By Alex HendersonThe events that followed the 2020 presidential election were unprecedented in U.S. history. Never before had an incumbent president in the United States lost the popular vote by more than 7 million and watched his opponent win 306 electoral votes only to falsely claim that the election was stolen from him and make an unsuccessful coup attempt. And never before had an insurrectionist mob violently attacked and invaded the U.S. Capitol Building in the hope of stopping the peaceful transition of presidential power. But all of those things happened after now-President Joe Biden defeated then-President Donald Trump in 2020, and one of Trump’s closest allies during his unsuccessful coup attempt was then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Journalist Michael Kranish, in an article published by the Washington Post on May 9, takes an in-depth look at the prominent role Meadows played in that coup attempt. “Instead of echoing the (Trump) Administration’s own Justice Department to tell Trump that his claims of a stolen election were wrong,” Kranish explains, “Meadows went to extraordinary lengths to push Trump’s false assertions — particularly during a crucial three-week period starting with his trip to Atlanta and culminating in the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.”
By Rich McKayATLANTA (Reuters) - Following protests sparked by the leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court decision indicating the justices are poised to overturn the constitutional right to abortion, Justice Clarence Thomas said on Friday that the court cannot be "bullied." The leak set off a political firestorm, with abortion-rights supporters staging rallies outside the courthouse and at locations around the United States, as well as an internal crisis at the nation's top judicial body where an investigation into the source of the unprecedented disclosure is underway. Thomas, one of the most conservative justices on the nine-member court, made only a few passing references to the protests over the leaked draft opinion as he spoke at a judicial conference in Atlanta. As a society, "we are becoming addicted to wanting particular outcomes, not living with the outcomes we don't like," Thomas said.
Vivian KaneAn Indiana man just won a Republican primary election from jail, where he’s currently sitting after being accused of murdering his wife.The Washington Post writes:Andrew Wilhoite was charged in March with killing his wife, Elizabeth “Nikki” Wilhoite, 41. She had completed her last chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer and was seeking a divorce after she found out her husband had been having an affair, according to the Lebanon Reporter. Wilhoite reportedly confessed to hitting Nikki with a large, concrete flower pot during an argument and to dumping her body in a creek, so the “allegedly” here is strictly a legal requirement—although until he’s convicted of a felony, the elections board is apparently unable to remove him from the ballot going into the general election.
Jeff SchogolThe battalion commander and top enlisted leader for 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment were relieved of command on March 31 after an investigation found both had “exercised poor judgment” for allowing a Marine to be arrested in front of an entire company and then implying the man was guilty of selling drugs, according to a redacted copy of the investigation. Eight days after the Marine was arrested, an anonymous Inspector General complaint was submitted against Lt. Col. Benjamin Wagner and Sgt. Maj. Jayson Clifton, according to a redacted copy of the command investigation, which Task & Purpose obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The arrest took place as Wagner was briefing his battalion’s Headquarters and Services company about a command climate survey. Immediately afterward, Wagner again used poor judgment when he continued his briefing and used a racial slur to describe one of the Marines in attendance to demonstrate how such language is unacceptable, the investigation found.
CBS DallasDALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced May 6 that the state bar plans to sue him over his failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on bogus claims of fraud. Since last summer, the State Bar of Texas has been investigating complaints over Paxton's petitioning of the U.S. Supreme Court to block President Joe Biden's victory over Donald Trump. The professional group has not publicly filed a suit but Paxton, saying it plans to bring one against him and his top deputy suggests agency may believe their actions amounted to professional misconduct. The attorney general said he stood behind his challenge to the "unconstitutional 2020 presidential election," even as he blasted the bar and announced an investigation into a charitable group associated with it. "I am certain that the bar will not only lose but be fully exposed for what they are: a liberal activist group masquerading as a neutral professional association," Paxton said on Twitter. The bar, which is a branch of the Texas Supreme Court, said in a statement that "partisan political considerations play no role" in its actions. State law prohibits it from discussing investigations unless a public complaint is filed and a spokesman declined to comment.
David MoyeDonald Trump Jr. has long been suspected of harboring political ambitions, but he doesn’t seem to understand a basic rule of foreign policy: It’s not a good idea to bomb your allies. The eldest son of former President Donald Trump made his ignorance clear on Friday when he attempted to defend his father from claims made by former Defense Secretary Mark Esper. In an upcoming memoir previewed by The New York Times on Thursday, Esper claimed Trump asked him twice if the U.S. could fire missiles into Mexico to destroy drug labs run by cartels, while keeping the military action secret. “No one would know it was us,” Trump said after Esper objected, according to the excerpt. Although Trump’s plan would constitute an act of war on the part of the U.S., his son didn’t seem to grasp that fairly obvious concept when he asked if bombing drug cartels is “supposed to be a bad thing?”
