Patterico's Pontifications


President Putin’s Desperation Showing As He Threatens To Use Nuclear Weapons

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:21 am

[guest post by Dana]

After suffering intense humiliation on the world stage due to Russia’s loss of a significant amount of territory to Ukraine, President Putin’s desperation is showing:

President Vladimir Putin ordered a Russian mobilisation to fight in Ukraine on Wednesday and made a thinly veiled threat to use nuclear weapons, in what NATO called a “reckless” act of desperation in the face of Russia’s looming defeat.

Flights out of Russia quickly sold out following the announcement of the country’s first military mobilisation since World War Two, a dramatic reversal after months in which Moscow had insisted its operation was “going to plan”.

Putin emphasized that he is not bluffing with regard to using nuclear weapons.

According to Russia’s defense secretary, an estimated 300,000 people would be mobilized.

Additionally, he plans to take steps to annex Ukrainian regions:

Putin effectively announced plans to annex four Ukrainian regions, saying Moscow would facilitate referendums in Ukraine’s Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions on joining Russia. A day earlier, Russian-installed officials in the four regions announced plans for such votes this week, which Western countries denounced as shams.

Ukraine remains unmoved by Putin’s threats:

“Referendums and mobilization in the Russian Federation will not have any consequences, except for accelerating the collapse and revolution in Putin’s Russia,” said Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

All of this underscores Putin’s desperation and the narrowing of options available to him.

President Biden opened his speech this morning at the United Nations General Assembly by rightfully condemning Putin:

“Let us speak plainly: A permanent member of the United Nations Security Council invaded its neighbor,” Mr. Biden said, adding later, “This war is about extinguishing Ukraine’s right to exist as a state.”

He also excoriated the Russian president for threatening to use nuclear weapons, saying that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

In light of Biden’s comments, there’s a bit of irony when one considers that the U.S. State Department approved issuing Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

New York AG Files Civil Lawsuit: Trump Falsely Inflated His Worth By Billions of Dollars To Enrich Himself

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:11 am

[guest post by Dana]

The announcement was made this morning:

New York’s attorney general filed a sweeping civil suit Wednesday against former President Donald Trump, his business, and his three eldest children.

James is seeking to permanently bar the Trumps from conducting business in New York and pursuing $250 million in penalties. The state attorney general’s office is also seeking the appointment of an independent monitor to “oversee compliance, financial reporting, valuations, and disclosures to l enders, insurers, and tax authorities at the Trump Organization” for at least five years.

“Trump falsely inflated his net worth by billions of dollars to further enrich himself and cheat the system,” NY AG Letitia James’ office said…”Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization repeatedly and persistently manipulated the value of assets to induce banks to lend money to the Trump Organization,” James said at a news conference announcing the civil action Wednesday.

You can find the lawsuit here.

P.S. Our host has thoughts about Leticia James and her involvement in the lawsuit against Donald Trump:



Special Master To Trump Lawyers: You Can’t Have Your Cake And Eat It Too

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:27 pm

[guest post by Dana]

As you know, Donald Trump requested a special master to oversee the review of the documents seized from Mar-a-Lago. He requested that U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie be appointed to the position. The requests were granted. And today, seeming a bit skeptical about Trump’s declassification claims, Judge Dearie pushed back on Trump’s lawyers. It didn’t go well for them:

Judge Raymond Dearie repeatedly challenged Trump’s lawyers for refusing to back up the former president’s claim that he declassified the highly sensitive national security-related records discovered in his residence.

“My view of it is: you can’t have your cake and eat it,” said Dearie, the “special master” picked by U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon to vet Trump’s effort to reclaim the materials taken by federal investigators.

Trump has argued that the 11,000 documents taken from Mar-a-Lago by the FBI pursuant to a search warrant last month were rightfully in his possession, including about 100 bearing classification markings that suggest they contain some of the nation’s most closely guarded intelligence.

But Dearie bristled at the effort by Trump’s lawyers to resist his request for proof that Trump actually attempted to declassify any of the 100 documents that the Justice Department recovered from his estate. Without evidence from Trump, Dearie said his only basis to judge the classification level of the records was the fact that they all bear markings designating them as highly sensitive national security secrets — including some that indicate they contain intelligence derived from human sources and foreign intercepts.

