Patterico's Pontifications

6/21/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:58 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

While most 18-25 year old men who live in the U.S. must register for Selective Service, Democrats have now suggested that women follow suit. And that’s not going over well with Republicans:

Senate Democrats have added language to the annual defense authorization bill to require women to register for the draft, prompting a backlash from Republicans and social conservatives and complicating the chances of moving the bill on the Senate floor before Election Day.

Conservatives led by Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) are certain to attempt to remove the provision requiring women to register for the draft, which could present a tough vote for Sens. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and other Democrats in tight reelection races.

. . .

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) called the provision requiring women to sign up for the draft “insane.”

He accused the Biden administration of trying to implement a woke agenda at the Pentagon.

“There shouldn’t be women in the draft. They shouldn’t be forced to serve if they don’t want to,” he said on Fox News. He criticized Democrats for wanting to experiment with the military, saying “normal people are like, ‘Leave our daughters alone.’”

If young men have to register, why shouldn’t young women also have to register? Clearly there are any number of non-combat roles for women, if it came to that. Additionally, the Hawleys and Wickers of the GOP likely object to the mandatory registration of women because they tie it into the “gentler sex” notion: Men are strong and defenders of hearth, home and country. Women are caretakers of children, home and community. Each has their assigned place, and if women were required to register, that would upset these historic roles. I think that a number of Republican lawmakers still hold to this thinking, and they want to keep their like-minded voting bloc happy. If it’s not because of these reasons, then why are they so stridently against it?

Second news item

Democrats worried:

Many senior Democrats — including some of President Biden’s aides — doubt his theory for victory, which relies on voter fears about Jan. 6, political violence, democracy and Donald Trump’s character, Alex Thompson writes.

A Democratic strategist in touch with the campaign tells Axios: “It is unclear to many of us watching from the outside whether the president and his core team realize how dire the situation is right now, and whether they even have a plan to fix it. That is scary.”

Why it matters: People close to Biden tell Axios they worry about raising concerns in meetings, because his longtime loyalists can exile dissenters.

Third news item

Judge Cannon: loose cannon?:

Judge Aileen Cannon was reportedly urged by senior federal judges to hand off Trump’s classified documents case when it was handed to her last year. . . The new details add to what’s already a lengthy series of suspicious choices by Cannon that have benefited Trump.

According to The New York Times, two senior federal judges reached out to Cannon. The first unnamed judge contacted Cannon and argued she should hand the case off by citing the lack of a secure storage facility at the Fort Pierce courthouse where Cannon sits, a necessity for storing the classified documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence. Cannon refused, requiring the city (and taxpayers) to shell out to build a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility at the courthouse.

After Cannon’s refusal, Chief Justice Cecilia Altonaga got on the horn and told Cannon taking the case would be “bad optics,” according to The New York Times, due to Cannon’s intervention after Trump sued the government for seizing the classified documents, which Trump argued were his personal property. Cannon took over and decided the case in Trump’s favor. Prosecutors appealed her decision, and an appeals panel—including two Trump-appointed judges—overturned her order, ruling that she had no authority to intervene. Cannon rejected Altonaga’s assessment.

Fourth news item

Apology not accepted:

Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) apologized while on a local radio show this week for past comments calling Hamas’ use of rape and other sexual violence against Israeli women on Oct. 7th “propaganda” and “lies.”

Politico reported on Bowman’s apology in its playbook on Thursday and noted it was also the first outlet to document Bowman’s November comments calling the rape of Israeli women “lies.”

“There was propaganda used in the beginning of the siege,” Bowman told a rally in New York City, adding, “There’s still no evidence of beheaded babies or raped women. But they still keep using that lie [for] propaganda.”

If Bowman had truly wanted to be objective instead of playing politics, he could’ve kept his big yap shut while waiting for confirmation from somewhere (other than from the victims themselves!). Instead, he jumped on the idiotic Ooh, look at me, I’m so with it I’m on the pro-Palestinean bandwagon. Instead the self-serving gasbag chose to further victimize the victims.