Corbin Bolies, Rachel OldingTwo Lawton, Oklahoma cops were charged with first-degree manslaughter on Friday after they fatally shot an unarmed Black man who was complying with their orders to get on the ground and had his hands raised. Comanche County District Attorney Kyle Cabelka said his office had determined that the shooting of Quadry Sanders by Officers Robert Hinkle and Nathan Ronan was unjustified “after review of the entire case file.” Hinkle and Ronan responded to Sanders’ home just after 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 after a call about a man, who was subjected to a protective order, entering the home of a woman named in the order. The woman’s husband was also home at the time, officers could be heard saying on body-cam footage released Friday. The footage shows the officers parked outside the woman’s house, trying to call her husband’s cell phone. One officer can be heard saying police have been called out to the address before, and the person inside has a handgun. A dispatcher then tells the officers that the husband said the person was getting ready to leave.
Amanda MarcotteDespite the fact that forced childbirth has been a major goal and central organizing strategy of the GOP for approximately four decades, Republican political strategists don't exactly seem stoked about a leaked draft opinion indicating that the GOP-controlled Supreme Court plans to overturn Roe v. Wade outright. Turns out that abortion rights are very popular, likely due to people's well-documented enthusiasm for fornication without procreation. With the midterms just a few months away and Democrats signaling that they intend to make this a major issue, Republicans are scrambling for a political strategy to make their mandatory childbirth policy seem not as bad of an idea as it obviously is. On Tuesday, Axios leaked a three-page talking points memo from the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). The strategy that the Republican campaign strategy group suggests is to lie. A lot. Lie every chance you get. Lie about everything, all the time. Lie so often that the media stops bothering to fact-check you and your opponents grow exhausted trying to disprove your lies. It's a tried-and-true trick for the GOP.
By KATE BRUMBACKATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accepted a judge’s findings Friday and said U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is qualified to run for reelection. A group of voters filed a complaint with Raffensperger’s office saying that Greene should be barred from running for reelection under a seldom-invoked provision of the 14th Amendment having to do with insurrection. Georgia Administrative Law Judge Charles Beaudrot last month held a hearing on the matter and found that Green was eligible. He then sent his findings to Raffensperger, who was responsible for making the final decision. It was an awkward position to be in for the secretary of state who drew the ire of former President Donald Trump after he resisted pressure to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia.
Katherine FungFormer President Donald Trump has long attacked his GOP opponents by calling them RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only, but now Republicans are using the same tactic to target Trump's Senate pick in Pennsylvania. A group of local Republican leaders in Pennsylvania has signed a letter urging voters not to cast their ballot for Dr. Mehmet Oz, who Trump endorsed in the primaries last month. Trump has frequently used the term to describe his critics within the Republican Party, including those who refused to challenge the results of the 2020 election and Congress members who voted to impeach him in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot. The term "RINO" has historically been used by conservative Republicans who believe a member of their party is not loyal enough to the party's ideology. It emerged shortly after Democrat Bill Clinton won the presidency after 12 years of Republican rule. But since beginning his political career, Trump has almost exclusively used the term to hit those disloyal to him.
By Joseph AxNEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Friday reinstated Florida's new Republican-backed voting restrictions, overruling a judge's decision that several provisions such as limits on ballot drop boxes were racially discriminatory. U.S. Judge Mark Walker in Tallahassee had struck down the bulk of the law in March, finding that lawmakers had designed the legislation to be "intentionally discriminatory" against Black voters. He also ordered the state to seek court approval to make any changes to the provisions in question for the next 10 years. But a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted the state's request to block his decision, noting that Florida's primary election takes place in August - too soon, the judges said, to allow for changes to election rules.
DHS watchdog says Trump's agency appears to have altered report on Russian interference in 2020 election in part because of politicsBy Priscilla Alvarez and Zachary Cohen, CNNWashington (CNN) Former President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security delayed and altered an intelligence report related to Russian interference in the 2020 election, making changes that "appear to be based in part on political considerations," according to a newly released watchdog report. The April 26 Homeland Security inspector general's assessment provides a damning look at the way DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis dealt with intelligence related to Russia's efforts to interfere in the US, stating the department had deviated from its standard procedures in modifying assessments related to Moscow's targeting of the 2020 presidential election. The conclusion that Trump's appointee appeared to have tried to downplay Russian meddling in a key intelligence report is the latest example of how his aides managed his aversion to any information about how Russia might be helping his election prospects. According to special counsel Robert Mueller's report, Trump officials tried to avoid the topic during meetings and at hearings, because he would become enraged and upset when Russian meddling came up. The US intelligence community announced during the 2020 campaign that Russia was actively meddling in the election to weaken then-candidate Joe Biden. At the time, Trump downplayed those findings and promoted false claims about Biden that aligned with Russia's disinformation efforts. The IG report addresses past suspicions that Trump appointees distorted some intelligence reports to foster a more Trump-friendly narrative.