There is more than a bit of irony here given that the individual that Trump’s team requested to be appointed special master, and was, clearly isn’t going to be taken in by the tactics of Trump’s lawyers. On the contrary. What they had counted on in having Judge Dearie as special master, didn’t happen for them today.


Trump ‘Election Denialism’ Model Continues: Republican Candidates Refuse To Say If They Would Accept Their Election Results

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:05 am

[guest post by Dana]

Why else would any Republican candidate refuse to respond in the affirmative other than they understand that the unspoken rule is that one must follow Trump’s lead if they want to stay in his good graces, and those of his base? It all trickles down:

A dozen Republican candidates in competitive races for governor and Senate have declined to say whether they would accept the results of their contests, raising the prospect of fresh post-election chaos two years after Donald Trump refused to concede the presidency.

In a survey by The Washington Post of 19 of the most closely watched statewide races in the country, the contrast between Republican and Democratic candidates was stark. While seven GOP nominees committed to accepting the outcomes in their contests, 12 either refused to commit or declined to respond. On the Democratic side, 17 said they would accept the outcome and two did not respond to The Post’s survey.

[Ed. If you’re keeping score, the report also mentions gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, who claimed that voter suppression occurred in 2018, and thus she refused to concede defeat to Brian Kemp: “But unlike Trump, Abrams never sought to overturn the certified result or foment an insurrection.” More about her post-election comments at the link.]


Bipartisan Legislation Introduced To Help Safeguard Elections and Prevent Efforts To Overturn Presidential Election Results

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:07 am

[guest post by Dana]

You would think that this would be a no-brainer:

Republican Representative Liz Cheney introduced a bill Monday that would change how Congress counts presidential electors to reduce the chances of another effort to overturn election results like that mounted by former President Donald Trump last year.

Co-sponsored with Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren, the legislation would direct challenges to state elections to courts and limit the vice president’s role in electoral vote-counting as “ministerial.” That grew out of Trump’s attempt to pressure his vice president, Mike Pence, to take action as the Senate’s presiding officer during the counting of the Electoral College results to obstruct or delay formal certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 victory.

It also would raise the bar to challenge a state’s electors to one-third of both the House and Senate. Currently, if one member of Congress from each chamber objects to a presidential election during the arcane certification process, the chambers have to debate and hold a vote on the objection, as was done in 2021.


“The Electoral Count Act of 1887 should be amended to prevent other future unlawful efforts to overturn Presidential elections and to ensure future peaceful transfers of Presidential power,” the bill reads…“Our proposal is intended to preserve the rule of law for all future presidential elections by ensuring that self-interested politicians cannot steal from the people the guarantee that our government derives its power from the consent of the governed,” Cheney and Lofgren wrote. “We look forward to working with our colleagues in the House and the Senate toward this goal.”

While this legislation makes it clear that the vice-president has absolutely no authority to interfere in the counting of electoral votes, the report also says that the threshold for Congress to object to electors would be raised by this bill and that it would also address the delays a state could make in counting and certifying its votes. Given what happened after the 2020 election, there can be no doubt that legislation to protect future presidential elections is absolutely necessary.



Great News!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:01 pm

[guest post by Dana]

More great things happening at The Dispatch:

As of today, The Dispatch officially has a national correspondent—and you might have heard of him. We’re thrilled to welcome Kevin D. Williamson aboard our ever-growing pirate skiff, where he’ll be the author of the weekly Wanderland newsletter and a regular contributor to our website.

I adore Kevin D. Williamson. I appreciate his wit and sharp insights into a variety of subjects. I also appreciate his fearless writing. There are no sacred cows in his world. Along with the indispensable Allahpundit Nick Catoggio, readers of The Dispatch are in for some great reading.

From Williamson’s introduction: The Dispatch is operating on the theory that our readers aren’t stupid. Count me in!


President Biden’s Comments

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:54 pm

[guest post by Dana]

During an interview with the President:

President Joe Biden turned heads Sunday night when he declared the COVID-19 pandemic is “over” even while stating the United States is still having a “problem” with the virus.

“The pandemic is over,” he said during an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Biden continued, “We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. It’s — but the pandemic is over.”

President Biden also warned President Putin not to use chemical or nuclear weapons in their war against Ukraine:

“Don’t, don’t, don’t,” said Biden, when asked for his message to Putin on the use of such weapons. Biden said that deciding to use them would “change the face of war — unlike since World War II.”