P.S. Hillary Clinton has endorsed Bowman’s opponent in the House primary in New York. Bowman got a bit snippy in response:

“I definitely wouldn‘t call that a major endorsement, with all due respect,” Bowman told host Laura Coates of Clinton’s announcement.

Fifth news item

It’s always someone else’s fault:

Independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. failed to qualify for the first presidential debate.

Kennedy did not meet CNN’s June 27 debate requirements, the network announced Thursday, which included a polling minimum and access to enough state’s presidential ballots to theoretically be elected president. . .

“My exclusion by Presidents Biden and Trump from the debate is undemocratic, un-American, and cowardly. Americans want an independent leader who will break apart the two-party duopoly,” Kennedy said in a statement. He also falsely claimed that debate is illegal.

For a man who likes to present himself as a man’s man, he sure acts just like a little boy peeved that he didn’t get his way. Grow up!

Sixth news item

Punching back:

Ukraine has launched a “mass” drone assault on Russian infrastructure and military targets in the Black Sea, Crimea and southern Russia, officials and Kyiv’s military said.

Ukraine’s military said its drones struck four oil refineries, radar stations and other military objects in Russia on Friday morning, as Russian officials reported a “mass” drone attack in Krasnodar and claimed to have shot down 70 drones over the Black Sea and Crimea.

P.S.

Seventh news item

Good:

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday upheld a federal law that makes it a crime for people under domestic violence restraining orders to have guns, handing a victory to President Joe Biden’s administration as the justices opted not to further widen firearms rights after a major expansion in 2022.

The 8-1 ruling, authored by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, overturned a lower court’s decision striking down the 1994 law as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

Justice Thomas was the lone dissenter.

Eighth news item

The very best news!

Have a great weekend!

—Dana

6/20/2024

Louisiana: Ten Commandments Posted in every Public School

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:59 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Louisiana goes there:

A bill signed into law this week makes Louisiana the only state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every classroom in public schools and colleges — and stirs the long-running debate over the role of religion in government institutions.

Under the new law, all public K-12 classrooms and state-funded universities will be required to display a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments in “large, easily readable font” next year.

As expected, civil liberty groups are pushing back on the new law, saying:

. . . it would unconstitutionally breach protections against government-imposed religion.

Moreover:

The organizations believe the law violates U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in the 1980 Stone v. Graham decision. In a 5-4 ruling, the Burger court ruled against a similar law passed in Kentucky requiring classrooms to post copies of the Ten Commandments, finding that it violated the First Amendment.

“The law violates the separation of church and state and is blatantly unconstitutional,” the groups wrote in a joint statement. “The First Amendment promises that we all get to decide for ourselves what religious beliefs, if any, to hold and practice, without pressure from the government. Politicians have no business imposing their preferred religious doctrine on students and families in public schools.”

Proponents of the bill say that the history of the Ten Commandments are “foundational documents of our state and national government.”

The bill also allows schools to display other historical documents, such as the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence and the Northwest Ordinance.

“Although this is a religious document, this document is also posted in over one hundred and eighty places, including the Supreme Court of the United States of America. I would say is based on the laws that this country was founded on,” Republican state Sen. Adam Bass told KALB last month.

While other places/buildings in the U.S. post the Ten Commandments, the fact remains that students have to attend school, and are thus going to be a captive audience, so to speak. Do we trust that teachers won’t have kids reciting the commandments? That would be a further violation of civil liberties in a public school setting.

It’s also going to be problematic for the parents who are raising their children in a non-Christian faith. Won’t they see this as a gross violation of their liberties? I think they will.

This:

“Altering constitutional law is not the only motivation here; a version of Christian mysticism is also in play. There is a real belief that the Ten Commandments have spiritual power over the hearts and minds of students.

“I grew up in Kentucky and went to classes before the Ten Commandments were ordered removed, and I can testify that the displays had no impact on our lives. My classmates and I were not better people because of the faded posters on the walls.”

