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StephCast F 7-12-24

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SM Happy Hour VideoCast with Kimberley Johnson & Trae Crowder – 7-12-24

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Biden campaign lays out path forward to staff in internal memo

Write writing letter pen paper
Write writing letter pen paper

President Joe Biden’s campaign Thursday laid out what it views as its path to victory in an internal memo as the Democratic Party convulses over the fallout from his shocking debate last month.

The memo, obtained by ABC News, is from campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon and campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez, who said that Biden’s “clearest pathway” to victory runs through the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, though it insists that states such as Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina aren’t “out of reach.”

Still, the two campaign leaders conceded that “movement” after the debate is “real” but “not a sea-change in the state of the race.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Trump asks judge to toss out guilty verdict in hush money case after Supreme Court decision

Trump Mug Shot
Trump Mug Shot

Former President Donald Trump has asked a state court judge to toss out his criminal conviction in New York, pointing to the Supreme Court’s recent immunity decision that outlines when a former president must be shielded from prosecution.

While the effort to toss out the jury’s verdict likely faces an uphill battle with Judge Juan Merchan, the last-ditch bid already succeeded in getting Trump’s sentencing date postponed.

Sentencing had been scheduled for Thursday but was delayed by Merchan last week to allow him more time to consider legal briefing on the immunity question from both sides. Prosecutors are expected to respond to the latest filing by July 24, and that sentencing is currently set for Sept. 18.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

More Democrats call on Biden to step aside from 2024 race after his news conference

democrat democratic donkey DNC
democrat democratic donkey

At least three more House Democrats called on President Joe Biden to withdraw from the presidential race Thursday after his first solo news conference in months following the NATO summit.

Even though Biden’s team felt optimistic about his performance, it remained unclear whether he did enough to repair the damage with members of his party who worry he no longer has what it takes to defeat Donald Trump and be effective for another four years.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., praised Biden as “a remarkable leader of unparalleled public service” but said it’s time to go.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

‘I’m in good shape’: Biden takes questions about his mental and physical fitness

President Joe Biden Speech
President Joe Biden Speech

President Joe Biden vigorously defended his fitness for office in a high-stakes press conference Thursday evening, fielding several questions about his age and calls for him to step aside.

“I think I’m the most qualified person to run for president,” he said, adding that he believes he is the best candidate to beat former President Donald Trump in November. “I beat him once, and I will beat him again.”

Early in the press conference, in a moment that was immediately seized on by his opponent Donald Trump, he flubbed the name of Vice President Kamala Harris.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast Th 7-11-24

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Fake electors get tapped as GOP convention delegates

republican elephant GOP
republican elephant GOP

Seven battleground states are sending fake electors and others who worked to upend the 2020 election results to represent their state parties at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, where they will officially anoint Donald Trump as their presidential nominee.

The fake electors and other election deniers identified by CNN include several who are currently facing criminal charges for their efforts in helping Trump try to overturn Joe Biden’s 2020 victory. They hail from the states that were central to that plot last presidential cycle: Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico and Wisconsin, according to lists published by state parties and other documents obtained by CNN.

They’ve been selected to serve as national committee members, delegates or alternates with one clear task: Make Trump’s nomination official.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

George Clooney, who co-hosted recent Biden fundraiser, says president should step aside in 2024 election

newspaper
newspaper

Actor George Clooney, who just weeks ago hosted a fundraiser for President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign, called for the president to exit the 2024 race in a New York Times op-ed published Wednesday.

“I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him. Believe in his character. Believe in his morals. In the last four years, he’s won many of the battles he’s faced,” Clooney wrote.

“But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can. It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal’ Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Ocasio-Cortez introduces impeachment articles against Supreme Court’s Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito

AOC Alexandra Ocasio Cortez
AOC Alexandra Ocasio Cortez

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York introduced articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito on Wednesday, ramping up Democrats’ disapproval of the high court in the wake of ethics issues and a spate of major decisions at the close of its latest term. 

It is all but certain that the resolutions will die in the Republican-controlled House, where GOP lawmakers have accused Democrats of mounting a campaign to undermine the court’s legitimacy in response to rulings on abortion, guns and presidential power they dislike. Still, the move by Ocasio-Cortez escalates Democrats’ scrutiny of the high court’s conservative justices, who hold six of the nine seats. The Supreme Court did not immediately return a request for comment.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Here’s how to watch Biden’s news conference Thursday as he tries to quiet doubts after the debate

speech microphone
speech microphone

President Joe Biden will hold a news conference Thursday, the key event in a monumental week during which the Democratic incumbent is fending off calls for him to step aside as the party’s presumptive nominee following a shaky debate performance.

It’s just the type of event that many political watchers have said Biden needs to pull off successfully to turn back demands — including from within his own party — that he withdraw from his reelection battle against presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Biden has argued that he had a singularly bad night in Atlanta and that it wasn’t representative of his mental acuity. A strong performance Thursday could convince members of his party that he still has the ability both to win in November and to serve a second term. A weak effort — or stumbles similar to his debate performances — could make the calls for him to withdraw grow much louder.

Read the rest of the story at the AP

StephCast W 7-10-24

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Biden saw a drop in the polls post debate, but there might be hope on the horizon

graph poll
graph poll

A growing number of Democratic lawmakers are voicing their concerns that President Joe Biden’s poor public approval ratings will hurt the party’s prospects for retaining the Senate, which they control by a 51-49 majority, and winning back the House, where Republicans have a 219-213 majority.

Biden faces a critical week as he tries to shore up a campaign on defense since a shaky June 27 debate against Republican Donald Trump in Atlanta, which raised questions about his ability to do the job for another four years.

According to an exclusive USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, the former president edged ahead of Biden 41% to 38% in one survey conducted immediately after the debate.

Read the rest of the story at USA Today

Biden, on Call With Mayors, Works to Shore Up Democratic Support

Joe Biden Aviator Sunglasses
Joe Biden Aviator Sunglasses

President Biden held a video call with nearly 200 Democratic mayors on Tuesday night, reiterating that he was staying in the presidential race, reminding the city leaders how best to support his campaign and discussing his second-term agenda.

Mr. Biden, his campaign and the White House have been working to dismiss and defuse Democratic criticisms about his viability after his poor debate showing. Those efforts included a gathering of Democratic governors last week at the White House, a television interview with ABC News two days later and calls on Monday to top donors, congressional leaders and a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Congressional Democrats meet amid simmering concerns over Biden reelection

Capitol Washington DC
Capitol Washington DC

Democrats in Congress met Tuesday as lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill this week for the first time following President Biden’s calamitous debate last month, which has prompted concern among the party about the path forward and calls for Mr. Biden to drop out of the 2024 presidential race. 

During what’s shaping to be a critical week in Mr. Biden’s effort to remain in the presidential race, House Democrats met behind closed doors on Tuesday to privately debate his place at the top of the ticket.

The meeting, which took place at Democrats’ campaign headquarters, outside of the Capitol, lasted for nearly two hours, with members taking two-minute turns to speak. The discussion, described by Democrats as a “listening session,” seemed to mirror the larger public discourse around the president in recent days, with some Democrats affirming their support for Mr. Biden, while others called for him to step aside, and scores others saying they’d reserve judgment until they saw more of the president in public.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Biden launches NATO summit by pledging new air defense support for Ukraine

NATO
Nato

Eager to turn the page from questions about his mental fitness, President Joe Biden on Tuesday officially opened NATO’s Washington Summit by announcing what he called a “historic donation” of critical new air defense capabilities to bolster Ukraine’s fight against Russia.

“Putin wants nothing less — nothing less than Ukraine’s total subjugation, to end Ukraine’s democracy, to destroy Ukraine’s culture and to wipe Ukraine off the map and we know Putin won’t stop at Ukraine,” Biden declared. “But make no mistake Ukraine can and will stop Putin.”

The commitments Biden outlined include four Patriot anti-missile batteries; the U.S., Germany and Romania will supply one each, and the fourth will be cobbled together from components provided by the Netherland and other NATO members, according to a statement from the countries.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

StephCast T 7-9-24

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RNC committee adopts GOP’s 2024 policy platform — including on abortion

republican elephant GOP
republican elephant GOP

The Republican National Committee’s platform committee adopted a new GOP platform on Monday — and it softens language on the issue of abortion, marking a shift in the party’s stance to more closely align with the views of former President Donald Trump.

The platform says that Republicans “will oppose Late Term Abortion while supporting mothers and policies that advance Prenatal Care, access to Birth Control, and IVF (fertility treatments),” according to the document obtained by ABC News.

The 2024’s brief section on abortion also states that the GOP “believes” that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution “guarantees that no person can be denied Life or Liberty without Due Process and that the States are, therefore, free to pass Laws protecting those Rights” – bolstering Trump’s view that the issue should be determined at the state level. That’s a change from the GOP’s 2016 and 2020 platforms that supported legislation that would have imposed a 20-week federal abortion ban — language that Trump ran on both cycles.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Biden sends defiant letter to Democrats says time to end questions, come together

President Joe Biden in front of White House
President Joe Biden in front of White House

In a lengthy letter to Democrats, President Joe Biden on Monday says it is time for the party to come together so it can have the best chance at beating Donald Trump.

“The question of how to move forward has been well-aired for over a week now. And it’s time for it to end,” Biden says. “We have one job. And that is to beat Donald Trump. We have 42 days to the Democratic Convention and 119 days to the general election. Any weakening of resolve or lack of clarity about the task ahead only helps Trump and hurts us. It is time to come together, move forward as a unified party, and defeat Donald Trump.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

White House doctor offers explanation for Parkinson’s expert’s visits

The White House Washington DC
The White House Washington DC

In a letter released late Monday night by the president’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, he confirmed that Dr. Kevin Cannard, the Parkinson’s expert who visited the White House eight times in an eight-month span, “was the neurological specialist that examined President Biden for each of his annual physicals.”

Canard’s visits to the White House don’t represent examinations of the president, according to O’Connor’s letter. Cannard is involved in a range of care for others beyond the president at the White House, O’Connor said in his note.

“Prior to the pandemic, and following its end, [Cannard] has held regular Neurology clinics at the White House Medical Clinic in support of the thousands of active-duty members assigned in support of White House operations,” his letter reads. “Many military personnel experience neurological issues related to their service, and Dr. Canard regularly visits the WHMU as part of this General Neurology Practice.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Ahead Of Key Meeting, Many House Democrats Still Ridin’ With Biden

Capitol Washington DC
Capitol Washington DC

Skeptics of President Joe Biden and his ability to weather a tough presidential campaign ahead may be getting the spotlight, but the president on Monday retained the trust of many House Democrats, including in key parts of the party.

House Democrats are set to have their weekly party meeting Tuesday morning, their first since the June 27 debate and a week’s worth of cleanup and attempts at reassurance by Biden since.

Unlike most of the weekly gatherings, this one will take place off the U.S. Capitol campus and, in an unusual move, members have been warned they will have to give up their phones at the start, presumably to lessen the chances of live leaking to reporters.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Charlie Pierce: Get a Load of This Proposal to Replace Biden on the Democratic Ticket

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

The news site Semafor got hold of a memo containing a proposal for how the Democratic party should select its replacement candidate should the president decide to leave the race. Believe me when I tell you this: You could put the Ringling Brothers, Barnum, and Bailey to work on the problem and they couldn’t come up with a bigger circus than the one proposed in this memo. Just reading it made me long for the days of the smoke-filled hotel room, and it had me burning incense and chanting in order to commune with the spirit of Mark Hanna.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

StephCast M 7-8-24

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Schiff says Biden has to ‘win overwhelmingly’ or pass the torch, adds VP Harris could win against Trump

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Sunday said Vice President Kamala Harris could “overwhelmingly” win against former President Donald Trump but that President Joe Biden must decide whether he will remain in the race as the Democratic Party’s nominee amid backlash over his disastrous debate performance.

Asked about polling that showed Harris outperforming Trump if she replaced Biden, Schiff said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that he thought she would be a “phenomenal president.”

“I think she has the experience, the judgment, the leadership ability to be an extraordinary president,” Schiff told moderator Kristen Welker.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Senior House Democrats tell Jeffries they’re privately calling for Biden to step aside: Sources

US Capitol Washington DC
US Capitol Washington DC

At least four senior House Democrats told House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries on Sunday that they are calling on President Joe Biden to step down from the presidential race, according to several sources with knowledge of the discussion on the private call.

Reps. Jerry Nadler, Mark Takano, Joe Morelle and Adam Smith stated Biden should step aside and no longer continue his campaign, sources told ABC News.

This is notable — it means the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, the ranking member of Veteran Affairs, the highest Democrat on the Administration Committee and the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee have privately conveyed Biden should step aside.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Beryl strengthens to Category 1 hurricane, expected to make landfall in Texas

Beryl strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Sunday night, ahead of its anticipated arrival on the Texas coast, where it could bring a life-threatening storm surge and strong winds, U.S. forecasters said.

