadillo, a 29-year-old who has lived most of his life in the United States, was on medication for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but his treatment shifted after he was detained in May. Since then, his mental health has suffered, prompting him to miss two court dates, according to the lawsuit.

Additionally:

*[O]ne plaintiff with a brain parasite has received no treatment for over a year.

*Another has not received surgery for a torn rotator cuff during three years in detention.

*[O]ne lost vision in his left eye due to lack of timely care in custody.

The suit argues that: ICE deliberately and systematically denies care to approximately 55,000 illegal immigrants currently in custody at county jails, and privately and publicly run detention centers.

There is the belief that privately contracted facilities and county jails are unable to provide the same level of care as ICE facilities, and are unable to be closely monitored.

Meanwhile, the government is facing push back over the possibility of building a new ICE detention facility for unaccompanied minors in Southern California:

The Inland Empire is being considered for a federal facility that could hold up to 430 unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border.

The proposal has prompted objections from House Democrats who represent the region and concern from an advocate for the local immigrant community.

On Aug. 5, the General Services Administration, which oversees the leasing and construction of federal buildings, posted a notice indicating a desire to lease space for 15 to 17 years in the Inland region.
[…]

In an emailed statement, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said its Office of Refugee Resettlement is exploring “vacant properties in Virginia, Central Florida, and Los Angeles to lease for potential future use as state-licensed permanent shelter locations for unaccompanied alien children.”

“The search for an addition of permanent licensed facilities is being pursued to reduce the potential need for unlicensed temporary flux shelters in the future.”

Here are the particulars:

Documents call for a 74,000- to 91,000-square-foot facility in the Inland Empire to house “Unaccompanied Alien Children,” defined by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 as anyone under 18 who has no lawful immigration status in the United States and lacks a parent or legal guardian in this country to provide care and physical custody…children to be housed in 215 bedrooms – two children per bedroom – and space for 72 bathrooms with showers, classrooms, medical exams, a kitchen/dining area and 43,560 square feet – five youth soccer fields – of playgrounds…As many as 430 staff members working eight-hour shifts would provide around-the-clock care for the children.

–Dana

8/19/2019

Depravity: Jeffrey Epstein Sent 12-Year Old Girls As “Birthday Present”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 5:14 pm

[guest post by Dana]]

Just when you think that Jeffrey Epstein couldn’t have been involved in any deeper level of depravity than we already know about, we get reminded that depravity has no limits:

Jeffrey Epstein once had three 12-year-old girls from poor families flown in from France as a sick birthday present for himself, according to newly unearthed court documents.

Virginia Giuffre — who has claimed Epstein and his gal pal Ghislaine Maxwell coerced her into being a “sex slave” when she was 15 — said in court papers that the girls who were flown in were molested by the financier and returned to France the following day.

“The worst one that I heard from his own mouth was this pretty 12 year old girls he had flown in for his birthday,” she said, according to the document.

“It was a surprise birthday gift from one of his friends and they were from France. I did see them, I did meet them,” she said.

She said they were a gift from Epstein’s acquaintance Jean-Luc Brunel, a model scout, according to the Daily Mail.

Despicably, he boasted about it afterward:

“Jeffrey bragged afterwards after he met them that they were 12-year-olds and flown over from France because they’re really poor over there, and their parents needed the money or whatever the case is and they were absolutely free to stay and flew out.”

Giuffre said Epstein had described to her how the girls had massaged him and performed oral sex, according to the Daily Mail.

“He went on to tell me how Brunel bought them in Paris from their parents, offering them the usual sums of money, visas, and modeling career prospects,” she said, according to the news outlet.

“Laughing the whole way through, Jeffrey thought it was absolutely brilliant how easily money seduced all walks of life, nothing or no one that couldn’t be bought.

Jean-Luc Brunel has been accused of aiding in Epstein’s abuse of young girls, as well as having been accused by former models of drugging and date-raping them:

Jean-Luc Brunel, 72, is the former head of Karin Models and Mc2—two well-regarded international modeling agencies that launched the careers of cover girls like Ginta Lapina, Juana Burga and Sessilee Lopez. He has also been accused by former models of drugging and date-raping them, and by former employees of recruiting foreign, underage girls to be pimped out of Epstein’s New York apartments.