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he looked forward to joining his “‘new’ friend” Musk on his journey.Richard Nieva BuzzFeed News ReporterWhen Elon Musk announced his bid to buy Twitter last month, he said he wanted to make the social network a beacon for free speech. But as Musk scrambles to pull together funding for the $44 billion deal, the billionaire is also planning to accept financing for the deal from two countries that have historically restricted freedom of speech: Saudi Arabia and Qatar. On Thursday, an SEC filing revealed new financiers for Musk’s takeover plan, which include Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Both countries impose harsh censorship to quash dissent: A Qatari law states that spreading “false or malicious news” can land you in prison for five years, while in Saudi Arabia, critics of the government have faced arrest and even murder. Saudi Arabia ranks number 166 out of 180 on the World Press Freedom Index, while Qatar ranks number 119, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Christy Bieber - TuesdayIf you're concerned about the future of Social Security, it's helpful to understand what lawmakers in power have said about it. That's because those in a leadership position on the federal level could potentially make changes that affect benefits for the elderly. Currently, the White House, the House of Representatives, and the U.S. Senate are all controlled by Democrats. Most lawmakers on the left have voiced strong support for expanding Social Security and uniform opposition to any benefit cuts. After the midterm elections next November, however, it is very possible that control of the House or the Senate could change hands. If the Republicans reclaim a Senate majority again, current Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will likely become the majority leader. That's why this quote from McConnell about Social Security is so important.
Critics say the bill could allow authorities to bring murder charges and criminalize in vitro fertilization.By Tim StellohA bill advanced Wednesday by Louisiana legislators would classify abortion as a homicide, potentially allowing authorities to charge women and girls with murder and criminalize in vitro fertilization, critics said. The bill, dubbed the Abolition of Abortion in Louisiana Act, passed 7-2 out of a state House subcommittee two days after Politico published a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting that the court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade. The bill will now move to a full House vote. The legislation would still need support from the Senate and the governor before it could become law.
Will Carless, USA TODAYLast month, Brandon Judd, who is a Border Patrol agent and the president of the National Border Patrol Council, a union representing more than 18,000 border patrol agents, sat for an interview with Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer. Wearing a black polo shirt bearing the crest of his union, the shaven-headed Judd stared intently into the camera as Hemmer asked him why he thinks President Joe Biden has allowed “Virtually an open border.” With a shake of his head, Judd responded: "I believe that they're trying to change the demographics of the electorate, that's what I believe they’re doing." As he spoke, the split-screen broadcast zoomed in on footage of people of color apparently crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, and Judd continued: "They want to stay in power, and the only way to stay in power is to continue to stay elected."
In his new book, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper says then-President Donald Trump proposed launching missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs in 2020. CNN political analyst Maggie Haberman has more.
By Lawrence HurleyWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Justice Samuel Alito's draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide hinges on a contested historical review of restrictions on the procedure enacted during the 19th century. Lawyers and scholars backing abortion rights have criticized Alito's reading of history as glossing over disputed facts and ignoring relevant details as the conservative justice sought to demonstrate that a woman's constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy was wrongly recognized in the Roe ruling. Conservatives who oppose abortion rights have praised Alito's opinion and argued that the Roe decision itself was based on a faulty reading of history. The unprecedented leak this week of the draft before the nine justices have finalized their decision - due by the end of June - has given critics a chance to scrutinize a work in progress, hoping other justices will have second thoughts about joining Alito, thus changing the outcome of the momentous case. Alito's draft would uphold a Republican-backed Mississippi law - struck down by lower courts as a violation of the Roe precedent - banning abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy.
by Richard Galant, CNN(CNN) "I know nothing." That was the response members of the Order of the Star Spangled Banner were supposed to give when asked about their secret society, which was founded in 1849. The fiercely anti-immigrant, anti-Catholic group evolved into the American Party, but it will be forever remembered by another name. The "Know Nothings" became a powerful political force, commanding the allegiance of more than 100 members of Congress in the 1850s, as Lorraine Boissoneault wrote in Smithsonian Magazine. Last week, a Republican member of Congress, Marjorie Taylor Greene, lashed out at Speaker Nancy Pelosi, falsely accusing her of having "gazpacho police spying on members of Congress," apparently mistaking a cold vegetable soup from Spain for the Gestapo, the Nazi regime's secret police. The botched reference was widely mocked on social media, and Greene later made fun of herself, tweeting: "No soup for those who illegally spy on Members of Congress, but they will be thrown in the goulash."
Did Trump’s Supreme Court nominees hide their abortion views? Here’s what Gorsuch and Kavanaugh said about Roe during their hearingsPranav BaskarWASHINGTON—Four years ago, at the Senate confirmation hearing that would send Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut, asked the judge, point-blank, how he’d rule on a woman’s right to an abortion. “Can you commit, sitting here today, that you would never overturn Roe v. Wade?” Kavanaugh’s expression didn’t change as he quickly replied, “Senator, each of the eight Justices currently on the Supreme Court, when they were in this seat, declined to answer that question.” It was a practiced non-answer Kavanaugh deployed repeatedly as he dodged questions on Roe during his 2018 confirmation hearing, according to a Globe analysis of all 300 references to the landmark ruling he faced over dozens of hours of questioning. Justice Neil Gorsuch, confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2017 under Former President Trump as well, deployed a similar strategy. He referred to Roe as settled “precedent” but declined to comment on the merit of the ruling itself, nor revealed a glimpse into his personal stance on the matter. Both justices are currently under fire from some lawmakers after Politico published a leaked draft opinion that would overturn the 50-year right to an abortion–a dramatic overruling of decades of Supreme Court precedent. The draft, which the court confirmed is authentic on Tuesday, may not represent the justices’ final decision.