The storm’s maximum sustained winds increased to 75 mph late Sunday, upgrading it from its status as a tropical storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, citing National Weather Service radar and reports from an Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft.

Beryl was about 65 miles south-southeast of Matagorda, Texas, and moving north-northwest at 10 mph, according to an 11 p.m. local time update from the hurricane center.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

France’s left-wing parties projected to finish first in parliamentary elections, keeping far right at bay

France French Flag
France French Flag

A tense alliance between France’s centrist and leftist parties has kept the far-right National Rally party at bay, according to exit polls, with Prime Minister Gabriel Attal set to resign.

In a surprising upset for the far right, a bloc of left-wing parties is projected to finish first, while President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance is predicted to come in second. Polling agencies suggest National Rally, known in France as RN, is set to come in third, despite having swept to victory after the first round of voting last weekend and polling highest among the parties.

Voter turnout was the highest in decades at 67.1%, and official resultsare expected early Monday.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

The Rude Pundit: The Supreme Court Launches an Attack on the United States… Democrats Need to Fire Back

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

I’ve been thinking about all the things that got us to this point, where the conservative super-majority on the Supreme Court felt free to overturn a 40-year precedent that allowed the government to actually function efficiently and then, in the same week, was just fucking fine in giving a president “absolute immunity” to commit crimes as long as they fall within “official” duties. And let’s be honest: They were giving Donald Trump and Republicans that pass. If a Democratic president had farted too loudly, this court would have found a way to have them executed immediately, and so it would be in the future. 

But it wasn’t one thing that got us here. It wasn’t just the 2016 election debacle. Yes, you can fucking despise everyone who prevented Hillary Clinton from winning, from Trump voters to the New York Times to James Comey to Bernie Sanders’ voters to Susan Sarandon, but it wasn’t just 2016. You gotta go back. It was when Senator Joe Biden wanted to play nice with Republicans and allowed Clarence Thomas’s nomination to get out of the Judiciary Committee he chaired.

Read the rest of The Rude Pundit’s piece at his blog…

StephCast W 7-3-24

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SM Happy Hour Videocast with Harry Litman & Gen. Russel Honore – 7-5-24

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Malcolm Nance: Terrified?! Time to Fight the Dictatorship

Malcolm Nance
Malcolm Nance

In Common Sense, Thomas Pain wrote, “These times that try men’s souls …”  This statement reflects at least 81 million Americans’ feelings today.  We are physically sick, bewildered, and despondent that American Democracy is ending without a fight. Donald Trump being held accountable led to a political backlash by a Supreme Court that decided they were officially the MAGA Court.  Trump bragged that he bought the court and that they owed him; the threats, personal pressure, corruption, and conniving finally paid off.  They not only ended every case against him, but they armed him with the tools to be the first successful American dictator. 

To quote the brilliant Mel Brooks in the movie The Producers, “It’s enough to make ya heave.”

Read the rest of Malcolm Nance’s piece at and subscribe to his Substack

Obama shares concerns after shaky debate, offers Biden his advice

Former president Barack Obama has privately told allies who have reached out to him that President Biden’s already-tough path to reelection grew more challenging after his shaky debate performance on Thursday — a harsher assessment of the presidential race than his public comments, according to several people familiar with his remarks.

Obama separately spoke directly with Biden by phone after last Thursday’s debate to offer his support as a sounding board and private counselor for his embattled former vice president, the people said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. It is unclear how directly Obama addressed Biden’s performance and his path to reelection on the call.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

President Joe Biden to sit down with ABC News on Friday for first TV interview since debate

ABC Television News Logo
ABC Television News Logo

President Joe Biden will sit down with ABC News on Friday for his first television interview since last week’s presidential debate.

The president’s poor performance in the debate has garnered calls for him to drop out of the race by politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Biden will speak to “Good Morning America” and “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos for the interview. A first look will air on the Friday, July 5, edition of “World News Tonight with David Muir” with portions airing on Saturday and Sunday on “Good Morning America.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Biden blames international travel for poor debate performance, says he nearly ‘fell asleep on stage’

President Joe Biden in front of White House
President Joe Biden in front of White House

At a campaign fundraiser in McLean, Virginia, on Tuesday evening, President Joe Biden — for the first time — attributed his poor debate performance last week to the amount of foreign travel he did in June, according to notes from a small group of reporters permitted in the event.

“I decided to travel around the world a couple of times,” Biden said, referring to recent trips abroad, including his visit to France for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

“I didn’t listen to my staff,” he continued, adding he “came back and nearly fell asleep on stage.”

Biden said Tuesday he was sorry for his debate performance but stressed that winning the election was “critical.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Trump’s Hush Money Sentencing Delayed Until September

Golden Gavel Court
Golden Gavel Court

Former President Donald Trump’s hush money sentencing will be delayed until September after his request to throw out his conviction.

Judge Juan Merchan set a new sentencing date of Sept. 18, according to a Tuesday court filing. Trump was initially going to be sentenced July 11.

The delay comes after Trump’s attorneys wrote a letter to Merchan asking that his conviction be thrown out. That last-ditch effort to wriggle out of accountability comes after the Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision Monday that Trump has full immunity for “official acts” he took as president.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

StephCast T 7-2-24

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Top Biden Officials Seek to Calm Donors: ‘Breathe Through the Nose’

Joe Biden Aviator Sunglasses
Joe Biden Aviator Sunglasses

President Biden’s top campaign brass on Monday tried to tamp down the panic that had captured his financial base in the campaign’s most formal outreach yet to its wealthiest supporters after last week’s damaging debate.

In a Zoom audio call on Monday with about 500 members of the campaign’s National Finance Committee and some other contributors, some of the Biden campaign’s most senior officials, including the chair Jen O’Malley Dillon, the deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks and the pollster Molly Murphy, presided for an hour.

“Everyone just needs to breathe through the nose for minute,” Chris Korge, the finance chair of the Democratic National Committee, said toward the end of the call. The New York Times was connected to the call by an authorized participant.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Steve Bannon reports to prison for contempt of Congress sentence

Steve Bannon
Steve bannon

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon surrendered on Monday to law enforcement to begin his four-month prison sentence for contempt of Congress.

He entered the Federal Correctional Institute Danbury, in Danbury, Connecticut, shortly before noon to begin serving his sentence.

The Supreme Court had on Friday denied Bannon’s request to remain out of prison during the appeals process after he filed an emergency appeal on Friday with the high court.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Trump seeks to postpone sentencing and set aside verdict in his hush money trial after the Supreme Court’s immunity ruling

Donald Trump NYC Courtroom
Donald Trump NYC Courtroom

Attorneys for Donald Trump indicated in a letter to the presiding judge in the former president’s hush money case that they want him to postpone sentencing and set aside the trial verdict following the Supreme Court’s presidential immunity ruling Monday.

The lawyers said they want to brief New York state Judge Juan Merchan on the relevance of the high court’s immunity decision and an argument that the decision confirmed that the Manhattan district attorney should not have been able to offer evidence at trial concerning Trump’s official acts as president.

Trump’s attorneys are seeking to throw out his conviction 34 felony counts of falsifying business records and postpone next week’s sentencing, according to two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

‘I dissent’: Biden attacks Supreme Court immunity ruling as emboldening a lawless president

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

President Joe Biden called the Supreme Court decision Monday providing some immunity for Donald Trump in his criminal election interference case “a terrible disservice to the people of this nation.”

“This nation was founded on the principle that there are no kings in America. Each, each of us is equal before the law. No one, no one is above the law, not even the president of the United States. [With] today’s Supreme Court decision on presidential immunity, that fundamentally changed for all practical purposes,” Biden said.

Biden said the decision means there are now “virtually no limits on what the president can do,” a sentiment that echoed the dissents written by the liberal justices on the court.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: We’re Going To Have To Talk About President Joe Biden, Candidate

As reluctant as I am to join the general scrum that resulted from the president’s desultory performance in last Thursday’s debate, the shebeen does have certain public responsibilities. However, let me say that rarely has my profession behaved so badly, and rarely has my low opinion of the Democratic Party’s essential backbone been so thoroughly justified. Exhibit A on Point One: on his way to a fundraiser in the Hamptons, the president was greeted by six people carrying signs urging him to resign. Within minutes, at least five respected members of the political media—and you know who you are—leaped on to the Xwitter machine to share a picture of these pasty jamokes like their presence meant something.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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StephCast F 6-28-24

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SM Happy Hour VideoCast with Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) & Noel Casler

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5 takeaways from striking Biden-Trump presidential debate

democrat republican debate
democrat republican debate

President Joe Biden delivered a halting performance in Thursday’s debate with former President Donald Trump — raising new questions about his future in an event largely viewed as a test of the two candidates’ fitness for office.

The two debated a slate of policies on stage in Atlanta, though little new ground was broken. Much of the focus was instead on how the 81-year-old president and his 78-year-old predecessor would handle another four years in the Oval Office — with Democrats left worrying about Biden’s performance.

Here are five takeaways from Thursday night’s clash.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Biden falters in high-stakes debate, Trump spews falsehoods

Trump and Biden
Trump and Biden

In a historic clash of personality and policy, Joe Biden and Donald Trump took the stage for the first presidential debate of the 2024 election.

The showdown provided a rare opportunity for both candidates to move the needle in what has been a stubbornly tight race for the White House, but at the end of the night, Biden’s halting performance raised new concerns among Democrats and cause Republicans to celebrate.

The debate was a rematch for Biden and Trump, who faced each other twice in 2020, but a first-of-its-kind format and a vastly different political landscape presented new challenges for the two rivals.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

‘Total Nonsense’ And ‘Pure Fiction’: CNN Fact-Checker Exposes Trump’s False Debate Claims

Green Fact Check
Green Fact Check

CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale offered a breathless breakdown of the misleading claims and false statements that Donald Trump made during his first 2024 presidential debate with President Joe Biden, which the network hosted in Atlanta on Thursday.

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee’s list of false claims is “way, way longer” than the president’s, Dale noted before reeling off and then debunking the many, many falsehoods uttered by Trump.

Dale, during his near-3-minute segment, described Trump’s claim that Biden wants to quadruple people’s taxes as “pure fiction” and said his line about Biden only creating jobs for “illegal immigrants” was “total nonsense.”

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Former Uvalde school district police chief charged with child endangerment after shooting that killed 21

blue light police siren

The former school district police chief in Uvalde, Texas, who oversaw the response to the 2022 elementary school shooting that killed 21 people, including 19 children, was arrested on a child endangerment charge, an official at the Uvalde jail said Thursday.

Pete Arredondo, 52, was taken in by law enforcement officers and is accused of abandoning and endangering a child, the jail official said.

The charge was first reported by the San Antonio Express-News.

The Uvalde jail official confirmed Arredondo was being booked into the facility Thursday afternoon. Uvalde County Sheriff Ruben Nolasco said Thursday night that Arredondo was released on bond.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Glenn Kirschner: The unmistakable evidence that Judge Cannon is unfit for Trump’s classified docs case

Each new development in Donald Trump’s federal criminal case in Florida makes it increasingly clear that the impartiality of presiding Judge Aileen Cannon might, as federal law puts it, “reasonably be questioned.” That’s important because the same statute — 28 U.S. Code Section 455 — provides that when a judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned, the judge “shall disqualify” herself from the case. It’s time for a fair, impartial and independent judge to assume responsibility for this case.

There is a virtual mountain of evidence in the Florida case in favor of Cannon’s removal. Even before the case commenced, when Trump complained in a court about the FBI seizing his stuff, Cannon ordered the Justice Department to stop investigating the classified documents that were retrieved from Trump, despite them being seized under a lawfully issued search warrant. She then appointed a special master to review the evidence the FBI had taken, bringing the investigation to a grinding halt. 

Read the rest of Glenn Kirschner’s piece at MSNBC

StephCast Th 6-27-24

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POLITICS Trump and Biden’s first presidential debate of 2024 is today. Here’s what to know.

Trump and Biden
Trump and Biden

President Biden and former President Donald Trump will participate in the first presidential debate of the 2024 election on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. 

The debate, hosted by CNN, will be the first time either candidate has been on a debate stage since 2020. The debate will also be simulcast on other networks, including CBS and CBS News 24/7 streaming.

Trump will get the final word of the night, while Mr. Biden got to choose whether he wanted the podium on the right or left side. Their microphones will be muted except when it’s their turn to speak. 

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

J.D. Vance says he’ll be disappointed if Trump doesn’t pick him as his running mate

JD Vance Ohio
JD Vance Ohio

Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio has long been considered one of Donald J. Trump’s top running mate choices and worked as hard as anyone to win the job — raising money for the campaign, speaking with a seemingly endless stream of cable news reporters and even sitting in the Manhattan courtroom with the former president to demonstrate his support.

Now, as Mr. Trump’s increasingly theatrical selection process enters its final phase, Mr. Vance acknowledged Wednesday that he would feel a tinge of dejection if he were not the pick.