[…]

According to Brunel, the venture fell apart after Elite Models learned of the sex-trafficking allegations against Epstein. The modeling agent even sued Epstein in 2015, claiming the allegations had tarnished his agency’s reputation and caused him a “tremendous loss of business.” But at least two people have claimed that Brunel not only knew about the trafficking—he was an active participant.

Virginia Roberts (now Giuffre)—one of the first alleged victims to speak out against Epstein…claimed in legal filings that Brunel was one of many powerful men she was forced to sleep with in her years as Epstein’s “sex slave.” She also accused Brunel of using his agency to find foreign girls, obtain visas for them, and “farm them out to his friends, including Epstein.”

“A lot of the girls came from poor countries or poor backgrounds, and he lured them in with a promise of making good money… Jeffrey Epstein has told me that he has slept with over 1,000 of Brunel’s girls, and everything that I have seen confirms this claim.”

–Dana

NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo Has Been Fired

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:07 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Five years after killing Eric Garner, Officer Daniel Pantaleo has been fired:

New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced on Monday that NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo has been fired. O’Neill terminated Pantaleo, 34, after it was determined he violated department policy by restraining Garner with a prohibited chokehold in 2014.

“It is clear that Daniel Pantaleo can no longer serve as a police officer,” O’Neill said.

An administrative judge previously recommended Pantaleo’s termination following an internal disciplinary trial. The judge, a deputy commissioner, found Pantaleo was “untruthful” during interviews with investigators and had “recklessly used force” during the fatal encounter.

Pantaleo had not faced official sanction for his actions until now, only being placed on desk duty. The Justice Department in July declined to charge Pantaleo with violating Garner’s civil rights. A Staten Island grand jury in 2014 declined to indict Pantaleo.

According to Commissioner O’Neill, Pantaleo was not informed of his dismissal ahead of time, and he will not receive his NYPD pension. Whatever contributions Pantaleo has already made towards his pension will be returned to him.

Eric Garner’s daughter told reporters:

“I don’t even want to see another video of a person being choked out. Because it wasn’t supposed to happen to him. It’s not supposed to happen. I should not be here standing with my brother, fatherless. I should be standing here with my father. But Pantaleo took that away from me on 7/17. Yes, he’s fired. But the fight is not over. We will continue to fight.”

She also thanked NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill for his decision to fire Pantaleo.

“I thank you for doing the right thing,” Emerald Garner said.

Pantaleo’s lawyers plan to appeal the decision:

Daniel Pantaleo’s attorney Stuart London said that he received a call notifying him that Pantaleo was being fired “about 13 minutes” before the NYPD police commissioner made the public announcement.

London, speaking at a press conference today, said that he passed the information onto Pantaleo.

“Obviously he is disappointed, upset,” London said about Pantaleo’s reaction. “But he has a lot of strength.”

London said that Pantaleo will file an Article 78 in court to appeal the decision by the commissioner to terminate him.

–Dana

Paging Rep. Rashida Tlaib!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:43 am

[guest post by Dana]

This morning I am wondering what Rep. Tlaib thinks about Palestine’s efforts to silence a specific community by making them live under oppressive conditions as if they were criminals, which clearly runs counter to everything Rep. Tlaib believes in–fighting against racism, oppression & injustice:

Palestinian Authority police have banned a Palestinian LGBT rights group from organizing any activities in the West Bank and threatened to arrest them, saying such activities are contrary to the “values of Palestinian society.”

In a statement Saturday, police spokesman Louay Arzeikat said events such as those organized by the group al-Qaws “go against and infringe upon the higher principles and values of Palestinian society.”

Arzeikat also charged that “suspicious parties” were trying to “sow discord and undermine Palestinian society’s peaceful state of affairs” and asserted that the police would pursue al-Qaws’s staff and turn them over to judicial authorities if it successfully collars them.

[…]

While there are no PA laws on the books that ban homosexual acts, the Palestinian LGBT community largely exists underground due to familial, religious and government repression, a source familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told The Times of Israel.

P.S.

​Israel is one of the most inclusive societies in the world for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. As early as the 1960s, same-sex couples lived in Israel freely and without fear of persecution. The Gay Revolution of the 1980s brought Israel’s LGBT community full recognition of their human rights, as well as legal and social equality to individuals and families. Today, Tel Aviv is considered the “Gay Capital of the Middle East”, thanks to its thriving and supported LGBT community, playing an integral role in Israeli society.