(I believe posting the Ten Commandments in public school rooms violates the Constitution. But if it didn’t, and lawmakers were determined to go the religious route in public schools to please their constituents, why choose the Ten Commandments? Why not choose instead the beautiful Beatitudes?)

—Dana

6/19/2024

LAUSD Votes To Ban Cellphone Use During School

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:01 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This is really good news. However, given that the horse is already out of the barn, enforcement may prove difficult:

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education on Tuesday voted to ban cellphone use during the school day.

The new rule will take effect in January 2025, though the Los Angeles Times notes the details still need to be “approved in a future meeting by the Board of Education.”

The prohibition for using cellphones includes during breaks and lunchtime.

Still to be worked out is how the policy will be enforced. Additionally, there will be exceptions: “use the devices for homework or translating English as non-native speakers”.

Several years ago, Patterico and I had the privilege of attending a lecture by psychologist Jonathan Haidt. He is a brilliant observer of youth today, their addiction to cell phones, and the incredible distraction from real life they provide, for better or worse. And it’s mostly worse. About young people and their phones, he made this observation:

Haidt blames the spike in teen-age depression and anxiety on the rise of smartphones and social media, and he offers a set of prescriptions: no smartphones before high school, no social media before age sixteen.

And about the problems resulting from students using their phones during the school day, Haidt wrote this last year:

I was invited to give a talk at Scarsdale Middle School. There, too, I met with the principal and her top administrators, and I heard the same thing: Mental- health problems had recently gotten much worse. Even when students arrived for sixth grade, coming out of elementary school, many of them were already anxious and depressed. And many, already, were addicted to their phones.

To the teachers and administrators I spoke with, this wasn’t merely a coincidence. They saw clear links between rising phone addiction and declining mental health, to say nothing of declining academic performance. A common theme in my conversations with them was: We all hate the phones. Keeping students off of them during class was a constant struggle. Getting students’ attention was harder because they seemed permanently distracted and congenitally distractible. Drama, conflict, bullying, and scandal played out continually during the school day on platforms to which the staff had no access. I asked why they couldn’t just ban phones during school hours. They said too many parents would be upset if they could not reach their children during the school day.

Haidt points out that these days school districts are much more open to the possibility of banning phones in schools. Of course, given the downward turn with the mental health of young people and their addiction to cell phones, this makes sense.

Ultimately, he hits the nail on the head:

All children deserve schools that will help them learn, cultivate deep friendships, and develop into mentally healthy young adults. All children deserve phone-free schools.

Good for LAUSD. I hope other school districts follow suit.

—Dana

A 12-Year Old Girl Is A Child, No Matter What Any Pastor Claims

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:15 am



[guest post by Dana]

I have a lot to say about this and the evangelical church at large, but for now I’ll just address the audacity of this lying jackal:

Robert Morris, founding pastor of Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas, which attracts an estimated 100,000 worshipers weekly, has confessed to “inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady” more than 35 years ago while he was a young pastor after a woman accused him of sexually abusing her over multiple years beginning when she was 12.

“When I was in my early twenties, I was involved in inappropriate sexual behavior with a young lady in a home where I was staying. It was kissing and petting and not intercourse, but it was wrong. This behavior happened on several occasions over the next few years,” Morris said in a statement to The Christian Post after Gateway Church was asked about the allegations.

From Morris’s accuser:

Morris’ accuser, Cindy Clemishire, first told The Wartburg Watch that he began sexually abusing her on Dec. 25, 1982, and continued with the abuse for four-and-a-half years after that. When contacted by CP (Christian Post). . . the 54-year-old grandmother confirmed the details in the report but insisted she was no “young lady” when Morris began abusing her.

“I’m, of course, just appalled,” Clemishire told CP. . .about his description of her as a “young lady.”

“I was 12 years old. I was a little girl. A very innocent little girl. And he was brought into our home. He and his wife, Debbie, and their little boy, Josh, and trusted and preached at the church that my dad helped start and then began grooming all of us to do this, which took me decades to wrap my brain around as an adult,” she said.