“You think I would tell you if I knew exactly what it would be? Of course, I’m not going to tell you. It’ll be consequential. They’ll become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been. And depending on the extent of what they do, [it] will determine what response would occur.”

The President also addressed the question of whether he was planning to seek re-election:

“Look, my intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again. But it’s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen,” Biden told CBS’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes” when asked whether he would run.

Oh. Okay.

So, since the President declared the pandemic over, will we see all restrictions and mandates lifted? Also, will the CDC be releasing any kind of statement agreeing with the President’s pandemice remarks? I just checked, and both the CDC website and Twitter account make no mention of the pandemic being over. Additionally, why would the President tell us the pandemic is over at this point? Perhaps because a state of emergency status is no longer necessary:

Why does Biden’s statement matter so much? I’ll tell you: It matters because the memo that the Biden administration released to justify his order rested entirely upon there being an ongoing emergency, and because, as Biden has just confirmed, there is no ongoing emergency.

Back in August, Biden’s lawyers argued with half-straight faces that the 2003 HEROES Act — which, as Bloomberg Law has noted, was passed not as a generalized enabling act but “to help borrowers serving in the military in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks” — could be twisted to apply to any national emergency, including pandemics such as Covid-19. This, of course, was nonsense.

You know, if President Biden doesn’t run for re-election, guess who is waiting in the wings? Allegedly, Gov. Gavins Newsom of California (whom we’ve seen pulling his own early campaign stunts over the past few months):

California Governor Gavin Newsom is “undeniably, unequivocally” planning to run for president in 2024 if President Biden chooses not to seek a second term, two individuals with knowledge of Newsom’s plans told TheWrap.

“After this midterm election is over, he absolutely is going to announce that he is running for the presidency once Biden announces that he is not running,” a leading California fundraiser with close ties to the Newsom family told TheWrap. “No ifs, ands or buts. He will run if Biden does not.”

A second individual close to the governor, a Los Angeles philanthropist with deep connections in the Democratic Party and a long history of fundraising for its candidates, confirmed Newsom’s intention to run.



Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:13 am

[guest post by Dana]

Let’s go!

First news item

Judge denies DOJ request for partial stay:

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday denied the Department of Justice’s request for a partial stay of her ruling that limited the government’s investigation of how Donald Trump handled sensitive material at his Mar-a-Lago estate, pending a third-party review of what agents found at Trump’s home.

Cannon, in issuing her order, said that she was not willing to accept the government’s assertions that roughly 100 documents taken from Mar-a-Lago were classified — even though they were labeled as such, with some bearing “SECRET” and “TOP SECRET/SCI” markings.

Our host responds:

This garbage order does nothing to explain how Donald Trump could have a property interest in documents marked as classified. Notable that Trump’s lawyers thought they could dance around whether Trump declassified anything … and they were right!


Her order does not seriously grapple with the issues raised by DOJ, particularly the way in which her order injures national security.

Serious eye roll:

But the judge did suggest that alleged “leaks to the media” posed a genuine threat, despite offering no examples of any such leaks.

“There has been no actual suggestion by the Government of any identifiable emergency or imminent disclosure of classified information arising from Plaintiff’s allegedly unlawful retention of the seized property,” Cannon wrote. “Instead, and unfortunately, the unwarranted disclosures that float in the background have been leaks to the media after the underlying seizure.”

Who is it that has *not* been able to keep his mouth shut about this whole debacle since Day 1??

Second news item

By any definition, this *is* a humanitarian crisis:

A recent increase of immigrants from Venezuela has “changed the game” in El Paso and put a strain on the area’s shelter system, according to County Judge Ricardo Samaniego.

Border Patrol agents apprehended hundreds of migrants at the southern border in Socorro on Tuesday morning. A majority of them are from Venezuela. Border Patrol says agents are encountering 1,300 people a day since Sept. 1.

A majority of Venezuelans are first-generation immigrants and arrive in the United States without a sponsor or enough money to buy a bus or plane ticket to their final destination. Shelters have either run out of space or do not have enough volunteers to take in more migrants. Immigration officials have dropped off dozens of migrants on El Paso streets. Those migrants have created makeshift camps across the street from the Greyhound bus station in downtown.