“I’m human, right?” Mr. Vance said when asked about that scenario in an interview on Fox News. “So when you know this thing is a possibility, if it doesn’t happen, there is certainly going to be a little bit of disappointment.”

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Corruption Law Allows Gifts to State and Local Officials, Supreme Court Rules

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

The Supreme Court limited the sweep of a federal law on Wednesday aimed at public corruption, ruling that it did not apply to gifts and payments meant to reward actions taken by state and local officials.

The 6-to-3 ruling, which split along ideological lines, was the latest in a series of decisions cutting back federal anti-corruption laws.

Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, writing for a conservative majority, said that the question in the case was whether federal law makes it a crime for state and local officials to accept such gratuities after the fact. He wrote, “The answer is no.”

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Supreme Court acknowledges accidentally posting Idaho abortion case document that may preview narrow Biden admin win

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

The Supreme Court acknowledged Wednesday that it inadvertently posted online a document related to a pending abortion case, which Bloomberg Law obtained before it was removed from the website.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Patricia McCabe confirmed that a document was “inadvertently and briefly uploaded” to the court website but added that the ruling “has not been released.”

Bloomberg also posted a copy of the document. NBC News could not independently verify the document. It is not known whether it was a draft decision, the actual decision or neither.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Trump gag order partly lifted in hush money case ahead of first presidential debate

Donald Trump NYC Courtroom
Donald Trump NYC Courtroom

The judge who presided over Donald Trump’s hush money triallifted some of the restrictions from his gag order Tuesday.

New York state Judge Juan Merchan ruled two days before Trump isset to debate President Joe Biden for the first time in the 2024 campaign.

Merchan’s ruling lifted restrictions on Trump’s ability to comment on the witnesses who testified against him during his trial, as well as a part of the order barring him from discussing the jury that convicted him — essentially finding the witnesses’ and the jury’s work had concluded, so there was no fear of affecting the proceedings. The ruling preserved a part of the order barring Trump from going after court staff members, individual prosecutors and “family members of any counsel, staff member, the Court or the District Attorney.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Judge Cannon skeptical of Trump claim FBI mishandled Mar-a-Lago search

Florida Judge Aileen Cannon
Florida Judge Aileen Cannon

U.S. District Judge Aileen M. Cannon signaled Friday that Donald Trump’s legal team had not convinced her FBI agents offered false information to justify searching Mar-a-Lago — a potential blow to the former president’s efforts to disqualify key evidence in the classified documents case against him.

Trump’s attorneys asked Cannon to grant what is known as a Franks hearing, a chance to show that the government intentionally misled a magistrate judge when seeking a warrant to search for classified material at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s Florida home and private club, more than a year after he left office.

The defense lawyers argued, among other things, that Justice Department officials should have written on the affidavit that sitting presidents are unique because they do not require security clearances to view sensitive government information. Cannon was skeptical.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post 

Latimer ousts ‘Squad’ member Bowman in Democratic primary in New York

Vote election ballot voter
Vote election ballot voter

Westchester County Executive George Latimer resoundingly defeated Rep. Jamaal Bowman in the Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District on Tuesday night, according to an Associated Press projection, ousting a member of the far-left faction of his own party after a blistering contest that divided the candidates on race, class and the Middle East conflict and cost more than any House primary in history.

Latimer stressed unity in remarks after his victory, telling a crowd of his supporters, “this country cannot afford to splinter into little pieces.”

“Let me try to do what I can do to bring some positive results,” he said. “I have never viewed an election as a blank check from you to me. It is a promissory note from me to you.”

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

Rep. Lauren Boebert wins GOP primary after switching districts

Lauren Boebert
Lauren Boebert

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., won her GOP primary Tuesday, NBC News projects, after she decided to run in a different district from the one where she narrowly won re-election in 2022. 

Boebert defeated five other Republicans for the party’s nomination in Colorado’s 4th District, which opened up after Rep. Ken Buck announced this year that he would resign. She will be heavily favored to win the seat in the general election given the area’s rightward lean. 

Boebert, who is in her second term, eked out a 546-vote victory in the neighboring 3rd District two years ago and faced the prospect of a rematch with Adam Frisch, a well-funded Democrat. Former President Donald Trump won the 4th District by 19 points, while he carried the 3rd District by 8 points in 2020, according to calculations from Daily Kos Elections.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Trump Suggest Biden Take a Drug Test As Allies Continue Attacks Before Debate

Trump Mug Shot
Trump Mug Shot

Former President Donald Trump suggested on Monday that President Joe Biden should submit to a drug test before this week’s debate, building on his unfounded claims that his rival in the November presidential election would be “all jacked up” on illicit substances when they meet in Atlanta.

“DRUG TEST FOR CROOKED JOE BIDEN???” Trump wrote on his Truth Social media platform. “I WOULD, ALSO, IMMEDIATELY AGREE TO ONE!!!”

 

Julian Assange Agrees to Plead Guilty in Exchange for Release, Ending Standoff With U.S.

Julian Assange
Julian Assange

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, agreed to plead guilty on Monday to a single felony count of illegally obtaining and disclosing national security material in exchange for his release from a British prison, ending his long and bitter standoff with the United States.

Mr. Assange, 52, was granted his request to appear before a federal judge at one of the more remote outposts of the federal judiciary, the courthouse in Saipan, the capital of the Northern Mariana Islands, according to a brief court filing made public late Monday. He is expected to be sentenced to about five years, the equivalent of the time he has already served in Britain, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the terms of the agreement.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Inside Biden’s Camp David Debate Prep

President Joe Biden Speech
President Joe Biden Speech

At Camp David, a movie theater and an airplane hangar have been outfitted with lights and production equipment to create a mock debate stage. At least 16 current and former aides, summoned from Washington and Wilmington, whiz back and forth on golf carts to join President Biden in strategy sessions.

Mr. Biden is entering his fifth day of preparations at the presidential retreat in the woods of northern Maryland for Thursday’s debate against Donald J. Trump. Camp David has become the epicenter for an administration and campaign effort to help Mr. Biden shake off the rust that often comes with being an incumbent on the defense, and combat widespread voter concerns that he is too old to be an effective president.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

‘I don’t appreciate your tone’: Judge in Trump documents case reprimands prosecutor

Florida Judge Aileen Cannon
Florida Judge Aileen Cannon

The judge presiding over Donald Trump’s classified documents case reprimanded a prosecutor from special counsel Jack Smith’s office at a hearing Monday on a proposed gag order for the former president.

“I don’t appreciate your tone,” U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon said when attorney David Harbach appeared to get exasperated as she questioned the need to modify Trump’s conditions of release. Smith’s office has challenged those conditions over Trump’s false claims that FBI agents were prepared to kill him while they were executing a 2022 search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The tense exchange at a federal courthouse in Fort Pierce came as attorney Harbach was arguing that Cannon should bar Trump from making more inflammatory statements about FBI agents who worked on the investigation.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: It’s Unfortunately Time To Get To Know The Heritage Foundation’s ‘Project 2025’

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

Let us reanimate an old, beloved Monday feature of the shebeen that we used to call, What Are The Gobshites Saying These Days? We do so to memorialize the epochal encounter on Sunday between Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, and Symone Sanders-Townsend of MSNBC. Roberts quite openly—if not honestly—explained Heritage’s planned demolition of democratic self-government in favor of ruling by the faulty synapses of the modern conservative mind as best represented by the current presumptive presidential nominee. In short, Roberts was the very model of a modern major lickspittle. For example, when Sanders-Townsend thoroughly treed him on the subject of abortion, Roberts reverted to the dark imaginings of the cult.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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Heat wave sizzles parts of the country as floods and severe weather force people from their homes

Electricity power grid lines
Electricity power grid lines infrastructure

Little relief appears on the forecast for millions across the United States enduring record-setting heat or widespread flooding this weekend. 

The National Weather Service said Sunday that the heat wave will shift from the mid-Atlantic to portions of the southeast and southern Plains by Monday. Meanwhile, widespread storms will bring the threat of flash flooding, damaging winds and tornadoes for a second day in New England.

Elsewhere, severe storms and rainfall are on the forecast.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

‘Everything is at stake’ for reproductive rights in 2024, Harris says

Vice President Kamala Harris says “everything is at stake” with reproductive health rights in November’s election as the Biden campaign steps up its focus on contrasting the positions taken by Democratic President Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump on the issue before their debate this week.

Harris’ comments come as the campaign announced it would hold more than 50 events in battleground states and beyond to mark Monday’s second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned the federal legal right to an abortion. Biden and his allies are trying to remind voters that the landmark decision in 2022 was made by a high court that included three conservative justices nominated during Trump’s White House tenure.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

‘Look At The Evidence’: Karl Rove Drops Bad News For Trump Live On Fox News

Karl Rove
Karl Rove

Longtime Republican strategist Karl Rove delivered some bad news to Donald Trump and his supporters over the weekend.

“Take a look at the evidence,” he said on Fox News on Saturday when asked if polls have shifted since the former president’s conviction last month on 34 charges in the Stormy Daniels hush money case.

He said polls show Trump losing ground to President Joe Biden since the conviction. As a result, Trump’s modest lead over Biden has been shrinking on RealClearPolitics and other poll aggregators, and Rove predicted that Trump’s lead may be about to vanish altogether.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Trump says he knows who his vice presidential pick will be

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump said Saturday that he knows who his vice presidential pick will be — and gave a clue about his or her likely debate night plans.

Asked by NBC News at a Philadelphia campaign stop whether he has decided on his vice presidential pick, Trump responded, “In my mind, yeah,” adding that the person will “most likely” be at Thursday’s debate against President Joe Biden.

“They’ll be there,” he continued. “I think we have a lot of people coming.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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SMHH VideoCast with Fernand Amandi & Steve Marmel – 6-21-24

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Netanyahu and White House continue public disagreement over claim US withholding weapons amid Israel’s war with Hamas

Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War
Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War

The public war of words between Israel and the U.S. continued Thursday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responding pointedly to the White House after the Biden administration again denied his claim the U.S. is withholding weapons from Israel amid its fight in Gaza with Hamas.

His response came shortly after White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, in a call with reporters on Thursday, called Netanyahu’s claim “perplexing to say the least” and two days after the White House bluntly said it “genuinely didn’t know what he’s talking about.”

In a video he released earlier this week, Netanyahu claimed “the administration has been withholding weapons and ammunitions” Israel needed to fight Hamas.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Biden campaign picks right-side podium for CNN debate, Trump will have the last word

Trump and Biden
Trump and Biden

President Joe Biden won the coin toss to secure a podium position on the right side of the stage during the CNN debate next week, but by doing so gave Donald Trump the final closing statement of the 90-minute matchup.

According to CNN, the coin landed on tails — the side chosen by the Biden campaign. The team then got to choose between podium placement or the order of closing arguments, picking to have Biden be on the right side of television and other screens but deliver his closing statement first.

Trump’s podium will be on the left side, and will have the last word by delivering his closing statement after Biden.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Judge In Trump’s Documents Case Rejected Peers’ Calls To Step Aside: Report

Florida Judge Aileen Cannon
Florida Judge Aileen Cannon

U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Donald Trump appointee assigned to his classified documents case, rejected calls from more experienced judges to step aside from the case, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Two of Cannon’s more seasoned colleagues on the federal bench in Florida, including the chief judge in the state’s southern district, reportedly asked Cannon to reconsider taking on the job when she drew the assignment in June 2023. Trump nominated her for the lifetime appointment in May 2020, even though she had never served as a judge. Of the 224 cases she’s been assigned, only four have gone to trial, and all four concerned routine matters, taking up a total of 14 trial days, the Times reported when she was assigned to the incredibly high-profile case.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Supreme Court Turns Back Stealth Attack On Wealth Tax — For Now

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

The Supreme Court issued a narrow 7-2 ruling on June 20 rejecting a sweeping constitutional argument that a wealthy Washington state couple brought before them that was viewed as a stalking horse aimed at preemptively striking down a future tax on wealth.

The couple, Charles and Kathy Moore, had challenged the constitutionality of the Mandatory Repatriation Tax, which was enacted as part of Republicans’ 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The MRT imposed a one-time retroactive tax on Americans who received “undistributed” income — meaning income not distributed to them by a company — from foreign corporations in which they held more than a 10% stake. The Moores argued that the tax was unconstitutional because the 16th Amendment only authorizes taxes on income, and that the unrealized gains they received from undistributed income in foreign corporations is not income.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

The Rude Pundit: Louisiana Wants to Put a Sign About F***ing in Kindergarten Classrooms

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

The state of Louisiana, with its overwhelmingly batshit insane Republican legislature and its even more bugfuck insane Republican governor, have passed a law that requires all public-funded schools, including universities, to display the Ten Commandments in every classroom. In case you don’t know, the Ten Commandments are from the fictional book known as “The Bible.” In that epic novel, a character named Moses is given stone tablets by the character God containing ten pretty simplistic, common sense ideas, the kind of shit that fiction writers make seem way more meaningful than it actually is. I mean, c’mon, “thou shalt not kill”? No shit. Ooh, look at the big brain on God. Any fuckin’ idiot knows not to kill or steal. But, sure, let’s all pretend like this is some huge fuckin’ revelation. Oh, and only Christians and Jews give a flying fuck about what’s in this Bible thing. All other faiths and atheists can fuck off.