“It went on for many years. He says there was no sexual intercourse, but he did touch every part of my body and inserted his fingers into me, which I understand now is considered a form of rape by instrumentation. I was an innocent 12-year-old little girl who knew nothing about sexual behavior.

Can we be straight about this? A girl 12 years old is a child. Period. Referring to her as a “young lady” though gives the appearance that it was another adult involved in inappropriate but not illegal sexual acts. It hides the fact that a child was sexually preyed upon by an adult and that the “inappropriate sexual behavior” was actually the sexual molestation of a child, which is a criminal act.

It’s reprehensible and yet all too common that a pastor who commits sexual sin, and in this case involving a child, believes he has a right to return to the pulpit, or foolishly believes that God needs him to lead. Just because Morris took time off from the pulpit for restoration does not mean that he belongs back in a place of leadership in the church. Quite clearly, God doesn’t *need* for anything or anyone. If there is true repentance (not for show), that’s good. It’s scriptural. But God doesn’t need Morris back in the pulpit to get His message out. The very presence of Morris back in the pulpit, and others like him, makes a mockery of God and becomes a stumbling block for the church body (if they have even been made aware of the situation).

And don’t get me started on the “elders” who participated in this alleged “come to Jesus” restoration period while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the *crime* that took place. It’s a vile poison that flows through the modern church when the playbook demands a circling of the wagons to support, at all costs, the one in the pulpit who draws in the masses that fill the seats and in turn, fill the coffers as well.

As Clemishire put it:

“I don’t think he ever should have been allowed to be in the ministry. We would never allow someone to go teach in a school … work in a daycare or be a doctor if anybody had done these things. And I have a very difficult time believing I’m the only one,” Clemishire said.

On top of everything horrible about this, Clemishire was later blamed for the abuse by Morris’s wife, who said she “forgave” Clemishire for what happened. And in 2005, when Clemishire secured an attorney to file a civil suit against Morris, his attorney’s response implied that they believed it was her fault because she was “flirtatious.”

Wolves in sheep’s clothing, one must be vigilant.

Note: “Pastor” Morris has resigned:

Just days after allegations surfaced that he molested a 12-year-old girl in the 1980s, Pastor Robert Morris has resigned from his Dallas megachurch, Gateway Church.

In a statement released to media today, Gateway claimed it did not know the age of Morris’ victim and the length of her abuse.

But in a statement just released to The Roys Report (TRR), the victim, Cindy Clemishire, said she confronted Morris about the abuse in an email sent in 2005. Clemishire added that former Gateway Elder Tom Lane responded to Clemishire’s email, “acknowledging that the sexual abuse began on December 25, 1982, when I was 12 years old.”

In its statement, Gateway’s board of elders said: “The elders’ prior understanding was that Morris’s extramarital relationship, which he had discussed many times throughout his ministry, was with ‘a young lady’ and not abuse of a 12-year-old child.”

The elders added that they did not know the victim’s age or the length of the alleged abuse.

Circle the wagons and protect the institution, no matter what. Don’t pay attention to the victim, don’t give the victim support by believing her claims (which others knew about). Ignore her, shame her, just make her go away while protecting the cash cow in the pulpit.

You can read Clemishire’s full response here.

6/14/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:44 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

President Biden is right in this:

“I’m extremely proud of my son Hunter. He has overcome an addiction, he’s one of the brightest, most decent men I know,” Biden said during a news conference on the margins of the G7 summit.

“I am satisfied that I’m not going to do anything — I said I’d abide by the jury decision. I will do that. And I will not pardon him,” he added.

Second news item

Russian court, and ultimately Putin, proves to the world yet again just how vile an entity it is:

Russian prosecutors said they have approved an indictment of Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter held in Russia for over a year, falsely accusing him of espionage and referring his case to a trial court, where he could face a series of secret, closed-door hearings.

. . .