Third news item

Horror in Ukraine:

Ukrainian authorities say they discovered a mass grave filled with the bodies of 440 people in the northeastern town of Izium days after the area was liberated from occupying Russian forces. “Some died because of artillery fire,” Serhiy Bolvinov, chief police investigator for the Kharkiv region, told Sky News of the people in the grave. “Some died because of airstrikes.” After visiting Izium on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky likened the discovery to alleged war crimes orchestrated by Russian troops against civilians in Bucha, near Kyiv, earlier in the year. “Russia is leaving death behind it everywhere and must be held responsible,” Zelensky said…

Fourth news item

Her book was more important to her:

New York Times political reporter and CNN analyst Maggie Haberman faced backlash…after it was reported that her upcoming book reveals that twice-impeached former President Donald Trump was planning to outright refuse to leave the White House after losing the 2020 election.

“I’m just not going to leave,” Trump told one aide, per a CNN exclusive excerpt from Haberman’s upcoming book, “Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America.” Another aide claimed that Trump told a separate staffer after the 2020 election was called in President Joe Biden’s favor that “we’re never leaving. How can you leave when you won an election?”

Following the release of the excerpt, Haberman faced intense criticism online, with people voicing their outrage that this information was known prior to Jan. 6 and held until now.

Fifth news item


The White House has recently hosted a series of high-level meetings on immigration, where DHS officials have presented options, including flying migrants to the country’s northern border with Canada to alleviate overcrowding on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the discussions.

Some DHS officials have openly expressed frustration at those meetings with the White House’s reluctance to take a page from the book of Republican governors and begin transporting migrants to cities within the U.S., according to internal communications obtained by NBC News.

Sixth news item

Continues campaigning for next presidential election:

The Democratic governor, who is increasingly positioning himself as a progressive firebrand, used his reelection fund to rent billboard space in a handful of Republican-led states on Thursday to promote California as an abortion sanctuary amid increasing restrictions on the procedure in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Seventh news item

Becoming beholden to the MAGA movement’s political whims:

In the battle for the soul of GOP foreign policy between establishment Republicans and Trump-style national conservatives, the former still hold the levers of official power but the latter are gaining ground. The Heritage Foundation’s turn toward the “new right” is the clearest symbol yet that the MAGA movement’s foreign policy is becoming institutionalized but moving further away from the Republican leadership.

The Heritage Foundation has been an influential brain trust for GOP administrations since the Reagan years — and still claims to stand for Ronald Reagan’s doctrine of “peace through strength.” But beginning in the Trump era, and even more so now under its new president, Kevin Roberts, Heritage is moving away from that tradition, according to several foreign policy staffers who recently left the foundation.

Half a dozen foreign policy analysts have left the foundation this year, while several other former employees are publicly accusing Roberts and Heritage of abandoning the national security principles and policies that it (and the Republican Party) once stood for.

Eighth news item

Should she stay or should she go:

Other Democrats say it’s time for new leadership no matter what happens in November.

“It’s time for generational diversity of our leadership ranks – regardless of the outcome of the election,” said Rep. Dean Phillips, a Minnesota Democrat who voted for Pelosi for speaker, calling her “one of the most extraordinary speakers in history.”

“That doesn’t change my perspective that it’s time for a new generation,” Phillips said, noting that is a widespread view within the caucus.

Privately, the assessment tends to be blunter.

“She has to go,” one senior Democrat said. “No way she can stay,” added another long-time House Democrat. “She doesn’t have the votes,” another veteran Democrat said, pointing to some vulnerable frontline Democrats who have vowed not to vote for her.

Indeed, all this is running up against deep tensions among House Democrats, and in their party overall, that they’re overdue for major changes in their leadership. Yet Pelosi’s two deputies, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who, like the speaker, are north of 80, have surprised colleagues by privately signaling they might be interested in succeeding her if and when she leaves.

Ninth news item

Another one bites the dust:

Another top ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin has died this week, this time of an alleged “stroke” while on a business trip in the village of Roshchino in Russia’s far east region.

Vladimir Nikolayevich Sungorkin, 68, was editor-in-chief of the Russian state newspaper, Komsomolskaya Pravda. According to the newspaper, Sungorkin died “suddenly” after showing signs of “suffocation” during the trip on Wednesday.

“It happened absolutely suddenly, nothing foreshadowed…

According to Zakharov, Sungorkin fell unconscious minutes after suggesting their group “find a beautiful place somewhere… for lunch.”

“Three minutes later, Vladimir began to suffocate. We took him out for fresh air, he was already unconscious… Nothing helped…


Her little hands…

Have a great weekend!