The law itself is completely fucking mad. This is an actual quote from the law: “At a minimum, the Ten Commandments shall be displayed on a poster or framed document that is at least eleven inches by fourteen inches. The text of the Ten Commandments shall be the central focus of the poster or framed document and shall be printed in a large, easily readable font.” There aren’t enough jacking-off gestures to make at that. 

Read the rest of The Rude Pundit’s piece at his blog…

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Trump Tries to Set Expectations, and Floats Excuses, for His Debate With Biden

Trump and Biden
Trump and Biden

A few minutes into his speech at a campaign rally on Tuesday, Donald J. Trump asked a question of the few thousand who’d turned up to hear him speak. “Is anybody going to watch the debate?”

Mr. Trump was in Racine, Wis., but it was clear his mind was in Atlanta, the site of his matchup against President Biden next week. He repeatedly mused about the potential scenarios, lowering expectations that he would dominate Mr. Biden and then, as if he couldn’t help himself, raising them again.

The expectations game is a particular challenge for the Trump campaign. Mr. Trump, 78, has spent months casting the 81-year-old Mr. Biden as a husk of a man who can barely walk or formulate complete sentences. Republicans have pumped out a stream of videos of Mr. Biden walking stiffly — some deceptively edited — that are meant to be proof of Mr. Biden’s decline.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Witness tells House Ethics Committee that Matt Gaetz paid her for sex: Sources

Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz

In recent weeks, House Ethics Committee investigators have conducted a string of interviews behind closed doors with numerous women who were witnesses in the yearslong Justice Department sex trafficking investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz, multiple sources familiar with the committee’s work tell ABC News.

Investigators have interviewed at least half a dozen women who allegedly attended parties where the Florida congressman was also present and who were paid by Joel Greenberg, Gaetz’s one-time close friend. Greenberg was sentenced in 2022 to 11 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to multiple charges including sex trafficking a minor and introducing the minor to other “adult men,” sources tell ABC News.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

White House Responds To Netanyahu’s Claim Of The U.S. Withholding Weapons From Israel

The White House on Tuesday responded to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s allegations that the Biden administration has been withholding weapons and ammunition from his country over the past few months.

“We genuinely do not know what he’s talking about,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters. “We just don’t.”

In a 49-second video posted on X, formerly Twitter, Netanyahu said he’d recently had a “candid conversation” with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, thanking him for the support the U.S. has given Israel but also airing an apparent grievance.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

New Louisiana law requires the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom

cross religion
cross religion

Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom under a bill Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed into law Wednesday.

The GOP-drafted legislation mandates that a poster-size display of the Ten Commandments in a “large, easily readable font” be in all public classrooms, from kindergarten to state-funded universities.

Opponents question the law’s constitutionality, warning that lawsuits would be likely to follow. Proponents say that the purpose of the measure is not solely religious but that it has historical significance. In the law’s language, the Ten Commandments are described as “foundational documents of our state and national government.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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North Korea’s Kim declares ‘full support’ for Russian war in Ukraine

Putin Russia
Putin Russia

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un assured Russian President Vladimir Putin of his “full support and solidarity for the Russian government, army and people” in the war in Ukraine, as the two leaders began talks in Pyongyang filled with exhortations about their “fiery friendship.”

Kim did not elaborate on what that support might look like but the remarks, reported by Russian media in Pyongyang, will fuel concerns the outcast leaders of two heavily-sanctioned states will use this visit to deepen their military partnership.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

‘I love Milwaukee’: Trump tries to make up with the ‘horrible’ city

Donald Trump went to Wisconsin on Tuesday to rail against President Joe Biden’s new immigration measures and rally the MAGA base.

But first, he had to convince them he didn’t think the state’s largest city was “horrible,” after all — and to dispute reports he planned to stay in Chicago, not the host city of Milwaukee, during the Republican National Convention there next month.

“I love Milwaukee. I was the one who picked Milwaukee,” Trump said when he took the stage for a rally in Racine, about 25 miles from Milwaukee.

Read the rest of the story at Politico

Biden Gives Legal Protections to Undocumented Spouses of U.S. Citizens

President Joe Biden Speech
President Joe Biden Speech

President Biden on Tuesday granted far-reaching new protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants who have been living in the United States illegally for years but are married to American citizens.

Under the new policy, some 500,000 undocumented spouses will be shielded from deportation and given a pathway to citizenship and the ability to work legally in the United States. It is one of the most expansive actions to protect immigrants since Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was enacted 12 years ago to protect those who came to the United States as children.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Republican senator blocks ban on bump stocks for guns brought by Democrats

Capitol Washington DC
Capitol Washington DC

Senate Democrats sought to pass legislation Tuesday banning bump stocks for firearms after the Supreme Court overruled a previous ban, but a single Republican objected on behalf of his party, effectively stalling the bill.

Backed by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., sought “unanimous consent” to pass his BUMP Actthat would prohibit the devices, which modify semi-automatic weapons to fire bullets more quickly.

The New Mexico senator said he’s a firearm owner who sees no purpose for bump stocks other than to facilitate mass shootings, as in Las Vegas in 2017, when a gunman killed dozens of people at a music festival and more than 500 people were injured.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Democrats launch summer spending blitz highlighting state legislative races

democrat democratic donkey DNC
democrat democratic donkey

The presidential election is taking up much of the political oxygen in 2024. But Democrats are urging voters not to forget the importance of state legislative races — and they’re spending big to make sure they don’t.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, the Democrats’ campaign arm for state legislative races, launched a $10 million spending blitz Monday to boost key state legislative candidates and campaigns across the country, according to plans shared first with ABC News. Dubbed the “Summer of the States” campaign, the investment marks the first time the DLCC is launching a push of this size at this point in an election cycle.

Along with the money, the campaign also includes a microsite that will feature key races to watch and spotlight candidates running in them.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

1st Biden-Trump debate will include microphone muting, coin flip and more

Biden vs Trump
Biden vs Trump

With less than two weeks until the first presidential debate, CNN announced the rules agreed on by both President Joe Biden and Donald Trump‘s campaigns.

They include microphone muting, a coin flip and more when the two candidates face off at the network’s Atlanta studio on June 27.

The debate, which is being moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, will run for approximately 90 minutes with two commercial breaks. There will be no live studio audience, one major change from debates past.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Steve Bannon won’t be spending his prison term in a ‘Club Fed’ as he had hoped, sources say

Steve Bannon
Steve bannon

When former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon goes to prison, he won’t be serving time at what’s known as a “Club Fed,” the most comfortable type of facility in the federal system, as he had wanted, according to people familiar with the arrangements.

Instead of a minimum-security prison camp, where many nonviolent offenders serve their time, Bannon – now a right-wing podcaster with a following of loyal Trump supporters – is set to report next month to the low-security federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut, one of the sources told CNN.

A federal judge ruled recently that Bannon must turn himself in by July 1 to begin serving a four-month sentence for contempt of Congress even as he appeals the case. His attorneys initially thought he may be able to do his time at a camp, the sources said.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

Netanyahu Dissolves War Cabinet After Key Partner Bolts Government, Israeli Officials Say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the influential War Cabinet that has overseen the fighting in Gaza, a government spokesperson said Monday, days after a key member of the body bolted from the government over frustration with the Israeli leader’s handling of the war.

The move was widely expected following the departure of Benny Gantz, a centrist former military chief. Gantz’s absence from the government increases Netanyahu’s dependence on his ultra-nationalist allies, who oppose a cease-fire. That could pose an additional challenge to the already fragile negotiations to end the eight-month war in Gaza.

Government officials said Netanyahu would hold smaller forums for sensitive war issues, including with his Security Cabinet, which includes far-right governing partners who oppose cease-fire deals and have voiced support for reoccupying Gaza.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Charlie Pierce: The Democrats Are Doing Self-Destructive Oversharing Again, This Time About Hunter Biden

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

This is the kind of thing that makes me crazy. Why do Democrats insist on doing this? Why can’t they simply figure out that the press is not their friends? They believe in the notion of a “liberal media” more than most Republicans do. From Axios:

When Biden declared for president in 2019, his family was plagued by addiction, grief and soap opera levels of drama, the legal cases involving his son Hunter and daughter Ashley have shown.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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Biden campaign plans robust push centered on reproductive rights ahead of Dobbs decision anniversary

Pro Choice Abortion Protester Keep Abortion Legal
Pro Choice Abortion Protester Keep Abortion Legal

The Biden campaign plans to mark the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed the federal right to abortion by barnstorming the country with messaging and events aimed at contrasting President Joe Biden’s views with those of former President Donald Trump, according to information shared exclusively with NBC News.

During the weekend before and on the anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson ruling, the campaign will hold more than 30 events to mobilize volunteers and contact voters in cities across battleground states including Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Las Vegas.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden, Obama raise more than $30 million at glitzy L.A. event

President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama On Stage
President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama On Stage

President Biden and former President Obama railed against former President Trump, touted the Democratic incumbent’s policy achievements and slipped in a few jokes at a Saturday night fundraiser in downtown Los Angeles that shattered Democratic fundraising records.

“I could have done nothing and done better than him,” Biden replied when late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who was moderating the discussion between the two Democrats, asked about the presumptive GOP nominee, whom Kimmel referred to as “Orange Julius Caesar,” before noting the strength of the nation’s economy, the low unemployment rate and other accomplishments. “We’re trying to give ordinary people a chance, just a chance.”

Read the rest of the story at The Los Angeles Times

Trump confuses the name of his doctor when bragging about taking a cognitive test

Trump Dumb
Trump Dumb

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday confused the name of his former White House physician just moments after he said President Joe Biden should take a cognitive test.

The mix-up happened as Trump bragged that he had “aced” a cognitive test. Trump also criticized Biden, saying, “I think he should take a cognitive test like I did.”

“I took a cognitive test, and I aced it. Doc Ronny — Doc Ronny Johnson,” Trump said, confusing the name of his White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, now a member of the House. “Does everyone know Ronny Johnson, congressman from Texas? He was the White House doctor.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden warns Trump could select two more Supreme Court justices if re-elected

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

President Joe Biden on Saturday night warned about the possibility of former President Donald Trump appointing two new Supreme Court justices if he wins the presidency in November.

“The next president is likely to have two new Supreme Court nominees — two more,” Biden said at a campaign fundraiser in Los Angeles, adding that Trump had already appointed two justices who are “very negative in terms of the rights of individuals.”

“I think it is one of the scariest parts,” Biden said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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SM Happy Hour VideoCast with JoJo From Jerz & Lindy Li – 6-14-24

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Trump, Back in Capitol, Has Thoughts on Taylor Swift, Nancy Pelosi and Milwaukee

Donald Trump Scared
Donald Trump Scared

Even hours later, few people could agree on what, exactly, former President Donald J. Trump said about Milwaukee when he met with House Republicans in Washington on Thursday.

But on a day when Mr. Trump returned to Capitol Hill to unite congressional Republicans behind him, more than three years after a group of his supporters mounted a violent effort to try to keep him in the White House, much of the focus was instead on stray comments he made, including about a populous city in a critical battleground state that will soon play host to his nominating convention.

According to various people in the room, Mr. Trump, during his meeting with House members at the Capitol Hill Club, complained that the pop music megastar Taylor Swift would support President Biden over him. Mr. Trump has previously argued that Ms. Swift, who endorsed Mr. Biden in 2020 but has not done so this year, should back him instead.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Senate Republicans block Democratic bill to protect IVF nationwide

Capitol Washington DC
Capitol Washington DC

Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic-led bill Thursday to codify broad federal protections for in vitro fertilizationin the midst of a growing partisan clash over reproductive rights in the United States.

The vote was 48-47, with just two Republicans voting for it: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine. Others in the GOP said the legislation went too far, instead signing on to a scaled-back version that Democrats said was ineffectual.

President Joe Biden chastised Senate Republicans who opposed the measure in a statement Thursday night.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Clarence Thomas took additional undisclosed trips paid for by GOP megadonor, Senate committee says

Clarence Thomas SCOTUS
Clarence Thomas SCOTUS

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was given additional undisclosed trips by a GOP megadonor that were not included in his financial disclosure forms, according to documents the Senate Judiciary Committee released Thursday.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who chairs the Judiciary Committee, released records about gifts of private jet travel provided by Thomas’ billionaire friend, Harlan Crow, that included plane trips in 2017, 2019 and 2021.

“As a result of our investigation and subpoena authorization, we are providing the American public greater clarity on the extent of ethical lapses by Supreme Court justices and the need for ethics reform,” Durbin said in a statement.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Supreme Court rejects bid to restrict access to abortion pill

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

In a blow for anti-abortion advocates, the Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a challenge to the abortion pill mifepristone, meaning the commonly used drug can remain widely available.

