Weekend Open Thread
[guest post by Dana]
First news item
If she’s going down, she’s going down fighting:
“In our nation’s 246 year history there has never been an individual who is a greater threat to our Republic than Donald Trump.” Dick Cheney pic.twitter.com/erBPBNy8ah
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) August 4, 2022
As with Cheney, who has said she will be at peace if she loses her primary, Rep. Peter Meijer and Rusty Bowers, both of whom met with defeat this week, have no regrets about their decisions regarding Trump and Jan. 6.
“Not one,” Meijer said when asked if he has any regrets from his vote to impeach Trump. “I would rather lose office with my character intact than stay reelected having made sacrifices of the soul.”
And from Bowers:
Rusty Bowers, the Arizona Republican who defied Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn his defeat in the state then testified to the House January 6 committee, has no regrets despite losing his bid for a state senate seat.
“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” he told the Associated Press. “I’d do it 50 times in a row.”
Also related: According to Wyoming locals and insiders, it’s anybody’s guess how the Aug. 16 primary in Wyoming turn out.
Second news item
Oh. Should Ukraine have just surrendered to Putin then??:
Ukraine condemned a report from Amnesty International that accused Kyiv’s forces of endangering civilians by operating in residential areas as they fight to repel Russia’s invasion.
Ukraine’s military has taken some positions and operated weapons in areas inhabited by civilians, including hospitals and schools, Amnesty said in a statement, citing witness interviews. Such tactics turn civilians into targets of Russian strikes, even if it doesn’t justify indiscriminate Russian attacks, Amnesty said.
Ukrainian officials said the report undermined Amnesty’s credibility, with Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov saying it was indirectly equating Russian aggression with Ukraine’s efforts to defend itself. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the report distorted reality.
The report “unfortunately tries to amnesty the terrorist state and shift the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said late Thursday in a statement.
US and UK ambassadors to Ukraine know what’s happening, even if Amnesty Intl. doesn’t:
After 163 days of an unprovoked war the Kremlin started, it should be absolutely clear that Ukrainians are in danger due to Russia’s aggression, the brutality of its forces, and their relentless barrage on cities across the country.
— Ambassador Bridget A. Brink (@USAmbKyiv) August 5, 2022
The only things endangering 🇺🇦 civilians are🇷🇺missiles and guns and marauding Russian troops. Full stop. If Russia stopped invading #Ukraine there would be no danger.
— Melinda Simmons (@MelSimmonsFCDO) August 5, 2022
I don’t know. Perhaps Amnesty Int’l. has been reading Tom Friedman lately…
Third news item
Gov. Abbott says first bus of migrants from Texas to NYC has arrived:
The migrants are being dropped off this morning on a green bus at Port Authority Bus Terminal at Gate 14. In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City will now be a drop-off location for the busing strategy as part of the Governor’s response to the Biden Administration’s open border policies overwhelming Texas communities.
“Because of President Biden’s continued refusal to acknowledge the crisis caused by his open border policies, the State of Texas has had to take unprecedented action to keep our communities safe,” said Governor Abbott. “In addition to Washington, D.C., New York City is the ideal destination for these migrants, who can receive the abundance of city services and housing that Mayor Eric Adams has boasted about within the sanctuary city. I hope he follows through on his promise of welcoming all migrants with open arms so that our overrun and overwhelmed border towns can find relief.”
Mayor Adams is playing dumb about the point Abbott (and AZ governor) are making by sending migrants to their cities:
“This is despicable what we’re witnessing in Texas,” Adams said later at Gracie Mansion. “The Texas governor — using human beings as a political play — he finally admitted what we were saying. We’re going to continue to be open arms. This is who we are as a city.”
I am very sympathetic to decent people desperately fleeing unimaginable life circumstances from countries south of the border. Yet at the same time, Adams and those of the same mindset refuse to acknowledge the frustration of border states trying to handle the influx of migrants on a daily basis.
They know all too well that it isn’t just good people crossing. There are any number of dangerous criminals also making their way across the border. One only has to scroll through Bill Melugin’s Twitter feed to know this. Rather than using human beings as a political play, President Biden must take action to help with the crisis. That he isn’t is indefensible.
Fourth news item
Kari Lake, Trump devotee, wins Arizona GOP primary:
Like Trump, Lake courts controversy and confrontation. She berates journalists and dodges questions. She burned masks during the COVID-19 surge in the summer of 2021 and attacked Republicans like Ducey who allowed restrictions on businesses, though as a news anchor she encouraged people to follow public health guidance.
Lake spent the days leading up to her own election claiming there were signs of fraud, but she refused to provide any evidence. Once her victory was assured, she said voters should trust her win is legitimate.
“We outvoted the fraud,” Lake said. She pointed to problems in Pinal County, which ran out of ballots in some precincts and had to print more, but she and her attorney, Tim La Sota, refused to provide evidence backing up her claims of fraud.