Nathan PlaceAUS Navy veteran was filmed personally accusing Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene of disparaging the military and other groups, calling the Republican congresswoman a “shame.” The confrontation was caught on camera by WTVC at a campaign event on Monday in Trion, Georgia. The veteran, Alex Boyle, was incensed over some of Ms Greene’s past comments, and directly challenged her on them. “You are disrespecting the United States Congress and you’re a shame,” Mr Boyle told the congresswoman. “No, sir,” Ms Greene calmly responded. The tense exchange began when Mr Boyle asked the Georgia Republican to explain a controversial remark she made last month about military service. “I know a lot of young people don’t want to have anything to do with that,” Ms Greene told former Fox News host Lou Dobbs on his podcast. “It’s like throwing your life away.”
Bud KennedyIt’s time to talk about what some folks would rather forget. The sign’s language was blunt. There was never any question about its message, or its target. The first word was a racist slur. Then: “Don’t Let the Sun Set on Your Head in This Town.” Originally, the “sundown sign” went up at the train station. Then, it was moved to the middle of the main street. It happened more than a century ago. In Texas. De Leon, Texas. It wasn’t the only sign like that in Texas. I’ve met people who claimed they personally saw signs in Bowie, Glen Rose and Grand Saline. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not picking on Texas or even the South. In a Web search, I found similar racist signs mentioned in towns in California, Washington, Nebraska and Indiana. One town in British Columbia even had a sign warning Chinese to stay out. But we know for sure that De Leon, 95 miles southwest of Fort Worth, had one of those signs for years.
Ed MazzaNewly released audio shows House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) once again attacking former President Donald Trump behind his back in the days after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. “What the president did is atrocious and totally wrong,” McCarthy said in the audio released by New York Times reporters Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin, authors of the new book, This Will Not Pass. McCarthy has since defended and praised Trump and ostracized those within his party who are critical of the former president. But the audio shows McCarthy was in a much different frame of mind after the assault on the Capitol by Trump supporters. He said in the Jan. 8, 2021 recording that removing Trump via the 25th Amendment would take too long, and that impeachment could further divide the nation. McCarthy also indicated he wanted to reach out to Joe Biden, who at the time was president-elect, to show there would be a smooth transition. CNN broadcast the audio from a GOP leadership call as well as a discussion with the authors:
Jon SkolnikPresident Biden is set to host the first food insecurity conference in the last fifty years, raising awareness of the fact that nearly 14 million American households still do not have reliable access to food. The upcoming event, first reported by CNN, will mark the first conference of its kind since 1969, when then-President Richard Nixon hosted the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health. "Too many families don't know where they're going to get their next meal," Biden said in a video this week. "Too many empty chairs around the kitchen table because a loved one was taken by heart disease, diabetes or other diet-oriented diseases, which are some of the leading causes of death in our country." The event comes as millions of Americans continue to buckle under the weight of rising food prices, driven largely by corporate profiteering as well as the COVID-induced supply shock. Over the past two years, a handful of Republican-led states have missed deadlines to renew federal funding for food provisions, deeming them unnecessary now that schools have reopened as the pandemic peters out.
Erik Larson(Bloomberg) -- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis trampled Walt Disney Co.’s constitutional right to free speech by dissolving the company’s debt-issuing district as punishment in a political fight, three residents claim in a lawsuit. The violation of Disney’s First Amendment rights will result in taxpayers being forced to foot the bill for the district’s debt, estimated at $1 billion to $2 billion, according to the suit filed Tuesday in federal court in Miami. DeSantis, a Republican and potential 2024 presidential candidate, signed a law April 21 repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement District after Disney announced its opposition to the state’s new parental rights law that restricts classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity. “Corporations are obviously capable of expressing themselves, as Disney did when it spoke out against the ‘don’t say gay’ bill,” the residents said in the complaint. “If a government retaliates and attempts to punish a speaker’s freedom of speech, they are violating the speaker’s constitutional rights.”
Is Mike Huckabee grooming your children?Ewan PalmerMike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas, has been criticized for his latest advert promoting his children's book, The Kids Guide to President Trump. Huckabee, an ardent supporter of Donald Trump, has been running adverts on right-wing television networks and social media promoting the educational book since 2020. On Tuesday, an ad for The Kids Guide to President Trump, which is part of a series of "The Kids Guide" books, magazines and videos operated by Huckabee's EverBright Media, was featured on Fox News and shared on Twitter by journalist Aaron Rupar. "Isn't it amazing how so much that President Trump said still rings true," Huckabee said in the latest advert.