In a statement Thursday, Russian authorities falsely said that Gershkovich was gathering information about a defense contractor on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency. In fact, Gershkovich was on a reporting assignment for the Journal.

Third news item

The House votes:

The House voted Wednesday to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress, escalating a fight over audio recordings related to the President Biden’s handling of classified documents.

Garland has defied subpoenas from the Republican-led House Judiciary and Oversight committees demanding that the Justice Department hand over the audiotapes of the president’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur as part of their impeachment inquiry.

Mr. Biden asserted executive privilege over the recordings of Hur’s interviews with the president and the ghostwriter of his book as the committees moved forward with contempt resolutions against Garland in May.

Fourth news item

In Supreme Court news:

In a 6-3 ruling on ideological lines, with the court’s conservatives in the majority, the court held that an almost 100-year-old law aimed at banning machine guns cannot legitimately be interpreted to include bump stocks.

Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said that a firearm equipped with the accessory does not meet the definition of “machinegun” under federal law.

. . .

Even with the federal ban out of the picture, bump stocks will still not be readily available nationwide. Eighteen states have already banned them, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit gun-control group. Congress could also act.

Note: “Under former President Trump, the ATF attempted to ban the attachment, called a “bump stock,” after a gunman used it in the 2017 Las Vegas shooting — the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. Now, they will be back on the market again.”

Fifth news item

From JVW: Trump is playing to win as he endorses Larry Hogan for Maryland’s open Senate seat:

Asked by Fox News reporter Aishah Hasnie whether he’d support Hogan’s bid, Trump replied: “I’d like to see him win. I think he has a good chance to win. . . . I know other people made some strong statements, but I can just say from my standpoint, I’m about the party and I’m about the country. And I would like to see him win.”

Trump’s surprising sudden approval of Hogan comes after the Senate GOP nominee defended a New York jury’s recent conviction of the former president in the Stormy Daniels hush-money case.

JVW is optimistic: “Of course, he may renege on his endorsement tomorrow or anytime thereafter, but for the moment he seems to understand he has to unite all of the GOP to in in November.”

Sixth news item

Oh:

Seventh news item

Nauseating fealty to Trump is alive and well as Trump visits Washington D.C.:

The former president spent the day just blocks away from the U.S. Capitol to attend a slate of meetings with GOP allies.

First, he huddled with House Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club. The meeting was behind closed doors, but multiple sources told ABC News the former president praised House Speaker Mike Johnson as doing a “good job.”

Trump also criticized the Department of Justice as “dirty bastards” as he aired grievances about his legal challenges.

. . .

Later on Thursday, Trump met with Senate Republicans at the National Republican Senatorial Committee headquarters. After the meeting, he touted party unity in on-camera remarks but took no questions from reporters.

“This is an outstanding group of people. I’m with them 1,000%, they’re with me 1,000%. We agree just about on everything and if there isn’t, we work it out,” Trump said.

a show of force, Trump was joined by a large group of senators, including Sens. Rick Scott, Josh Hawley, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Marsha Blackburn, and many others. Sens. Tim Scott and J.D. Vance, two vice presidential hopefuls, were also there to support Trump.

“We want to see just success for our country,” Trump said. “And we don’t have success right now.”

Have a great weekend.

—Dana

6/13/2024

G7 Agrees to Lend Ukraine $50 Billion Frozen Russian Assets to Rebuild

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:14 am



[guest post by Dana]

Too bad it’s just the benefits, but it’s still really great news:

Western leaders have agreed to loan Ukraine up to $50 billion to fight Russia and rebuild after the lengthy war, money that will be repaid over time from the interest accumulating on frozen Russian financial assets, a senior U.S. official told reporters.

. . .

Leaders of the G7 economies have agreed to use the interest generated by the assets — about $3 billion per year — to help Ukraine.

While details are still being worked out, there is a disagreement over the disbursement timetable:

The European proposal had been for about $3 billion a year go to Ukraine, and only interest from a certain part of the frozen Russian assets — $190 billion held by a company called Euroclear in Belgium — to be shared.