To Our Shame: Biden Administration Says Its “Obligated” to Grant Entry Visas To Russian Minister Lavrov And Iran’s President Raisi To Attend UN General Assembly

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:58 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This is so disappointing:

The United States has given Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a visa to travel to New York for the United Nations’ annual gathering of world leaders next week with half the delegation Moscow requested, a Russian diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

Moscow had asked Washington for 56 visas, according to a Sept. 2 letter to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres from Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia. The Russian diplomatic source said on Tuesday the United States had approved 24 visas.

Nebenzia had also noted in his letter that the flight crew for Lavrov’s plane had not received visas. It was not immediately clear if Washington had granted visas for the Russian flight crew or if Lavrov would be expected to fly commercial airlines to New York.

Note: Under the 1947 U.N. “headquarters agreement,” the United States is generally required to allow access to the United Nations for foreign diplomats. But Washington says it can deny visas for security, terrorism and foreign policy reasons. So, given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Lavarov’s accusation that the U.S. and our allies are to blame for the war, how he is he *not* a security risk? And it’s worth noting that Lavarov met with the chief political leader of the Hamas terror group earlier this week in Moscow to discuss “Israel’s violations,” among other things.

On the upside, Senators Richard Blumenthal (D) and Lindsey Graham (R) have just introduced legislation to designate Russia a state sponsor of terrorism:

“The need for this measure is more pressing now than ever before,” Blumenthal said, citing the killings of civilians and other “brutal, cruel oppression” in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.

Graham said the designation would send a strong signal of support for Ukraine and to U.S. allies. He said it also would impose penalties on Russia and tighten sanctions.

It was not immediately clear when or whether their measure might come up for a vote.

The White House is against the legislation because “the consequences could delay food exports to parts of war-torn Ukraine and jeopardize deals to move goods through the Black Sea.” They claim to be looking at other options analogous to the legislation.

One should also take into consideration the anguished testimony of Ukrainian medic, Yuliia Paievska, who was captured by the Russians in Mariupol in March and suffered, along with untold others, torture at the hands of her captors:

Searing descriptions of the suffering of detainees poured out…

Torture sessions usually launched with their captors forcing the Ukrainian prisoners to remove their clothes, before the Russians set to bloodying and tormenting the detainees, she said.

The result was some “prisoners in cells screaming for weeks, and then dying from the torture without any medical help,” she said. “Then in this torment of hell, the only things they feel before death is abuse and additional beating.”

The Geneva Conventions single out medics, both military and civilian, for protection “in all circumstance.” Sen. Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat and co-chair of the Helsinki Commission underscored that the conditions she described for civilian and military detainees violated international law.

Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

Ukraine’s government says it has documented nearly 34,000 Russian war crimes since the war began in February. The International Criminal Court and 14 European Union member nations also have launched investigations.

The United Nations Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine says it has documented that prisoners of war in Russian custody have suffered torture and ill-treatment, as well as insufficient food, water healthcare and sanitation.

But sure, in light of all of this, let’s allow Russia’s Lavrov waltz right into New York City to attend the sham UN General Assembly meeting where today UN Secretary-General, António Guterres said with a straight face, “We face a world in peril across our work to advance peace, human rights…”

Along the same lines, the Biden administration is actually and unbelievably considering granting President Raisi of Iran an entry visa to the U.S. so that he too can attend the UN General Assembly. Some members of Congress are working on legislation to prevent that from happening:

Congress is moving to prevent Iran’s president from entering the United States to attend U.N. proceedings but is facing resistance from the Biden administration, which says it is “obligated” to allow the hardline president into the country.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) is circulating a bill that would bar all officials tied to Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, including President Ebrahim Raisi, from obtaining the U.S. visa necessary to attend a meeting of the United Nations’ General Assembly, which is taking place this month in New York City.

This pressure campaign has failed, however, with the Biden administration claiming it is “obligated” under U.S. law to allow Raisi into the United States. “As host nation of the U.N., the United States is generally obligated under the U.N. Headquarters Agreement to facilitate travel to the U.N. headquarters district by representatives of U.N. member states,” a State Department spokesman told the Free Beacon. “We take our obligations under the U.N. Headquarters Agreement seriously.”