The court found unanimously that the group of anti-abortion doctors who questioned the Food and Drug Administration’s decisions making it easier to access the pill did not have legal standing to sue.  

President Joe Biden said in a statement that while the ruling means the pill can remain easily accessible, “the fight for reproductive freedom continues” in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling two years ago that overturned the abortion-rights landmark Roe v. Wade.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

The Rude Pundit: Conservative Plans for a Next Trump Presidency Are Dumb and Frightening

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

(Note: I wrote this originally over on my subscriber-only Patreon page, where you can join starting at a buck a month, with more treats for $3 and $5 per month subscribers. You can even pay for a year in advance which gets you a fancy discount. Join the smart rudesters there now.)

The nutzoid right-wing Heritage Foundation (motto: “Putting ‘White’ before ‘Heritage’ would be too obvious”) has this thing called Project 2025, which is a bunch of extremist lunatics saying that a next Trump presidency would be a “unique opportunity for conservatives to start undoing the damage the Left has wrought and build a better country for all Americans in 2025.” In other words, rawdogging democracy and freedom until they’re festering with fascist syph. 

They’ve created an 887-page (no, really) guidebook of the MAGA hell that they want to ensue if the Retrumpening comes to fruition. Titled Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise, it’s nothing less than a complete tearing down of the modern government and rebuilding it in the image of the worst motherfuckers who appear on Steve Bannon’s shitty podcast of doom. It’s filled with all kinds of fuckery, from firing long-term civil servants and replacing them with MAGA-certified drones to fucking up the climate even more to destroying anyone who even breathes about diversity to way more. Again, it’s 887 pages of this shit. 

Read the rest of The Rude Pundit’s piece at his blog…

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Pentagon downplays Russian warships arriving in Cuba

The Pentagon is downplaying Wednesday’s arrival of four Russian Navy ships in Cubaas U.S. officials acknowledge that U.S. Navy ships “actively monitored” the Russian ships as they made their way to a port of call in Havana.

At the on-camera Pentagon press briefing, spokesperson Sabrina Singh downplayed the Russian naval flotilla’s arrival in Havana noting that it’s happened multiple times over the years but acknowledged that U.S. military assets had been tracking the ships on their way to Cuba.

“We’ve been tracking the Russians plans for this,” Sabrina Singh, the Pentagon’s deputy press secretary told reporters Wednesday.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

G7 leaders huddle in Italy, escaping political peril at home

When the Group of 7 pose for its ritual family photo Thursday on the rocky Adriatic coast of Italy, the image will not be of leaders at the height of their political strength.

Instead, nearly to a person, the leaders assembling at a luxury resort in Puglia find themselves weakened at home by elections, scandal or waning influence. Amid the olive trees and swimming pools, the anti-incumbent sentiments coursing through Western democracies are creating extraordinarily high stakes for global geopolitics.

Rarely has the yearly gathering of the world’s leading economies been so overshadowed by the political vulnerabilities of nearly all its members. It raises questions of how effective the “steering committee of the free world,” as US President Joe Biden’s aides have labeled the G7, can actually be amid anger and discontent from their own populations.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

House Republicans vote to hold Garland in contempt over Biden interview audio

House Republicans on Wednesday afternoon passed a resolution to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur on his handling of classified documents.

The final vote was 216 to 207. Rep. David Joyce of Ohio was the only Republican who voted against the contempt resolution.

Speaker Mike Johnson called the outcome “a significant step in maintaining the integrity of our oversight processes and responsibilities.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Inflation Flat In May As Gas Prices Subside, Giving White House, Markets A Boost

graph poll
graph poll

Consumer prices held steady in May, helped by a drop in what drivers paid at the gas pump, the government said Wednesday in a bit of welcome news for the White House worried about inflation’s impact on President Joe Biden’s reelection bid.

The consumer price index, the most high-profile measure of inflation, was unchanged from April to May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said, a pause that brought the CPI’s growth over the last year down to a 3.3% rate. The flat reading in May was the best monthly showing since July 2022.

Inflation has slowed sharply from the recent peak in 2022, but high prices have meant voters still see an otherwise robust economy negatively, according to a poll by The Economist/YouGov.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

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Malcolm Nance: SNEAK PREVIEW… “Thinker, Sailor, Blackman, Spy – Memoir of an Intelligence Warrior”

Malcolm Nance
Malcolm Nance

Welcome to Baby Spy School. Get out your notebooks, kids. It’s the micro-history of Espionage.

Read the rest of Malcolm Nance’s book preview and subscribe to his Substack

Nancy Mace Defeats G.O.P. Challenger, Dealing Blow to McCarthy’s Revenge Tour

Representative Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina, on Tuesday defeated a well-funded primary challenger, putting her on track to win a third term. Her resounding victory also dealt a major blow to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s efforts to exact political retribution against those who voted to oust him.

Ms. Mace, 46, who once leaned center on social issues, won a Democratic seat in 2020 and claimed that all of former President Donald J. Trump’s accomplishments had been “wiped out” by his behavior on Jan. 6, 2021. But she has made a hard tack to the right over the past year as she has tried to game out her political future.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Republicans set to expand House majority with victory in Ohio special election

Ohio Flag
Ohio Flag

Republican Michael Rulli will win the special election for Ohio’s 6th Congressional District, CNN projects, helping his party expand its narrow House majority.

Rulli, a Youngstown-area state senator and an executive for his family’s grocery store chain, is projected to defeat Democratic Air Force veteran Michael Kripchak in the race for the sprawling district along the Ohio River in eastern Ohio.

Rulli will succeed former Rep. Bill Johnson, a seven-term Republican who resigned in January to become the president of Youngstown State University.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

The ‘Chilling’ Trump Plan That Could Pave The Way For Authoritarianism

Trump Black and White

Donald Trump has no greater enemy than the United States’ federal bureaucracy — what he calls the “deep state.” And he has a plan to bend it to his will if he’s elected in November.

The plan, to create something called “Schedule F,” would make tens of thousands of civil servants easier to fire, fundamentally changing the nature of the federal government — and, some worry, paving the way for authoritarianism.

Schedule F is a new category, or schedule, of federal workers who are exempt from codified job protections, like being hired and fired based on merit and having the ability to appeal disciplinary action.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Hunter Biden, the president’s son, found guilty on federal gun charges after a trial that laid bare his addiction struggles

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

A jury Tuesday found Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, guilty on three felony gun charges after a weeklong trial that focused on his history of drug addiction.

Biden was charged in federal court in Wilmington with three felony counts tied to possession of a gun while using narcotics; he had pleaded not guilty. The jury started its deliberations Monday afternoon and deliberated for about three hours before it returned the historic verdict.

Biden looked straight ahead at the jury as it delivered the verdict, and he nodded slightly as it was read.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Donald Trump completes mandatory presentencing interview after less than 30 minutes of questioning

Donald Trump NYC Courtroom
Donald Trump NYC Courtroom

Donald Trump completed his mandatory presentencing interview Monday after less than 30 minutes of routine, uneventful questions and answers, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and did so on condition of anonymity.

The former president was quizzed by a New York City probation officer for a report, required by law, that trial judge Juan M. Merchan can use to help determine Trump’s punishment when he is sentenced July 11 in his hush money criminal case.

Monday’s interview was conducted privately by video conferencing. Under state law, the resulting report — which may also include information about Trump’s conviction, his social, family and employment history, and his education and economic status — will remain confidential unless the judge authorizes its public release.

Read the rest of the story at The Associated Press

Judge Strikes One Element From Trump Indictment in Documents Case

Florida Judge Aileen Cannon
Florida Judge Aileen Cannon

A federal judge on Monday slightly narrowed the classified documents case against former President Donald J. Trump, saying prosecutors cannot charge him based on an episode in which he is said to have shown a highly sensitive military map to a political adviser months after leaving office.

The decision by the judge, Aileen M. Cannon, was more of a swipe at prosecutors working for the special counsel, Jack Smith, who brought the case than a major blow to the allegations against Mr. Trump. Even though Judge Cannon technically removed the incident from the 53-page indictment, prosecutors may still be able to introduce evidence of it to the jury if the case finally goes to trial.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Jury deliberations begin in Hunter Biden’s criminal trial after prosecutors cite ‘overwhelming’ evidence

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

Jury deliberations began Monday in the federal criminal trial of Hunter Biden after prosecutors laid out what they described as “overwhelming” evidence against the president’s son as he faces gun charges.

The panel deliberated for about an hour in the late afternoon before it was sent home for the day.

Abbe Lowell, Biden’s attorney, urged the jury to find his client not guilty, arguing prosecutors had offered only “speculation or conjecture” — not hard evidence — that Biden was using drugs around the time he bought a Colt Cobra revolver at a Wilmington gun store.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Justice Alito Caught on Tape Discussing How Battle for America ‘Can’t Be Compromised’

Samuel Alito SCOTUS Supreme Court Justice
Samuel Alito SCOTUS Supreme Court Justice

Justice Samuel Alito spoke candidly about the ideological battle between the left and the right — discussing the difficulty of living “peacefully” with ideological opponents in the face of “fundamental” differences that “can’t be compromised.” He endorsed what his interlocutor described as a necessary fight to “return our country to a place of godliness.” And Alito offered a blunt assessment of how America’s polarization will ultimately be resolved: “One side or the other is going to win.”

Alito made these remarks in conversation at the Supreme Court Historical Society’s annual dinner on June 3, a function that is known to right-wing activists as an opportunity to buttonhole Supreme Court justices. His comments were recorded by Lauren Windsor, a liberal documentary filmmaker. Windsor attended the dinner as a dues-paying member of the society under her real name, along with a colleague. She asked questions of the justice as though she were a religious conservative. 

Read the rest of the story at Rolling Stone 

Charlie Pierce: Trump Spent the Weekend Warning a Crowd in the Las Vegas Desert About Shark Attacks

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

It was a target-rich weekend for those of us who collect the loose and loony aspects of modern conservative rhetoric. Of course, with the former president* holding an outdoor rally in a pasture outside Las Vegas with the temperature clearing 100 degrees, there were bound to be some very large nuggets to be gathered. Put simply, he was plainly crazy with the heat. Actually, I suspect they could have put up a podium at Ice Station Zebra and he would’ve still been just as crazy. This was the height of it. You can almost hear the synapses in his brain sizzling and snapping like spark gaps between every two words.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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European Parliament tilts right; Macron calls snap elections in France

France French Flag
France French Flag

Early forecasts in the European Parliament elections on Sunday showed voters punishing ruling centrists and throwing support behind far-right parties, most notably in France, where disastrous results for French President Emmanuel Macron’s coalition prompted him to dissolve the National Assembly and call snap elections.

Although a combination of centrist, pro-European parties was projectedto maintain a majority in the European Union’s legislative body, far-right parties claimed the largest share of seats from France and Italy while placing second in Germany. Green parties across the European Union took a particular hit.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

In Las Vegas, Trump Appeals to Local Workers and Avoids Talk of Conviction

Former President Donald J. Trump stood in blazing heat in a Las Vegas park on Sunday and directly appealed to working-class voters by promising to eliminate taxes on tips for hospitality workers.

But beyond that proposal, little at Mr. Trump’s campaign rally suggested that his new status as a felon had changed his message. And when Mr. Trump’s teleprompter apparently stopped working, his speech — which his campaign advisers had billed as focused on issues of local concern to Nevada voters — devolved into familiar stories and riffs.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Trump probation interview set for Monday after hush money conviction

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to sit for a virtual interview on Monday with a New York City probation officer from his home at Mar-a-Lago with his attorney Todd Blanche at his side after he was found guilty on all counts in the hush money trialagainst him last month, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The pre-sentencing probation interview will be done over a special virtual network with added security measures, and the interviewer will be a female, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation. The call is not expected to be held over Zoom, those sources added.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Netanyahu rival Benny Gantz quits war Cabinet

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s key rival, Benny Gantz, announced Sunday that he is quitting the war Cabinet after a postwar plan for the Palestinian enclave failed to materialize.

Gantz’ resignation comes amid global condemnation of the Palestinian civilian death toll in the war on Gaza that has piled domestic and international pressure on Netanyahu.

Gantz announced his resignation in a televised event on Sunday, stating that Netanyahu stood in Israel’s way to “a real victory.”

“That is why we are leaving the emergency government today with a heavy heart, but with a whole heart,” Gantz said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Dean Obeidallah: GOP Judges protecting Trump show us what weaponizing the justice system really looks like!

Dean Obeidallah
Dean Obeidallah

We’ve never seen such a brazen effort by Republican appointed judges to protect the GOP’s political power as we are seeing play out right in front of our eyes with Donald Trump’s three remaining criminal cases.  They are not even trying to hide their efforts to help convicted felon Trump win in 2024 by delaying his criminal cases so that their presidential nominee is not convicted of even more felonies before the November election.