Raw StoryFormer Trump administration acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf modified and delayed an intelligence report detailing interference in the 2020 election by Russia, according to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at DHS. "We found that DHS did not adequately follow its internal processes and comply with applicable [intelligence community] policy standards and requirements when editing and disseminating an I&A; intelligence product regarding Russian interference with the 2020 U.S. Presidential election," the report found. ""The acting secretary participated in the review process multiple times despite lacking any formal role in reviewing the product, resulting in the delay of its dissemination on at least one occasion. The delays and deviation from I&A; [Office of Intelligence and Analysis] standard process and requirements put [them] at risk of creating a perception of politicization."
Dan ManganFormer President Donald Trump on Tuesday lost an effort at a New York appeals court to stay a contempt order, and as a result still owes a fine of $10,000 per day. Trump on April 25 was found in contempt by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron for failing to comply with a subpoena from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who is seeking records for her civil investigation of his company, the Trump Organization. James is investigating allegations that the Trump Organization improperly manipulated the stated valuations of real estate assets to obtain more favorable financial terms on loans, insurance and taxes. Engoron imposed the $10,000 daily fine until he was satisfied that Trump had complied with the subpoena. The judge on Friday kept that fine and contempt order in place, saying that new affidavits by Trump and his lawyers, who claimed they could not find the documents being sought, were not sufficient proof of his compliance with the subpoena.
Ian MillhiserTwo events occurred Monday night — one historic, the other rather insignificant — which placed an unflattering spotlight on the Supreme Court of the United States. The historic event was that Politico published an unprecedented leak of a draft majority opinion, by Justice Samuel Alito, which would overrule Roe v. Wade and permit state lawmakers to ban abortion in its entirety in the US. Alito’s draft opinion is not the Court’s final word on this case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, but the leaked opinion is the latest in a long list of signs that Roe may be in its final days. The other event that also occurred last night is that I sent two tweets. One praised whoever leaked Alito’s opinion for disrupting an institution that, as I have written about many times in many forums, including my first book, has historically been a malign force within the United States. And a second celebrated the leak for the distrust it might foster in such a malign institution.
Matt ShuhamTexas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) theatrical decision to effectively institute a blockade at the U.S.-Mexico border last month has cost Texas a planned railroad expansion across that divide, the Mexican government said. Abbott’s border antics have already cost Texas billions in GDP, according to one estimate, and the hurt could continue for years. Now, the tally of economic damage will include the cost of a long-term railroad and ports expansion project that may instead be routed through New Mexico. “We’re now not going to use Texas,” Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy Tatiana Clouthier said Thursday at a press conference in Mexico City, the Dallas Morning News reported. “We can’t leave all the eggs in one basket and be hostages to someone who wants to use trade as a political tool.” That appeared to be a pointed reference to Abbott, who’s running for reelection this year, and who last month ordered Texas authorities to do their own inspections of cross-border shipments from Mexico — even though federal authorities already screen that traffic.
by Sabrina HaakeWhen Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Republican Party punished Disney for its criticism of the "Don't say gay" bill — in other words, for corporate speech that was clearly political in nature, their retaliation was not just fiscally shortsighted, it was illegal. Any government attempt to restrict a corporation's speech based on the content of that speech must satisfy the strictest scrutiny, meaning the restriction adopted by the government must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest. Restrictions based on political viewpoint have long been prohibited. Stripping Disney of its special tax status in two Florida counties (which both lean Democratic), while leaving intact more than 1,800 similar tax districts in largely Republican counties, is not narrowly tailored to achieve any clear objective, nor is silencing political critics a compelling or even legitimate government interest in the first instance. More than 10 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court vested corporations with the same legal protections as other individuals when speaking on political issues. In the infamous Citizens United decision of 2010, the court elevated the protection due corporate political speech, shielding corporate expenditures for that purpose under the First Amendment. Maligned by the left for largely valid reasons, Citizens United has empowered Big Oil, utility companies and other deep-pocket industries to boost politicians like DeSantis, who symbiotically protect their corporate profits instead of protecting constituents worried about climate, even as Florida's coasts sink visibly around them.
Fabiola CineasFor decades, Florida had a reputation as the state with the nation’s most outstandingly bad voting procedures and Election Day fiascos. This was the state, after all, whose chaotic recount dragged a presidential election on for five weeks in 2000, the one that lost nearly 60,000 ballots in 2004, and then destroyed a county’s physical ballots in 2016, and then had a 2018 midterms debacle that somehow led to yet another round of painfully slow statewide recounts. By the 2020 presidential election, however, Florida appeared to have worked out the kinks. Bipartisan progress on election reform in the Florida legislature over two decades rectified much of the chaos by expanding voting options and standardizing equipment across the state. More than 11 million Florida voters — or about 77 percent of those registered — cast a ballot in 2020, with millions voting early or by mail, and the state went on to smoothly and quickly tally votes as others looked on with envy. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) publicly bragged about the state’s successful tabulation — “The way Florida did it, I think inspired confidence. I think that’s how elections should be run,” he said at the time — which is why he sent voting rights and election security experts and activists reeling last week when he signed a bill creating an elections police force to curb alleged election crimes and irregularities.
