[guest post by Dana]
I’m 7 days into a cold/flu, so the weekend open thread is bare bones.
Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.
First news item: Joe says no:
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) said Friday that he would not comply with a Senate subpoena to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
“What are you going to cover?” Biden said when asked about a subpoena in an interview with the Des Moines Register’s executive editor Carol Hunter. “You guys are going to cover for three weeks anything that I said. And (Trump’s) going to get away. You guys buy into it all the time. Not a joke.”
He went on to say it would be part of Trump’s tactic to “take the focus off” himself.
Second news item:Eddie Gallagher’s fellow SEALs had harsh words for platoon leader:
The Navy SEALs who served beside Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher described their platoon leader as “toxic,” “freaking evil” and a “psychopath,” in new video recordings…
The recordings are part of the Navy’s investigation into Gallagher, who was accused of war crimes stemming from a 2017 deployment to Iraq. Gallagher in July was found not guilty of murder and premeditated murder but was convicted of a lesser charge of posing for a photo with an Islamic State (ISIS) fighter’s corpse.
In one of the recordings, Special Operator 1st Class Craig Miller, one of the most experienced SEALs in the group, can be seen weeping.
“The guy is freaking evil,” Miller told investigators.
In a separate interview, Special Operator 1st Class Joshua Vriens, a sniper, called Gallagher “toxic.”
The platoon’s medic, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, described Gallagher as the type of person who was “perfectly OK with killing anybody that was moving.”
Third news item: Radio legend dies:
Don Imus, the radio personality whose insult humor and savage comedy catapulted him to a long-lasting and controversial career, has died at 79. His three-hour radio program, Imus in the Morning, was widely popular, especially with the over 25-male demographic.
Imus died Friday morning at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in College Station, Texas, after being hospitalized on Christmas Eve, a representative said.
Imus was loved or hated for his caustic loudmouth. Outspoken in an age of political correctness, his often coarse satire offended sensibilities. Yet his listeners included those whom he often ridiculed. His call-in guests included President Clinton, Dan Rather, Tim Russert, Bill Bradley, David Dinkins, Rudy Giuliani and political analyst Jeff Greenfield, who once remarked, “He’s out there talking the way most of us talk when we’re not in public.”
He sparked national outcry in 2007 when he made derogatory, racist remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team. CBS Radio and MSNBC then dropped his show.
He rebounded by signing a multiyear contract with the Fox Business Network in 2009 to simulcast Imus in the Morning from 6-9 a.m., with Fox anchors appearing during the program.
Fourth news item: Federal judge says no:
A federal judge on Friday denied an effort to restore 98,000 Georgia voters who were removed from the state’s voter rolls this month because they haven’t participated in elections for more than eight years.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones’ ruling upholds the cancellation of these inactive voters under Georgia’s “use it or lose it” law, which allows election officials to remove people who didn’t vote or respond to mailed notification letters.
Jones wrote in a 32-page order that the plaintiffs, led by the voting rights group Fair Fight Action, failed to show that the cancellations violated the U.S. Constitution. Jones wrote that the plaintiffs could still ask the Georgia Supreme Court to interpret the state law about inactive voters.
In all, nearly 287,000 registrations were canceled this month because those registered either moved away or stopped participating in elections. An additional 22,000 inactive voters were initially removed but reinstated by the secretary of state’s office because those voters had contacted election officials in early 2012, before the cancellation cut-off date.
Have a great weekend.