The latest example came Wednesday when the Georgia Court of Appeals paused Trump’s criminal case in Fulton County where he faces ten felonies—including a RICO charge—for his illegal efforts to overturn the 2020 election in that state. As a reminder, Trump and his co-defendant had made a motion to disqualify Fulton County DA Fani Willis and her offices from handling the case because of a romantic relationship Willis had with Nathan Wade, the special prosecutor she hired to help handle the case. In March, the trial judge denied that motion and allowed Trump and his co-defendant’s criminal cases to proceed.

Read the rest of Dean Obeidallah’s piece at and subscribe to his Substack!

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address joint meeting of Congress next month

A date has finally been set for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress.

House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced that Netanyahu will address a joint meeting of Congress on July 24.

“I am very moved to have the privilege of representing Israel before both Houses of Congress and to present the truth about our just war against those who seek to destroy us to the representatives of the American people and the entire world,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Multiple Hospitalized At Trump Rally Due To Extreme Heat Wave

Phoenix Arizona Cactus
Phoenix Arizona Cactus Saguaro

Eleven people have been hospitalized while waiting for a rally featuring Donald Thursday in Phoenix, where temperatures climbed to a sweltering 110 degrees and lingered in the triple digits.

City fire officials confirmed that number at 3 p.m. local time, saying all had been transported to local hospitals due to heat exhaustion while waiting to get into a Turning Point rally featuring the former president. Reporters on the scene shared video and photos on social media of rally attendees being carried off in stretchers and receiving intravenous fluids outside the venue.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

President Joe Biden says he will not pardon his son Hunter Biden if he’s convicted on gun-related charges

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

President Joe Biden told ABC News in an interview Thursday that he will accept whatever a jury decides in his son Hunter Biden‘s criminal trial and that he will not use his presidential power to pardon him if he’s convicted.

Biden made his brief statements on his son’s historic trial in an interview with ABC News anchor David Muir in Normandy, where Biden and other dignitaries were taking part in a service to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a turning point for the Allied forces in World War II.

Asked if he would rule out a pardon for his son, who’s facing three federal gun-related charges in court in Delaware, Biden answered simply, “Yes.” Asked if he would accept the outcome of the jury trial, a first for an offspring of a sitting president, he again replied, “Yes.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden mixes D-Day commemoration with warnings about democracy’s vulnerability

President Joe Biden Flags Speech
President Joe Biden Flags Speech

For the most part, Joe Biden’s address marking the 80th anniversary of D-Day sounded like a familiar ode to a historic war victory — but tucked into the speech was a warning to Americans.

Biden name-checked the World War II veterans who sat behind him on stage in wheelchairs, blankets draped over their laps in the early afternoon chill. He praised their sacrifice in defeating Nazi tyranny. He highlighted the importance of alliances.

But he slipped in a plea to those who will decide in a few months whether he remains in power: Democracy is a fragile thing and, all these years later, the battle for its survival is still in doubt.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Trump team asks VP contenders Burgum, Vance, Rubio for vetting documents

Former President Donald Trump‘s campaign has begun the process of formally requesting information from a small handful of potential running mates, ABC News has learned, marking a significant escalation in the process that will result in Trump choosing a candidate for vice president.

Among those who have been asked by the campaign for vetting paperwork include North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Sens. Marco Rubio and J.D. Vance, sources tell ABC News. The quiet outreach by campaign officials intensified last month, while Trump was consumed with his criminal hush-money trial, the sources said.

Others are likely to be considered for the No. 2 job, but the initial asks reflect who tops Trump’s list at this point. Campaign officials say the final decision will be Trump’s.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Senate Republicans block bill to protect access to contraception

US Capitol Washington DC
US Capitol Washington DC

Senate Republicans blocked legislation Wednesday that would enshrine a federal right to access contraception, sinking the Democratic-led measure.

The vote on the Right to Contraception Act was 51-39, falling short of the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster and move the bill forward. Republicans said it was unnecessary because the use of birth control is already protected under Supreme Court precedent.

Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine voted with Democrats in support of the bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., switched his vote to “no” for procedural reasons so he could bring up the bill again at a later date.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Takeaways from Day 3 of Hunter Biden’s firearms trial

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

Three new witnesses took the stand in Hunter Biden’s gun trial on Wednesday, recalling in vivid color the defendant’s spiral into drug addiction, foiled attempts at entering rehab, and fateful purchase of a firearm in late 2018, a year when his use of crack cocaine went out of control. 

Joining Biden for the third day were first lady Jill Biden; his wife, Melissa Cohen-Biden; close ally Kevin Morris; and other longtime friends and family members.

Hunter Biden watched closely as his ex-wife testified to how he left the family home after she discovered his drug use, and a former girlfriend recounted how he smoked crack “every 20 minutes” andabout the pain and deception she felt as he began to disappear for nights on end. Biden’s missing gun was also shown to the jury.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Georgia appeals court stays Trump election interference case until at least October

Fani Willis Fulton County DA
Fani Willis Fulton County DA

A Georgia appeals court on Wednesday officially stayed until at least October the racketeering case alleging Donald Trump and others conspired to illegally overturn the results of the 2020 election — making it impossible for the case to go to trial before November’s elections.

The case had been considered highly unlikely to go trial before Nov. 5 after the Georgia Court of Appeals earlier this year agreed to hearan appeal on whether Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and her office should be allowed to remain on the case.

The ruling came the day after the judge presiding over the classified documents case against Trump again reworked the schedule in the case, further lessening the chances that case could go to trial before the election as well.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Biden signs executive order drastically tightening border

Facing mounting political pressure over the migrant influx at the southern border, President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed an executive order that will temporarily shut down asylum requests once the average number of daily encounters tops 2,500 between official ports of entry, according to a senior administration official.

“The border is not a political issue to be weaponized,” Biden said in a White House speech announcing the order.

The shutdown would go into effect immediately since that threshold has already been met, a senior administration official said. The border would reopen only once that number falls to 1,500. The president’s order would come under the Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a) suspending entry of noncitizens who cross the southern border into the United States unlawfully. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

‘No one is above the law’: Prosecutors argue even Hunter Biden must be held accountable in opening statement

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

A federal prosecutor told jurors Tuesday in his opening statement in the Hunter Biden trial that at the end of the case he should be found guilty of all charges because “No one is above the law.”

“It doesn’t matter who you are, or what your name is,” prosecutor Derek Hines said, as he laid out special counsel David Weiss‘ case against President Joe Biden’s son.

Defendants are tried “because of the choices they made,” Hines said. Hunter Biden, he added, “chose to illegally own a firearm. His ownership of that firearm was illegal because he was a user of crack, and a drug addict. The law prohibits users and drug addicts from owning a gun. That law makes no distinction between Hunter Biden and anybody else.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

RNC Chair Talks Possibility Of Donald Trump Speech From Prison

republican elephant GOP
republican elephant GOP

Republican National Committee chair Michael Whatley said the organization is preparing for all scenarios when it comes to former President Donald Trump’s convention speech, including the possibility it could be delivered from behind bars.

Trump, who is the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, will be sentenced in his hush money trial on July 11, just four days before the start of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee.

On Tuesday, Newsmax’s Rob Finnerty asked Whatley if the RNC was prepared for the effect that Trump’s possible incarceration could have on the event.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Trump Floats Jailing Political Enemies, Attacks E. Jean Carroll In Wild Interview

Trump Dumb
Trump Dumb

Former President Donald Trump once again attacked the writer E. Jean Carroll and suggested his political enemies could soon face jail time in a wide-ranging interview on Tuesday night.

Trump called in to the conservative network Newsmax, just days after a Manhattan jury found him guilty on all 34 counts in his hush money trial. Jurors agreed he had falsified business records to cover up allegations of an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels.

Trump is set to be sentenced on July 11 and legal experts have wondered whether his repeated violations of a gag order in the case will weigh on the judge’s punishment. Trump appeared to violate the terms of that order — which bars him from making any public comments about the jury, and hasn’t yet been lifted — once more in the Newsmax interview.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

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Biden Calls Trump A ‘Convicted Felon,’ Says He Doesn’t Deserve To Be President

President Joe Biden Speech
President Joe Biden Speech

President Joe Biden said the 2024 presidential race was now in “uncharted territory” and called Donald Trump a “convicted felon” in harsh remarks at a campaign event on Monday, a signal the historic verdict will soon play center stage on both sides of the campaign trail.

“Folks – the campaign entered uncharted territory last week,” Biden said at a reception in Greenwich, Conn. “For the first time in American history a former president that is a convicted felon is now seeking the office of the Presidency.”

“But as disturbing as that is, more damaging is the all-out assault Donald Trump is making on the American system of justice.”

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Most Independents And ‘Double Haters’ Want Trump To End Campaign, Poll Finds

graph poll
graph poll

A new poll published Sunday found that more than half of independent voters and so-called “double haters” ― those who don’t align with either major presidential candidate ― think former President Donald Trump should cease his campaign following his conviction in his hush money trial.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 52% of independents felt that way, as did 67% of those who dislike both Trump and President Joe Biden. Voters from both groups, especially those in swing states, will be key in deciding the outcome in what appears to be an incredibly close presidential race.

The polling comes just days after a Manhattan jury found Trump guilty of 34 felonies. With that, he became the first former president to be convicted on criminal charges.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Fauci parries Republicans in combative hearing about Covid’s origins and possibility of a lab leak

Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci

In his first public testimony since stepping down from government office at the end of 2022, Dr. Anthony Fauci on Monday fended off a variety of attacks from Republican politicians at a fiery hearing called to discuss lessons learned during the pandemic.

Fauci, appearing voluntarily before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, denied a wide range of claims that have been made against him in recent years.

Various Republican subcommittee members asked Fauci about funding for virology research in China that came from the National Institutes of Health and that they said he had approved. Some conspiracy theories suggest that such research led to the coronavirus being leaked from a lab. Fauci also answered questions about whether his staff endeavored to conceal the nature of that research from the public.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Jury selected for Hunter Biden gun trial in Delaware

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

A jury of 12 people and four alternate jurors has been selected in the federal gun case against Hunter Biden in Delaware, paving the way for opening statements to begin Tuesday morning.

The panel was selected more quickly than expected, after just one day of jury selection Monday. The jurors were sworn in at 4:20 p.m. ET. The jury is made up six men and six women, and all of the alternates are women.

Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, faces three counts tied to possession of a gun while using narcotics. He pleaded not guilty.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: Welcome to the Marjorie Taylor Greene Show, Rep. Garcia

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

Moving to further action in the subcommittee.

Of course. Nobody deserves this. From the mouth of Marjorie Taylor Greene:

“Do the American people deserve to be abused like that, Mr. Fauci, because you’re not Dr. Fauci in my few minutes.

You know what this committee should be doing? We should be recommending you to be prosecuted. We should be writing a a criminal referral. We should be writing a criminal referral because you should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. You belong in prison, Dr. Fauci…because that man does not deserve to have a license. As a matter of fact it should be revoked, and he belongs in jail. He’s not respected. I will not call him Dr.”

This was how Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Illinois) later put it:

“Quite frankly, this might be the most insane hearing I’ve actually attended. I’ve only been in Congress for a year and a half

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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SM Happy Hour VideoCast with Rep. Mark Pocan & Glenn Kirschner 5-31-24

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SEXY LIBERAL SEATTLE is this SATURDAY!!!

SLCT Sexy Liberal Save The World Comedy Tour Generic
SLCT Sexy Liberal Save The World Comedy Tour Generic

We’re coming at you, Pacific Northwest!  Join Stephanie Miller, Hal Sparks, John Fugelsang, and Frangela with special guest Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) as they take over The Moore Theater this coming Saturday!  Tickets, merch, and VIP packages available at SexyLiberal.com!!

Chief Justice John Roberts declines to meet with Democrats about ethics concerns amid Alito flag flap

Samuel Alito SCOTUS Supreme Court Justice
Samuel Alito SCOTUS Supreme Court Justice

Chief Justice John Roberts declined Thursday to meet with Democratic senators to discuss Supreme Court ethics issues in the wake of reports that controversial flags were flown at Justice Samuel Alito‘s houses.

In a letter to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Roberts said he “must respectfully decline your request for a meeting,” citing concerns about maintaining judicial independence.

Roberts’ refusal was not a surprise, as last year he declined to attend a hearing about the ethics issue for similar reasons.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump’s potential running mates pile on judge and jury after guilty verdict

Golden Gavel Court
Golden Gavel Court

Twelve jurors took more than nine hours to convict former President Donald Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. 

A handful of Trump’s prospective running mates took less than nine minutes to condemn the verdict.

The string of “guilty” readings began at 5:06 p.m. Thursday in Judge Juan Merchan’s New York courtroom. By 5:12, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem was rushing to Trump’s defense online.