Jeffrey Toobin Calls Supreme Court Opinion Leak ‘Shattering,’ Doubts If the ‘Institution Is Going to Recover’Kipp JonesCNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called the leak of a purported decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. v. Wade “shattering,” and wondered if the institution would ever recover from it. POLITICO shared what it reported was a leaked draft order authored by Justice Samuel Alito Monday evening. The letter, if accurate, demonstrates the court is set to overturn the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Alito, per POLITICO, wrote, Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences. And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division. In the reported draft order, Alito also stated, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
By Tierney Sneed, Ariane de Vogue and Joan Biskupic, CNN(CNN) In a stunning breach of Supreme Court confidentiality and secrecy, Politico has obtained what it calls a draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would strike down Roe v. Wade. The draft was circulated in early February, according to Politico. The final opinion has not been released and votes and language can change before opinions are formally released. The opinion in this case is not expected to be published until late June. CNN has not independently confirmed the document's authenticity. Politico says it has authenticated the draft. A Supreme Court spokesperson declined to comment to CNN. According to the draft, the court would overturn Roe v. Wade's holding of a federal constitutional right to an abortion. The opinion would be the most consequential abortion decision in decades and transform the landscape of women's reproductive health in America.
Aila SliscoElon Musk is under fire for allegedly supporting the "doxing" of a journalist on Twitter who criticized him. Doxing refers to the release of personal information about a person, such a home address, that could be used for targeted harassment. Musk was accused of supporting the practice Monday after weighing in on a Glenn Greenwald Twitter thread criticizing The Atlantic writer Molly Jong-Fast for calling the billionaire's complaints about "woke" censorship an example of "old, rich white men" being upset with "young people" during an MSNBC interview. After Greenwald shared an article about Jong-Fast purchasing a $5 million condo in New York City's wealthy Upper East Side neighborhood, Musk shared a SpongeBob SquarePants "Mrs. Krabs" meme. While the neighborhood has over 200,000 residents and the article shared by Greenwald did not include an explicit address as of Monday evening—although some Twitter users suggested the address was removed after Greenwald shared the article—the soon-to-be Twitter owner was slammed for the alleged doxing of Jong-Fast.
BY NATALIE COLAROSSIElon Musk slammed NBC on Monday after an anchor affiliated with the media outlet called him "petulant" and criticized the far-right of the Republican party. The Tesla CEO, who recently purchased Twitter, hit back after MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan warned that his new influence over the social media platform may amplify "neo-Nazi" voices within the GOP. "We are living through an unspeakably dangerous moment. The pro-QAnon, pro-Neo Nazi faction of the Republican party is poised to expand dramatically come the midterms...if that happens, we may look back on this as a pivotal moment, when a petulant and not-so-bright billionaire casually bought one of the most influential messaging machines and just handed it to the far-right," Hasan said on his show Sunday.
A new report says Fast X director Justin Lin was unhappy with Vin Diesel’s unprofessional behavior during filming.By Mudit ChhikaraFast X, the tenth film in the Fast & Furious franchise, recently lost its director, Justin Lin. The news came just weeks after production commenced on Fast X, with "creative differences" cited as the reason behind Lin’s abrupt exit. However, a new report alleges that Vin Diesel’s troublesome on-set behavior is the real reason Lin quit Fast X. As per Richard Johnson of the New York Daily News, a source familiar with the situation described Diesel as "difficult," before adding:
Warrant issued for Vicky White, Alabama corrections official who left jail with inmate Casey Cole WhiteCBS NewsAuthorities in Alabama announced Monday morning an arrest warrant has been issued for corrections official Vicky White after she left a detention center with suspected killer Casey Cole White on Friday. Investigators say the two aren't related, and Lauderdale County Sheriff Rick Singleton said authorities are investigating whether Vicky White was a willing participant in the escape. "We have had a warrant issued for director Vicky White," Singleton announced Monday at a press conference. "The charges are permitting or facilitating escape in the first degree." Casey White, 38, had been jailed on a capital murder charge in the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence, Alabama, about 75 miles west of Huntsville. He is 6 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs approximately 260 pounds and has brown hair and hazel eyes, according to authorities.
Ryan BortThe Republican National Committee has been trying to prevent the Jan. 6 committee from getting hold of RNC email and fundraising data, as well as similar data from former President Trump’s reelection campaign. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly ruled on Sunday that communications company Salesforce will have to turn it all over to the panel. “House Defendants are not seeking, and Salesforce is not producing, any disaggregated information about any of the RNC’s donors, volunteers, or email recipients, including any person’s personally identifiable information,” Kelly wrote in his opinion.
Rick Rouan, USA TODAY - 32m agoEx-Defense Secretary Mark Esper's memoir, once the subject of a lawsuit against the Pentagon, will hit bookshelves next week with new revelations about his time in former President Donald Trump's administration. Esper claims in the book that Trump asked him if they could shoot protesters who had gathered around the White House after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, Axios first reported on Monday. "Can't you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something," Trump said, according to the Axios report on Esper's book. The book is to be released May 10. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning. The memoir, "A Sacred Oath," is the latest in a flurry of books about the Trump administration. Former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's memoir, "Here's the Deal," will be out May 24. Axios reported Monday that Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will release his book Aug. 8.