She said she has no plans to stop talking about election fraud even as she needs to broaden her appeal beyond the loyalists her powered her primary victory.
Fifth news item
A woman avoided a ticket when she showed the cops who pulled her over a “white privilege card” instead of her driver’s license. Two cops in Anchorage, Alaska, reportedly violated department policy in the incident, though it’s unclear what the policy was or what disciplinary action they will face as the department is treating the matter as confidential… Mimi Israelah wrote in a Facebook post that she was pulled over for weaving in the early hours of July 9 as she was driving to an Anchorage pizzeria after arriving from California for a Trump rally. She couldn’t locate her license when prompted, she wrote in the now-deleted post. “When I saw my White Privilege card, I gave to him if it’s ok,” Israelah wrote. “He laughed and called his partner. It’s their first time [they’d seen] a White Privileged card,” she said. The novelty card Israelah handed to them read “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything” at the top. Israelah was not cited during the incident and was allowed to go. Deputy Chief Sean Case said some people who saw Israelah’s post about the incident and a video she recorded of the exchange were critical of the officers’ actions. “We recognize that,” he said.
But not always, as Nancy Pelosi’s husband discovered:
Paul Pelosi, the multimillionaire husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, allegedly had a drug in his system, addressed officers with slurred speech, and tried to hand them a police courtesy card during his May arrest on DUI charges, according to court documents.
Pelosi allegedly handed officers his driver’s license and an “11-99 Foundation” card when they asked for his ID, according to the documents. The 11-99 Foundation is a California Highway Patrol charity that supports officers and provides scholarships for their children.
Sixth news item
Senate Democrats have agreed to eleventh-hour changes to their marquee economic legislation, they announced late Thursday, clearing the major impediment to pushing one of President Joe Biden’s paramount election-year priorities through the chamber in coming days.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., a centrist seen as the pivotal vote in the 50-50 chamber, said in a statement that she had agreed to revamping some of the measure’s tax and energy provisions and was ready to “move forward” on the bill.
Seventh news item
Do Democrats want President Biden to run for re-election? Well…
A startling number of lawmakers in President Biden’s own party have been unwilling in recent days to say he should seek re-election in 2024, amid gnawing fears he’ll be too old or unpopular to win.
Some Democrats privately don’t want Biden to run again, for three reasons:
He’s deeply unpopular. Many Americans associate him with inflation, high gas prices, entrenched COVID-19 and an inglorious end to the war in Afghanistan.
Progressives want a move away from centrism and convention.
Many Democratic voters want generational change. Biden was older when he took office than Ronald Reagan was when he left office. If re-elected, Biden would be 86 at the end of his second term.
Reps. Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney were asked, during a Democratic primary debate for the 12th congressional district, whether Biden should run again in 2024. Neither would answer in the affirmative.
Eighth news item
I found myself unshocked by the abortion vote in Kansas, and I don’t understand the shock of others. America has come to poll consistently in favor of abortion in the first trimester with support declining in the second and cratering in the third. The people of Kansas were asked if they’d like to remove any right to abortion from their state constitution and allow their legislators to fashion new laws and limits. They said no by 59% to 41%…In Kansas, pro-lifers asked for too much. People don’t like big swerves and lurches, there’s enough anxiety in life. They want to absorb, find a way to trust. Dobbs was decided only six weeks ago…But everything we know about abortion tells us that when you turn it into a question of all or nothing, you’ll likely get nothing. Thoughtful, humane legislation has to be crafted in the states, put forward, argued for…The pro-life advocates who filled the rhetorical void competed over who could be most hard-line: There should be no exceptions for rape, if it even was rape. There should be no exceptions for the life of the mother, that gives dishonest doctors room to make false claims. Maybe we can jail women for getting abortions…It was gross, ignorant and extreme.
Democrats have been just as extreme by demanding abortion through the ninth month. (Also, if abortion in the ninth month is as rare as pro-aborts constantly claim it is, then why fight so hard to make sure they have access to it?)
Both sides would have been wise to find a middle ground that corresponds with what Americans
are comfortable can live with.
Ninth news item
Former President Donald Trump’s legal team is in direct communication with Justice Department officials, the first sign of talks between the two sides as the criminal probe into January 6, 2021, accelerates, sources familiar with the matter tell CNN.
The talks revolve around whether Trump would be able to shield conversations he had while he was president from federal investigators.
Trump has grilled his attorneys on whether they actually believe he will face formal charges, sources said. Yet the former President has expressed a heavy dose of skepticism that he will be indicted, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.
Another source close to the former President told CNN that Trump also has posed questions about a potential indictment to members of his inner circle, some of whom believe the President is concerned about the possibility of federal charges.
Have a great weekend!