“Massively conflicted, Biden donor and Liberal judge + stacked jury with unconstitutional jury instructions + radical leftist prosecutor = wrongful conviction,” Noem, who is among those Trump is said to be considering as a vice presidential candidate, posted on X. “No doubt Trump will be easily vindicated soon as the case will obviously be overturned on appeal.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump Convicted on All Counts to Become America’s First Felon President

Donald Trump NYC Courtroom
Donald Trump NYC Courtroom

Donald J. Trump was convicted on Thursday of falsifying records to cover up a sex scandal that threatened to derail his 2016 presidential campaign, capping an extraordinary trial that tested the resilience of the American justice system and transformed the former commander in chief into a felon.

The guilty verdict in Manhattan — across the board, on all 34 counts — will reverberate throughout the nation and the world as it ushers in a new era of presidential politics. Mr. Trump will carry the stain of the verdict during his third run for the White House as voters now choose between an unpopular incumbent and a convicted criminal.

While it was once unthinkable that Americans would elect a felon as their leader, Mr. Trump’s insurgent behavior delights his supporters as he bulldozes the country’s norms. Now, the man who refused to accept his 2020 election loss is already seeking to delegitimize his conviction, attempting to assert the primacy of his raw political power over the nation’s rule of law.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

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From Allies and Advisers, Pressure Grows on Biden to Allow Attacks on Russian Territory

Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War
Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War

President Biden is edging toward what may prove to be one of his most consequential decisions in the Ukraine war: whether to reverse his ban on shooting American weapons into Russian territory.

He has long resisted authorizing Ukraine to use U.S. weapons inside Russia because of concern it could escalate into a direct American confrontation with a nuclear-armed adversary.

Now, after months of complaints about the restrictions from Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the White House has begun a formal — and apparently rapid — reassessment of whether to take the risk. Approving further uses of U.S. weapons would give Kyiv a way to conduct counterattacks on artillery and missile sites that now enjoy something of a safe haven just inside Russia.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Biden Roasts Trump’s Bombastic Rhetoric During Campaign Stop: ‘Think He Injected Too Much of That Bleach’

President Joe Biden Speech
President Joe Biden Speech

President Joe Biden tore into former president and his presumptive 2024 rival,Donald Trump, on Wednesday while kicking off his Black voter mobilization effort in Philadelphia.

Biden spoke at private preparatory school Girard College and told Black Americans, “I’m still optimistic, but I need you.” He asked the crowd of supporters, “Are you with me?” The audience stood and shouted back, “Yes.”

At one point during the speech, Biden took aim at some of Trump’s rhetoric surrounding his record with Black Americans.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Justice Samuel Alito declines to step aside from Trump-related cases over flag spat

Samuel Alito SCOTUS Supreme Court Justice
Samuel Alito SCOTUS Supreme Court Justice

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito declined Wednesday to step aside from two pending cases relating to former President Donald Trump and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol following recent news reports about contentious flags flown at his private properties.

In letters to members of Congress calling for his recusal, Alito said the two incidents involving flags at his home in Virginia and a vacation property in New Jersey, first reported by The New York Times, “do not meet the conditions for recusal” set out in the Supreme Court’s newly adopted ethics code.

Alito said that in both instances “a reasonable person who is not motivated by political or ideological considerations or a desire to affect the outcome of Supreme Court cases” would conclude that no recusal was required. One letter was sent to Democratic senators, while the other was sent to Democrats in the House.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump awaits his fate as jury deliberations begin: What you missed on Day 22 of the hush money trial

Trump Angry
Trump Angry

Jurors began deliberations Wednesday in Donald Trump’s hush money trial, kicking off a crucial and delicate phase in the case that will see 12 ordinary citizens decide whether a former and potentially future president becomes the first to be convicted.

Twenty-two witnesses took the stand over six weeks, as the seven men and five women who make up the jury sat for more than 80 hours of testimony in New York City. Then, after nearly eight hours of closing arguments, the judge presiding over the case, Juan Merchan, began instructing the panel of 12 New Yorkers on Wednesday on how to weigh whether the Manhattan district attorney’s office had left any room for doubt in what prosecutors deemed a “mountain” of evidence. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Samuel Alito’s Neighbors Called Cops After ‘Ugly’ Run-Ins with Justice’s Wife: Report

Samuel Alito SCOTUS Supreme Court Justice
Samuel Alito SCOTUS Supreme Court Justice

Two former neighbors of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and his wife Martha-Ann Alito said that contrary to the justice’s claims, Martha-Ann was the instigator of an “ugly” encounter in which one of the neighbors used the word “cunt.”

Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that three days before Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 17, 2021, an upside-down American flag flew in the Alitos’ front yard. According to the U.S. Flag Code, Old Glory should only be flown in such a way as to indicate “dire distress in instance of extreme danger to life or property.” The upside-down flag became a preferred symbol of pro-Donald Trump election deniers who believed the 2020 contest was rigged. Moreover, the Alitos also flew another flag popular with election deniers, displaying it at their beach house in New Jersey.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

If Trump were convicted in his hush money trial, here’s what he could face next

Trump Mug Shot
Trump Mug Shot

Donald Trump has complained of the indignities of a cold, uncomfortable Manhattan courtroom during his hush money trial, which is expected to begin jury deliberations Wednesday.

If convicted, Trump could face other conditions he may consider insulting, including a required inmate review by New York City’s Department of Probation.

The probation office on the 10th floor of the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse prepares presentencing reports for judges. There, Trump would be interviewed about his personal history, his mental health and the circumstances that led to his conviction.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

Pressure builds on Biden after Israeli strike kills dozens of civilians in Rafah

President Joe Biden in front of White House
President Joe Biden in front of White House

The Biden administration on Tuesday expressed sympathy after dozens of civilians were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Rafah over the weekend, but signaled it would wait for a full Israeli investigation to play out before taking any action.

“You’ve all seen the images, they’re heartbreaking, they’re horrific. There should be no innocent life lost here as a result of this conflict,” National Security Communications Adviser John Kirby said during a White House press briefing.

“Israel, of course, has a right to go after Hamas. And we understand that this strike did kill two senior Hamas terrorists who are directly responsible for attacks against the Israeli people,” he continued.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Trump’s lawyers and prosecutors make final pleas to jury in hush money trial

Donald Trump NYC Courtroom
Donald Trump NYC Courtroom

A lawyer for Donald Trump urged jurors Tuesday to find the former president innocent in his criminal trial, blasting a key witness as the “MVP of liars” while a prosecutor urged the panel to “focus on the facts” and “hold the defendant accountable.”

“In the interest of justice, and in the name of the people of the state of New York, I ask you to find the defendant guilty,” prosecutor Joshua Steinglass told the jury Tuesday night at the end of closing arguments in Manhattan criminal court in New York City. Bringing a fiery end to his over four-hour-long summary of what he called the “overwhelming” evidence in the case, Steinglass told the jury that “there is no special law for this defendant.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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‘He’s more delusional than I thought’: Libertarians jeer Trump during convention speech

Trump Speech Libertarian Convention
Trump Speech Libertarian Convention

If Donald Trump came to the Libertarian National Convention to make peace on Saturday, it could hardly have gone worse.

Within minutes of beginning speaking — and after enduring sustained jeering and boos — the former president turned on the third party, mocking its poor electoral record in presidential elections even as he appealed to them for their endorsement.

“What’s the purpose of the Libertarian Party of getting 3 percent?” Trump asked the crowd, which proceeded to pelt him with jeers. “You should nominate Trump for president only if you want to win.”

Read the rest of the story at Politico

Trump Wishes Happy Memorial Day to ‘Human Scum’ Trying ‘So Hard to Destroy Our Once Great Country’

Donald Trump Scared
Donald Trump Scared

Former President Donald Trump shared a unique message designed specifically for what he called “the Human Scum that is working so hard to destroy our Once Great Country” — Happy Memorial Day!

On the eve of closing arguments in his hush money – election interference trial,Trump returned to his nearly constant state of aggrievement that he is a victim of a political “witch hunt.” and even referenced how he was found civilly liable for sexual assault against E Jean Carroll. 

Trump too to social media Memorial Day morning and immediately lashed into the “Radical Left, Trump Hating Federal Judge” who presided over his cases.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Facing Global Outrage, Netanyahu Calls Civilian Deaths in Rafah Strike ‘Tragic Accident’

Gaza Attack Aftermath Terrorist Terrorism
Gaza Attack Aftermath Terrorist Terrorism

With international condemnation mounting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said on Monday that the killing of dozens of people a day earlier at a camp for displaced Palestinians in Rafah was “a tragic accident,” but gave no sign of curbing the Israeli offensive in the southern Gaza city.

The deadly fire that tore through the encampment on Sunday after an airstrike came at a particularly delicate time for Israel, just days after the International Court of Justice appeared to order the country’s military to halt its offensive in Rafah and as diplomats were aiming to restart negotiations for a cease-fire deal between Israel and Hamas.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Trump braces for final act of his historic criminal trial

Trump Mug Shot
Trump Mug Shot

Donald Trump’s first criminal trial has arrived at its dramatic final act with lawyers for both sides primed on Tuesday to hammer home their cases before jurors consider a verdict that could make history.

The summations mark the climax of a trial that started more than a month ago. They are expected to last all day Tuesday and could stretch into the following day. After Judge Juan Merchan instructs jurors on the law, Trump and the rest of the country will be held in suspense to see whether he will become the first ex-president and presumptive GOP nominee to be convicted of a crime after allegedly falsifying financial records to hide a hush money payment to an adult film star in 2016.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

Charlie Pierce: SCOTUS’s South Carolina Gerrymandering Decision Is More Proof They Don’t Make Justices Like They Used to

In the middle of his senior year at Harvard, a handsome fellow walked off campus and signed up for an infantry unit of the Massachusetts militia. By July 1861, with the help of his illustrious father, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 20th Massachusetts Infantry. He subsequently served through the Peninsula Campaign, and at Ball’s Bluff, and at Antietam, and at Chancellorsville, and in the Wilderness. He nearly died from dysentery and was wounded three times, the ultimate parlay of peril for a soldier in the Civil War. By the time he was ready to return from his third convalescence, there was no 20th Massachusetts to which he could return. It had been destroyed by nearly endless combat.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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Decades in the Making, a New Era Dawns for the N.C.A.A.: Paying Athletes Directly

Since its founding, the N.C.A.A. has operated with a business model that defined the college athlete as an amateur. Over the years, as college sports evolved into a mega-enterprise, lawsuits and labor actions chipped away at that model, which came to be increasingly seen as exploitative in big-money sports like football and men’s basketball.

But the N.C.A.A.’s $2.8 billion settlement on Thursday night in a class-action antitrust lawsuit represents the heaviest blow — and perhaps a decisive one — to that system.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Trump Wildly Claims That Putin Will Release Jailed WSJ Reporter as Favor ‘For Me, But Not for Anyone Else’

Putin Russia
Putin Russia

Former President Donald Trump suggested in an early morning social media post on Thursday that Russian dictator Vladimir Putin would release imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich as a personal favor to him.

“Evan Gershkovich, the Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the Election, but definitely before I assume Office,” declared Trump on Truth Social at 1:30am. “He will be HOME, SAFE, AND WITH HIS FAMILY. Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, will do that for me, but not for anyone else, and WE WILL BE PAYING NOTHING!”

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Trump Blames ‘Rigged’ Election for Oct 7. Terror Attacks: ‘Would’ve Never Happened!’

Trump Angry
Trump Angry

Former President Donald Trump claimed that had the 2020 election not been rigged against him, the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks in Israel would not have taken place.

The 2020 election was not rigged and Trump’s claim about the Oct. 7 attacks not happening under his watch is patently unfalsifiable.

Speaking at a rally in the Bronx on Thursday, Trump asserted that many of the more than 200 hostages taken by Hamas “are dead.”

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

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Sen. Rick Scott enters race to succeed Mitch McConnell as GOP Senate leader

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida
Sen. Rick Scott of Florida

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida announced Wednesday that he is jumping into the race to succeed Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnellafter he leaves the post later this year.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Scott’s plans, which he later shared publicly in a post on X.

He said in a letter to colleagues obtained by NBC News that his bid to become Republican leader stemmed from a belief that “now is a moment we need dramatic change.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Former Republican Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley Says She Will Vote For Donald Trump

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley said Wednesday that she will be voting for Donald Trump in the general election, a notable show of support given their intense and often personal rivalry during the Republican primary calendar.

But Haley also made it clear that she feels Trump has work to do to win over voters who supported her during the course of the primary campaign and continue to cast votes for her in ongoing primary contests.

“I will be voting for Trump,” Haley, Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, said during an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Another Far-Right Flag Was Flown Outside Alito’s Beach House: Report

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

A second flag carried by rioters during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the U.S. Capitol was displayed outside a home owned by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, according to a shocking report in The New York Times.

The newspaper published photos from neighbors and from Google Street View that show an “Appeal to Heaven” flag flying outside the justice’s beach house in Long Beach Island, New Jersey.