–Dana

President Trump Unhappy With Fox Polling Numbers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 7:53 am

[guest post by Dana]

And guess who he blames for the discouraging numbers???

Once a solid, reliable ally willing to spin just about anything to make the president look good, Fox News is not spinning its latest polling data, and the discouraging numbers are making Trump unhappy with… Fox News:

President Donald Trump on Sunday slammed his preferred news network over recent unfavorable poll results, saying: “There’s something going on at Fox [News], I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it.”

Trump’s comments to reporters in New Jersey were in response to a question about the network’s recently released survey showing the president losing head-to-head match-ups against four of the top Democratic presidential primary candidates.

Trump said he didn’t “believe” the poll that was published, adding: “Fox has changed. My worst polls have always been from Fox.”

Here is the breakdown of the head-to-head match-up numbers:

The poll found Trump with 39 percent support among registered voters in head-to-head matchups against Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The poll found Sanders beating Trump with 48 percent, Warren winning over Trump with 45 percent and Harris winning with 46 percent support.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, beat Trump in the theoretical matchup with 50 percent support among those surveyed, compared to Trump’s 38 percent.

Additionally, polling also shows that Trump’s disapproval rating has increased:

President Trump’s disapproval rating has jumped to 56 percent in a Fox News survey released Wednesday…

The survey found a 5 percentage point increase in Trump’s disapproval from last month. The only time his disapproval rating was higher, according to Fox News, was when it reached 57 percent in October 2017.

Forty-three percent of respondents said they approve of Trump’s job performance, down from 46 percent last month. The record low for Trump approval in Fox News’s polling is 38 percent, also from October of 2017.

This really isn’t surprising given that the president’s median approval rating, while remaining consistent, has been the lowest of almost all of the modern presidents:

If there’s one thing that’s been consistent about President Trump’s time in office, it’s his approval rating… his average approval has hovered between 36 percent and 45 percent, a fluctuation of 9 points, over practically the entire course of his presidency… But that’s a really narrow band, especially compared to previous presidents, and it has meant that his median approval rating is low…only President Harry Truman had a lower median rating. Trump’s approval rating has the least variation of any post-World War II president. Granted, Trump hasn’t yet served a full term, but changes in his approval rating have been remarkably small.

This is an interesting analysis of how the Fox News polling numbers may be an indicator of how Trump’s current strategy for 2020 may not be enough for the very different kind of race he faces today than the one he faced in 2016. Trump will remain who he is, and won’t be making any concessions to his campaign advisers who may futilely try and encourage the president to ease up on his incessant tweeting and inflammatory rhetoric. He knows that this is what keeps his loyal base of supporters coming back for more. Nor is there any indication that he will be able to stay focused on the actual issues that might draw in not-so-much Trump supporters but Republicans and Independents who voted for the lesser of two evils in 2016 or the one that most represented their interests, in spite of their dislike for the nominee. Nor is Trump finally going to become more “presidential,” as so many predicted (and hoped) he would. In other words, Trump is not about to change who he is, and for better or worse, he is a known quantity. So with that, we can assume that he will likely stick with what worked for him in 2016. But that just may not be enough this time:

[I]t isn’t hard to see why Trump might think that his presidency can survive on base mobilization alone. Trump’s approval rating may currently sit at a meager 42 percent; but on the day he won the White House, RealClearPolitics’ poll of polls had it at 38.6. So why shouldn’t he deem his current base of support sufficiently broad? After all, last time around, he prevailed with even lower favorability rating, and without the benefits of incumbency.

As far as comforting things Donald Trump likes to tell himself go, this is reasonable enough. But the path Trump took to the White House in 2016 was an awfully narrow one. Trump’s success in winning an Electoral College majority— despite being the most unpopular major-party nominee in recorded history — was contingent on (at least) three related factors:

1) He drew a historically unpopular Democratic opponent.
2) His share of the popular vote was higher than his Election Day approval rating (46.1 percent versus 38.6 percent).
3) And he won voters who disapproved of both candidates by a double-digit margin.

[…]

But for Trump, the most alarming takeaway from Fox’s survey may be this: Even if the president does manage to turn the Democratic nominee’s favorability steeply negative, he could still lose in a rout. In 2016, Trump won voters who disapproved of both major-party candidates by 50 to 39 percent margin in national exit polls. Respondents who disliked both Biden and Trump in Fox’s poll favored the Democrat over the president by a whopping 43 to 10 percent margin.

–Dana

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