The U.S., on the other hand, wanted to give $60 billion to Ukraine up front, because Ukraine’s need on the battlefield is dire. Officials had said the interest generated from the frozen Russian assets would go toward paying back that money.

Scheherazade Rehman, a professor of international finance at George Washington University said that:

Washington has the weaker hand in the debate because only about $5 billion of the $300 billion in Russian assets are held in the United States — and European nations are concerned about how they would be paid back for a big initial lump sum.

Of course, Russia isn’t taking the news well. Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that using the money was “criminal” and that it would “be very painful for the European Union” as a result.

A somewhat related postscript: It’s just not looking too good for Russia:

—Dana

Trump Presses Speaker Johnson In Effort To Overturn Conviction

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:45 am



[guest post by Dana]

How is this not a problem??

…Trump, true to nature, has been obsessed in recent weeks with harnessing the powers of Congress to fight on his own behalf and go to war against the Democrats he accuses of “weaponizing” the justice system against him.

It’s a campaign he orchestrated in the days after his May 31 conviction on 34 felony counts in New York, starting with a phone call to the man he wanted to lead it: Speaker MIKE JOHNSON.

Trump was still angry when he made the call, according to those who have heard accounts of it from Johnson, dropping frequent F-bombs as he spoke with the soft-spoken and pious GOP leader.

“We have to overturn this,” Trump insisted.

Johnson sympathized with Trump’s frustration. He’d been among the first batch of Republican lawmakers to appear alongside Trump at the Manhattan trial. He’d been harping on DA ALVIN BRAGG’s case and the alleged broader abuse of the justice system since before he took the gavel.

The speaker didn’t really need to be convinced, one person familiar with the conversation said: Johnson, a former attorney himself, already believed the House had a role to play in addressing Trump’s predicament. The two have since spoken on the subject multiple times.

But sympathy can only go so far. With a slim majority and skittish swing-district members, Johnson is already finding it difficult to deliver for Trump.

For his part, on the day after the conviction, Speaker Johnson said on Fox and Friends that he believed that it was time for the Supreme Court to become involved:

“I do believe the Supreme Court should step in. Obviously this is totally unprecedented and it’s dangerous to our system . . .This is diminishing the American people’s faith in our system of justice itself and, to maintain a republic, you have to have that, people have to believe that justice is fair, that there’s equal justice under law.

They don’t see that right now and I think that the justices on the court – I know many of them personally – I think they’re deeply concerned about that, as we are. . .I think they’ll set this straight, but it’s going to take a while.

When it concerns Trump, accountability remains an ugly word.

As for Speaker Johnson, you might recall his assertion that the Trump hush money case (and the other charges against him) were “borderline criminal conspiracy,” and additionally, he asserted that it was all “election interference”.

But of course.

—Dana

6/11/2024

Update: Prayers for Nancy French Who Faces Surgery Tomorrow

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:54 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Nancy French, writer and wife of David French, posted an update about her ongoing battle with breast cancer tonight:

My sincere prayers and hope for a successful surgery and that French will soon be cancer-free. What a difficult road she has been on. And yet, if you read her Twitter feed, although there have been dark days, she has managed to endure with a lovely grace and humor.

With that, I recently finished listening to Nancy French’s autobiography, entitled Ghosted: An American Story. French narrates the Audible book, and what a plus that is. We can hear the emotion behind her words: the sorrow, the joy, and everything in between. Ghosted is the story of a young girl whose childhood comes to an abrupt and cruel end when she is sexually assaulted by a trusted member of her church. It ends with a mature woman who is finally at peace and is able to let go of her destructive secrets. French leaves readers rejoicing in God’s transformative love as He upends her life by filling it with a genuine hope. It’s a powerful story that I recommend you read, or better yet, listen to on Audible Books if you want to hear French herself take you on her remarkable journey.

I admire Nancy French, and certainly hope and pray the very best for her.

—Dana

Jury Finds Hunter Biden Guilty

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:32 am



[guest post by Dana]

From NBC:

A jury in Delaware has found Hunter Biden guilty on three felony gun charges.