By David Edwards | Raw StoryABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl clashed with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) on Sunday over House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's lies about Jan. 6. During a panel discussion on ABC, Christie argued that reports claiming McCarthy called for then-President Donald Trump to resign after Jan. 6 were untrue. According to Christie, McCarthy said that the resignation should only occur if the Senate had the votes to convict Trump. But Karl insisted that the words McCarthy said about Trump had been accurately reported. "I have to say, with all due respect, Gov. Christie, I don't think you're characterizing what was on that tape accurately," Karl said. "There's no way to listen to that tape and think that Kevin McCarthy told the truth. That tape, you hear Kevin McCarthy saying I've had it with that guy, referring to Donald Trump." "You hear Kevin McCarthy say he's going to call Donald Trump and his recommendation would be that he resign," he insisted. Christie disagreed but Karl refused to back down.
Peter WeberTexas Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) 10-day-long "enhanced" inspections of commercial trucks enter the state from Mexico may have cost Texas $4.2 billion in economic damage, as estimated by Waco-based Perryman Group, but it's been great for business in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, a border crossing just across state lines from El Paso. Trucks were re-routed through Santa Teresa when Abbott's inspections snarled commercial traffic at Texas border crossings, and now Mexico has decided to move a long-planned trade railway connection worth billions of dollars from Texas to the New Mexico crossing, The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday. "We're now not going to use Texas," Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier said. "We can't leave all the eggs in one basket and be hostages to someone who wants to use trade as a political tool." Clouthier made her announcement in Mexico City on Thursday, a day before Abbott said he will be transferring another $500 million from other Texas agencies to finance his broader state border initiative, Operation Lone Star, which is already costing Texans more than $2 billion a year.
Ron DeSantis' war on Disney has bondholders panicked over who's responsible for $1 billion in debt: reportBy Tom Boggioni | Raw StoryThe Wall Street Journal is reporting that a decision by the Republican-led legislature in Floria -- at the behest of Gov. Ron DeSantis -- to strip the Disney Company of its special taxing privileges has bondholders in a frenzy over who will be responsible for approximately $1 billion in debt payments. The Disney bill, signed by the governor in retaliation after the media titan criticized his so-called "Don't say gay" bill, leaves the future of the special taxing district known as Reedy Creek up in the air -- and that has anxious investors asking questions. Withn the report stating, "Florida law dictates the bondholders must be paid," the Journal's Heather Giller wrote, "Those caught up in the fight include municipal bond investors, firefighters, and the $210 billion global media and marketing enterprise behind Star Wars, the Avengers and ESPN." With investors asking, who will be held accountable for repaying nearly $1 billion in municipal debt used to build the infrastructure surrounding the massive Disney World theme park, the Journal is reporting, "One of the bill’s sponsors is now considering re-establishing a watered-down version of Reedy Creek to unwind the legal mess. "
“Biden to teachers: ‘They're not somebody else's children. They're yours when you're in the classroom.’”RNC tweets distortion of what Biden said to teachers about kids in their classroomsBy Samantha Putterman April 28, 2022The claim makes it sound like Biden was saying that kids belong to teachers and that teachers can ignore parents' wishes. But that misrepresents Biden’s comments by omitting words and context. The full quote includes him telling teachers students are “like” their children. His surrounding comments show that Biden was talking about the successful education of American children.
By FARNOUSH AMIRI, Associated Press - 44m agoWASHINGTON (AP) — Rioters who smashed their way into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, succeeded — at least temporarily — in delaying the certification of Joe Biden’s election to the White House. Hours before, Rep. Jim Jordan had been trying to achieve the same thing. Texting with then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, a close ally and friend, at nearly midnight on Jan. 5, Jordan offered a legal rationale for what President Donald Trump was publicly demanding — that Vice President Mike Pence, in his ceremonial role presiding over the electoral count, somehow assert the authority to reject electors from Biden-won states. Pence “should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all,” Jordan wrote. "I have pushed for this," Meadows replied. “Not sure it is going to happen.” The text exchange, revealed in a court filing from the congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot, is in a batch of startling evidence that shows the deep involvement of some House Republicans in Trump’s desperate attempt to stay in power. The evidence provides new details about how, long before the attack on the Capitol unfolded, several GOP lawmakers were participating directly in Trump's campaign to reverse the results of a free and fair election.
Tucker Carlson privately mocked Trump and declined a phone call from the former president to his Fox News show: reportKatherine Tangalakis-LippertDespite promoting Donald Trump's platform issues on his prime time television show, Fox News host Tucker Carlson privately mocked the former president, according to reporting by The New York Times. Carlson, who has topped ratings charts with his inflammatory rhetoric surrounding immigration, white supremacy and replacement theory, has some connection to Trump, though the nature of their relationship is unknown. Carlson has, on occasion, criticized Trump and his policies, despite generally promoting his presidency on prime time.