It seems that the administration is unclear about what the parameters of those obligations are, and whether the U.S. has the ability to deny visas under certain circumstances and for various reason:

U.S. law enables the president to deny visas to foreign officials who engage in “espionage” or pose a direct threat to national security. Raisi could likely be denied a visa for engaging in “terrorist activities,” given that he helms the Islamic Republic’s regional militant operations. Raisi also gave a speech in January in which he threatened to assassinate Pompeo and former president Donald Trump.

The State Department this year also listed Raisi as a major human rights abuser under the 2012 Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act—a designation that could allow the Biden administration to deny him a visa.

Moreover, the US denied visas to several Iranian officials who were involved in the taking of American diplomatic hostages during the Iranian revolution.


In 1987, the U.S. government declared Austrian President Kurt Waldheim ineligible for a visa because of his responsibility for the persecution of Jews and other civilians during World War II. Washington also refused to let Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat visit in 1988 because of his responsibility for acts of terrorism.

The pressure on the White House increased last week when a letter sent to President Biden, signed by a bipartisan group of 52 lawmakers, strongly urged him to deny an entry visa for Raisi:

And today in New York City, protesters were outside of the United Nations buildings demanding that Raisi not be allowed to enter the United States:

It’s despicable that President Biden would consider a man like President Raisi to enter the U.S. – for any reason. By doing so would signal to the world that we, as a nation, are not serious about human rights and the violations therein. As has been said: Even by the standards of the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran, Raisi is not a run-of-the-mill politician. He has been a driving force behind the state’s pervasive abuse of its citizens over the past four decades. Allowing Raisi to visit the United States while the regime he represents is plotting to kill Americans is a mistake.

The gross hypocrisy of the U.N. knows no bounds. The cruelty of Iran’s leader(s) knows no bounds:

President Biden is obligated to deny Raisi a visa for entry into the United States.


Gov. DeSantis Defends Decision To Fly Migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:44 am

[guest post by Dana]

Fox News reports:

Lawmakers in Massachusetts were tasked with caring for dozens of migrants Wednesday after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sent two planes full of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, a ritzy island located in Dukes County.

On Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers voiced their criticism online after they were forced to act swiftly to provide shelter, food, blankets and other necessities to the 50 migrants who now reside in their state.

From the Florida governor’s office:

“Florida can confirm the two planes with illegal immigrants that arrived in Martha’s Vineyard [Wednesday] were part of the state’s relocation program to transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations. States like Massachusetts, New York, and California will better facilitate the care of these individuals who they have invited into our country by incentivizing illegal immigration through their designation as ‘sanctuary states’ and support for the Biden administration’s open border policies.”


The news broke Wednesday night as Fox News and Martha’s Vineyard news organizations reported the surprise charter flights that dumped at least 50 migrants on the popular island vacation spot for the well-heeled. Martha’s Vineyard is an island south of Cape Cod, popular for summer vacations for rich elites and accessible only by plane or ferry. The exact route of the flights remain unclear on Thursday, although one Massachusetts Democratic lawmaker told reporters one flight left from San Antonio. The website Flightaware shows one flight originated in San Antonio, stopped in Crestview, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina, before landing in Martha’s Vineyard on Wednesday afternoon.

The flights were billed as part of a new program to “remove” illegal immigrants from Florida, one created by lawmakers supporting DeSantis’ hard-line stance on immigration. DeSantis…has claimed the program is necessary to fight back against the “Biden border crisis.”

DeSantis pushed back against criticism for his decision:

“We take what’s happening at the southern border very seriously, unlike some, and unlike the president of the United States,” DeSantis said. “You’ve had millions and millions of people pouring across illegally, record amount of fentanyl coming into our country.”

He said many migrants want to end up in Florida because “everyone wants to come to Florida.”

“We’ve worked on innovative ways to protect the state of Florida from the impact of Biden’s border policies,” he said.

DeSantis said that all states should share the burden of settling migrants and that it shouldn’t fall to “a handful of red states.”

“If you have folks who are inclined to think Florida is a good place, our message to them is we are not a sanctuary state, it’s better to be able to go to a sanctuary jurisdiction,” he said. “We will help facilitate that transport for you, so you can go to greener pastures.”

Reports say that Gov. DeSantis has $12 million in Florida’s budget approved by the state legislature to relocate illegal immigrants from his state.

Also, the 50 migrants flown to Martha’s Vineyard were from Venezuela and Colombia. From all accounts, the residents of Martha’s Vineyard have risen to the occasion, and are providing food, shelter, and relief to the migrants. It remains to be seen for how long.


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