Hunter Biden was charged in federal court in Wilmington with three felony counts tied to possession of a gun while using narcotics. He had pleaded not guilty.

Two of the counts carry maximum prison sentences of 10 years, while the third has a maximum of five years. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000.

Judge Noreika hasn’t set a sentencing date yet.

I haven’t followed this matter too closely but prominent Republicans have been very vocal about it. Here are some of their responses to the verdict:

And here is President Biden’s statement:

—-Dana

6/7/2024

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:49 am



[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Be nice if the Republican Party would decide whether the rule of law and justice for all are really things to be embraced:

Senate Republicans are warning New York Judge Juan Merchan not to sentence former President Trump to prison or house arrest or take any other action that could disrupt the likely GOP nominee’s ability to campaign ahead of the November election.

Trump’s sentencing date is July 11.
The Republican National Convention is scheduled to begin on July 15.

The senators are concerned about the latitude Judge Merchan has in the decision making:

…they’re nervous about what may happen, because Merchan wields a lot of discretion over the terms of the sentence and they felt he tilted the trial against Trump’s team.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said it would be a “further abuse of power” to incarcerate Trump or sentence him to home confinement.

“I’m very troubled by what I see in the way the courts have been weaponized,” he said. “It used to be there were some institutions in America, namely the FBI, the Department of Justice and the courts, which were regarded as out of bounds for overt partisan politics, but unfortunately that’s changed, and not for the better.”

Additionally, and this is just rich beyond belief:

Republican senators warn any sentence that would impact Trump’s mobility or ability to communicate with voters could seriously undermine voters’ confidence in the fairness of the 2024 election.

Second news item

Prime Minister Netanyahu will speak before a divided Congress:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint session of Congress on July 24, congressional leaders announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The speech is likely to be divisive, with many Democrats opposed to hosting the Israeli prime minister and some progressives planning to boycott or even disrupt the speech.

What they’re saying: “The bipartisan, bicameral meeting symbolizes the U.S. and Israel’s enduring relationship,” said the offices of House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky).

Their statement said the speech will “offer Prime Minister Netanyahu the opportunity to share the Israeli government’s vision for defending their democracy, combatting terror, and establishing just and lasting peace in the region.”

Meanwhile, anger is growing by the usual suspects about the impending visit by the prime minister:

Progressive “Squad” Democrats are furious that their leaders have agreed to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

“Absolutely,” Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., told Fox News Digital on Wednesday when asked if she was disappointed that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed to sign onto the invitation.

“We should not be creating a platform and welcoming an accused war criminal,” Pressley said.

Third news item

President Biden apologizes to President Zelensky:

U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday for the first time publicly apologized to Ukraine for a monthslong congressional holdup in American military assistance that let Russia make gains on the battlefield.

The apology came as Biden met in Paris with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who appealed for bipartisan U.S. support going forward “like it was during World War II.”

“I apologize for those weeks of not knowing what’s going to happen in terms of funding,” Biden said, referring to the six-month holdup by conservative Republicans in Congress to a $61 billion military aid package for Ukraine. Still, the Democratic president insisted that the American people were standing by Ukraine for the long haul. “We’re still in. Completely. Thoroughly,” he said.

Fourth news item

Trump’s latest target of attack:

The former president claimed in a Truth Social post that members of the House panel had committed crimes, asserting they “deleted and destroyed all material evidence.”

“The unAmerican Weaponization of our Law Enforcement has reached levels of Illegality never thought possible before,” Trump posted. “INDICT THE UNSELECT J6 COMMITTEE FOR ILLEGALLY DELETING AND DESTROYING ALL OF THEIR ‘FINDINGS!’”

The panel’s former chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), has previously pushed back against GOP claims that the committee withheld information.

If elected, his time and energies will be focused solely on retribution and going after his perceived enemies.

Fifth news item

Freedom fighters, then and now:

Have a great weekend.

—Dana

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