Is Fox News and Tucker Carlson grooming white supremacist, domestic terrorist and insurrectionist?NY Times Drops Massive Tucker Carlson Investigation Declaring Program ‘Most Racist Show In The History Of Cable News’Tommy ChristopherThe New York Times dropped a massive three-part investigative report into Tucker Carlson that declares his Fox News program “the most racist show in the history of cable news.” The deep-dive story by reporter Nick Confessore was published Saturday morning, and details — in the headline’s words — “How Tucker Carlson Stoked White Fear to Conquer Cable.” In one section, Confessore — a Times reporter and MSNBC contributor — describes a meeting with Rupert Murdoch after Carlson weathered controversy over his remark that undocumented immigrants are making America “poorer and dirtier and more divided.” Mr. Murdoch, Confessore reports, did not exactly discourage Carlson, and the show’s similar themes and ratings flourished thereafter:
Outrage erupts over anti-Semitic evangelical having the chutzpah to declare he would lead Holocaust march at AuschwitzBy Bob Brigham | Raw StoryFormer Donald Trump evangelical advisor Dr. Michael D. Evans created a stir when he announced he would be leading a "March of the Living" from Auschwitz to Birkenau in Poland to commemorate Yom HaShoah, a Holocaust Remembrance Day. Writing in Religion Dispatches, Ben Lorber and Aidan Orly wrote "progressive Jewish activists such as ourselves have long expressed discomfort over the nationalist, militarist version of Holocaust memory on display at the March of the Living. This year, however, we were doubly concerned when headlines briefly declared that prominent Christian Zionist leader and antisemite Mike Evans would be leading the march."
By Bob Brigham | Raw StoryWisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) caved to public pressure from Donald Trump and his supporters and extended the state's controversial audit of the 2020 election, but the man tasked with the review shared the stage with some of the speaker's biggest critics on Saturday. "Michael Gableman got a reprieve a few days ago, when Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced the former state Supreme Court justice could continue his taxpayer-funded review of the 2020 election that was supposed to end in April. On Saturday, Gableman responded by appearing on a stage with some of the Republican speaker’s most vocal critics on the right, including Vos’ primary opponent," Patrick Marley reported for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Musk is wrong actions and words have consequences if you violate the terms of service then you should be banned.Sam TabahritiElon Musk is dismayed that former president Donald Trump is still barred from Twitter, people who recently spoke to the tech mogul told the WSJ. Ever since Tesla and SpaceX's CEO made an offer to buy Twitter for $44 billion, which the company's board accepted on April 25, banned individuals have already asked when they would get their accounts back. Trump, however, said in an interview with Fox News that he won't be returning to Twitter. Instead, he would join his own new social network, TRUTH social. He said: "I hope Elon buys Twitter because he'll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH."
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN(CNN) Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin appears to be taking sides in the bitter Republican primary in his home state of West Virginia that pits US Rep. David McKinley against Trump-backed Rep. Alex Mooney. In a 30-second video ad released Friday, Manchin says: "Alex Mooney has proven he's all about Alex Mooney. But West Virginians know David McKinley is all about us." McKinley and Mooney are facing off in the May 10 Republican primary for West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District after the state lost a seat in redistricting following the 2020 census. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Mooney last year after he voted against a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, which was a key part of President Joe Biden's economic agenda. McKinley voted for the infrastructure package, which Biden later signed into law.
By Ashley Remkus | email@example.comAs federal, state and local authorities continue investigating the disappearance of Alabama corrections officer Vicky White and capital murder suspect Casey Cole White, the Lauderdale County sheriff says the evidence is suggesting she helped the prisoner escape. “The question is: did she do so willingly or was she coerced into doing it by inmate White by threatening her and/or her family or other means,” the Lauderdale County sheriff’s office said in a statement to news outlets on Saturday afternoon. Vicky White, an assistant director of corrections at the Lauderdale County jail, and Casey Cole White, a man who was incarcerated on capital murder charges, have been missing since they left the jail Friday morning at 9:41 a.m. The two are not related.
Robbie GriffithsPresident Joe Biden addressed the White House Correspondents' Association on Saturday night, the first time a president has spoken at the event in six years. The event was cancelled during the pandemic, and former president Donald Trump shunned the event while he was in office. The president joked about criticism he has faced in his first 15 months in power, and the press, the opposition, and Trump. "Just imagine if my predecessor came to this dinner this year" the president said. "Now that would really have been a real coup." Biden joked to the media: "I'm really excited to be here tonight with the only group of Americans with a lower approval rating than I have". He also made light of the "Let's Go Brandon" slogan, which is used by opposition to swear at the president. "Republicans seem to support one fella, some guy named Brandon," Biden said. "He's having a really good year. I'm happy for him."
Why do some Americans continue to honor traitorsMembers of the Sons of Confederate Veterans were met by counterprotesters - the two sides separated by a fence - during a rally to mark Confederate Memorial Day at Stone Mountain Park on Saturday, April 30, 2022.
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