The flag, featuring a green pine tree on a white background, dates to the Revolutionary War, but is now linked with Christian nationalists and those who support former President Donald Trump.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

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Rudy Giuliani pleads not guilty as Trump allies are arraigned in Arizona 2020 election case

Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani

Allies of former President Donald Trump were arraigned Tuesday in Phoenix on charges that include conspiracy, fraud and forgery that are related to an alleged scheme to put forward phony electors in the 2020 election who backed Trump despite President Biden winning the state. 

Rudy Giuliani pleaded not guilty to nine federal charges in the case in a virtual appearance. The former New York City mayor and Trump attorney was served Friday night while leaving his 80th birthday party.

Other defendants include former Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, attorneys Jenna Ellis and Christina Bobb, former Turning Point USA youth director Tyler Bowyer and Arizona Republican state election officials. 

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Biden releasing 1M barrels of gasoline from Northeast reserve in bid to lower prices

gas gasoline fuel car
gas gasoline fuel car

The Biden administration said Tuesday it is releasing 1 million barrels of gasoline from a Northeast reserve established after Superstorm Sandy in a bid to lower prices at the pump this summer.

The sale, from storage sites in New Jersey and Maine, will be allocated in increments of 100,000 barrels at a time. The approach will create a competitive bidding process that ensures gasoline can flow into local retailers ahead of the July 4 holiday and sold at competitive prices, the Energy Department said.

The move, which the department said is intended to help “lower costs for American families and consumers,″ follows a mandate from Congress to sell off the 10-year-old Northeast reserve and then close it. The language was included in a spending deal Congress approved in March to avert a partial government shutdown.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Georgia, Oregon, Idaho and Kentucky primaries 2024: Willis, McAfee win

Vote Election Ballot
Vote Election Ballot

On May 21, voters in Georgia, Idaho, Oregon, Kentucky and California held key elections for Congress and nationally watched local races. Two key figures from one of Trump’s legal cases, Fani Willis and Scott McAfee, easily won their races, while conservatives won a Georgia Supreme Court election fought largely over abortion. In the House, progressives lost two key races in Oregon, while California voters picked a successor to Kevin McCarthy.

As usual, 538 reporters and contributors broke down the election results as they came in with live updates, analysis and commentary. Read our full live blog below.

Trump Chooses Not to Take the Stand, and the Defense Rests

Trump Angry
Trump Angry

The jury heard his voice, saw his tweets and watched footage of him campaigning for the presidency. But in the end, the 12 New Yorkers weighing the fate of Donald J. Trump did not see him testify.

On Tuesday, the defense rested its case after Mr. Trump declined to take the stand at his own criminal trial, forfeiting his only opportunity to defend himself but also avoiding what could have been a calamitous error. His decision made, his lawyers concluded the testimony phase of the trial, and next week, the jury is expected to begin the momentous task of determining whether to make the former — and perhaps future — president a felon.

Defendants rarely testify, but Mr. Trump stands apart as the only American president to ever face a criminal trial, a serial litigant who thinks of himself as his own best advocate. Mr. Trump, who is once again the presumptive Republican nominee, had said repeatedly that he wanted to testify.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

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‘Not Good Judgement’: GOP Senators Ding Samuel Alito Over Upside-Down Flag

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Homeland Security Committee, tells reporters that he will push for a vote in Congress to kick the Palestinian Liberation Organization out of its Washington offices and threaten to withhold U.S. financial assistance if the Palestinians seek to use enhanced U.N. status against Israel, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Republican senators criticized Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito over the flying of an upside-down American flag at his house following the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building.

“Emotions are apparently high in that neighborhood but no, it’s not good judgment to do that,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told HuffPost on Monday.

“I don’t know what role ― he said his wife was insulted and got mad ― I assume that be true, but he’s still a Supreme Court justice. And, you know, people have to realize that moments like that, to think it through.”

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Trump posts social media video seemingly suggesting his victory will bring ‘unified Reich’

Trump Black and White

Former President Donald Trump on Monday posted a video on his social media platform that uses a language that appears to mirror that of Nazi Germany, suggesting there will be a “Unified Reich” if he wins the 2024 election.

The phrase “Unified Reich” appears as a part of hypothetical news headlines that announce Trump’s hypothetical victory in the 2024 election, with the narrator asking, “What happens after Donald Trump wins?”

Under a big headline that says, “WHAT’S NEXT FOR AMERICA?” there is a smaller headline underneath that appears to read: “INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED DRIVEN BY THE CREATION OF A UNIFIED REICH.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Biden holds big cash edge as Trump’s new-look RNC steps up fundraising

dollars money bills
dollars money bills

Former President Donald Trump and the Republican Party are stepping up their fundraising, new reports show — but President Joe Biden and the Democrats maintained a healthy cash edge at the start of this month. 

The Republican National Committee raised more than $32 million in April, its first full month under Trump’s hand-picked new leadership, a 55% increase from the previous month. And combined, the Trump campaign and the national party had more than $88 million banked away by the end of last month, a significant uptick since before Trump became the party’s presumptive nominee.

But even with that uptick, the Democratic National Committee reported raising almost $35.5 million in April to the RNC’s $32 million. And most significantly, Biden’s campaign reported raising more than 2.5 times more money into its campaign account than Trump’s did: $24.1 million to $9.4 million. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Prosecutors rest their case against Donald Trump in dramatic day of testimony

Trump Mug Shot
Trump Mug Shot

Prosecutors rested their case against Donald Trump on Monday after another dramatic day of testimony from his former lawyer Michael Cohen, while the judge presiding over the trial ripped into one of the former president’s witnesses for disrespectful behavior.

State Judge Juan Merchan briefly booted the public from the New York City courtroom after he scolded witness, defense attorney Robert Costello, outside the presence of the jury. Costello had visibly and audibly reacted to the prosecution’s objections and Merchan’s rulings.

“I’d like to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom. As a witness in my courtroom, if you don’t like my rulings, you don’t say, ‘Jeez,’” Merchan told Costello. “You don’t give me side eye, and you don’t roll your eyes.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: Heads Up… The Supreme Court Loves To Wild Out This Time Of Year

It is that time of the season in which the Supreme Court issues decisions, a time in which, at least recently, it’s wise to keep a good grip on yourself and on a bottle of very good bourbon whiskey. This is the ultimate ring-and-run exercise among our institutions of government, The justices drop bombs that overturn, say, 50 years of privacy rights for women, or over 100 years of sensible gun legislation for New Yorkers.

Bruen v. New York was issued on June 23, 2022. Dobbs v. Jackson came along the next day. And then it was off to fish for salmon in Alaska, or take a lovely vacation on the cuff courtesy of the likes of Harlan Crow while the rest of us stand blinking amid the ruins of what we once assumed were permanent things.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics…

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The Rude Pundit: Other Things Martha-Ann Alito Will Do If She’s Mad at the Neighbors

Rude Pundit
Rude Pundit

Apparently, if you call Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s wife, Martha-Ann, a “c-word” that rhymes with “runt,” she’ll fly the American flag upside-down at the Alitos’ house in sympathy with election deniers. And Alito won’t deny that that’s what it was for; he’ll just sigh and say, in essence, “Well, the little woman was made to feel bad so she did a treason.” So I guess that she just reacts in the weirdest ways when someone says something mean or puts up a sign that upsets her. She has it all worked out: 

1. If you call her a “bitch,” she’ll fly a Nazi flag at her house.

2. If you put up a Black Lives Matter sign, she’ll come to the neighborhood cookout in a Klan robe.

Read the rest of The Rude Pundit’s piece at his blog…

Iranian President Raisi is confirmed dead in helicopter crash

  • Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has died in a helicopter crash, state media reported Monday morning.
  • The cause of the crash Sunday was unclear. Iranian officials said fog and bad weather in the area slowed rescuers’ response.
  • Early Monday local time, state-affiliated media reported that the exact location of the helicopter had been found. State media later reported that there was no sign of life.
  • Raisi was returning with a government delegation that had attended the inauguration of a dam on the border with Azerbaijan. There were no survivors among the nine people on board, who also included Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

Read the rest of the story and get live updates at NBC News

Rudy Giuliani is served indictment papers at his own birthday party after mocking Arizona attorney general

Rudy Giuliani Shoe Polish Drip
Rudy Giuliani Shoe Polish Drip

Arizona’s Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes on Friday announced that Rudy Giuliani had been served with the notice of his indictment in connection with an alleged conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election results in Arizona.

The announcement came less than two hours after a social media post from Giuliani taunted Mayes for failing to deliver his indictment. The notice was served to Giuliani during a celebration in Palm Beach, Florida, for his 80th birthday.

In a now-deleted post on X, Giuliani taunted Arizona authorities. “If Arizona authorities can’t find me by tomorrow morning; 1. They must dismiss the indictment; 2. They must concede they can’t count votes,” Giuliani posted Friday night. Accompanying the message was a photo of Giuliani smiling with six others and balloons arranged behind them.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump accepts NRA endorsement, urges gun owners to turn out to vote

Trump In Texas
Trump In Texas

The National Rifle Association is formally supporting former President Donald Trump, an expected endorsement that came Saturday at the group’s annual convention in Dallas.

The endorsement of his presidential campaign came shortly before Trump took the stage to keynote the NRA’s annual meeting, a speech he used to paint a picture of President Joe Biden as trying to erode gun rights without citing specifics.

“We have to have a Second Amendment that is meaningful. We will have … death and destruction like we have never see before,” Trump told a packed ballroom at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center of the possibility of a Biden re-election win.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden delivers Morehouse commencement speech as some on campus express pro-Palestinian messages

President Joe Biden delivered the commencement address at Morehouse College on Sunday morning, his most direct engagement with college students since the start of the Israel-Hamas war and a key opportunity for him to engage with a group of voters that data suggests is softening on him: young, Black men.

In his remarks, Biden ticked through his administration’s policies that he said have aided Black Americans, including a record $16 billion in new aid for historically Black colleges and universities.

And, in a nod to the pro-Palestinian sentiment among Morehouse students and faculty, Biden reiterated his calls for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, more humanitarian aid in the region and support for a two-state solution that would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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SM Happy Hour VideoCast with Brooklyn Dad Defiant & Frangela – 5-17-24

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Biden Administration Moves To Reclassify Marijuana As A Less Dangerous Drug

marijuana pot cannabis
marijuana pot cannabis

President Joe Biden’s administration said Thursday that the Justice Department is officially moving forward with reclassifying marijuana as a less dangerous drug.

With the White House’s approval, the DOJ will now publish an official notice that opens a two-month public comment period on the proposal to recategorize marijuana from a Schedule I drug ― which includes heroin and other drugs considered to have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” ― to a lower Schedule III drug, which includes substances with “a moderate to low potential for physical and psychological dependence.”

“This is monumental,” Biden said in a video posted to social media.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Sexy Liberal Albuquerque is THIS SATURDAY!!!

Sexy Liberal Albuquerque New Mexico
Sexy Liberal Albuquerque New Mexico

Sexy Liberal Albuquerque is THIS SATURDAY!!! Join me, Hal Sparks, John J Fugelsang, Frangela Duo, and special guest Valerie Plame at the Revel Entertainment Center! Tickets, merch, and hotel deals at www.SexyLiberal.com!!

Trump trial Day 18 takeaways: Fireworks on the stand as finish line nears

Trump Sleeping Courtroom Sketch
Trump Sleeping Courtroom Sketch

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the end is near in former President Donald Trump‘s hush money trial in New York City.

With the defense having nearly wrapped its cross-examination of Michael Cohen — Trump’s former attorney and fixer and a pivotal witness for the prosecution — closing arguments look likely to begin early next week in Manhattan criminal court.

As Day 18 of Trump’s criminal proceedings wound down Thursday afternoon, state Judge Juan Merchan laid out the road ahead in the heavily scrutinized and historic trial.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

First aid flows into Gaza over massive U.S. pier

Port pier shipping containers
Port pier shipping containers

Trucks carrying desperately needed humanitarian aid have begun moving ashore into Gaza using a temporary pier built by the United States, the U.S. military said Friday, as Israeli forces pressed on with sweeping operations in the north and south of the enclave.

The aid trucks began moving into Gaza at around 9 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET), the U.S. Central Command said in a post on X.

“No U.S. troops went ashore in Gaza,” CENTCOM said. “This is an ongoing, multinational effort to deliver additional aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza via a maritime corridor that is entirely humanitarian in nature,” it added, noting that aid was being donated by a number of countries and humanitarian organizations.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Speaker Mike Johnson defends joining Trump at his New York trial

Speaker Mike Johnson
Speaker Mike Johnson

On the car ride from Trump Tower to the Manhattan courthouse Tuesday, former President Donald Trump was venting to Speaker Mike Johnson about the first 16 days of his hush money trial and how it’s kept him off the campaign trail.

“He’s clearly frustrated that he’s been tied up now for the fifth week in this trial that has no merit, that prosecutors had already passed on eight years ago, that they can’t define any crime that he has supposedly committed and the entire case is based upon a known perjurer, Michael Cohen. So it’s an atrocity,” Johnson, R-La., said Wednesday in an exclusive interview in his Capitol office with NBC News. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump Camp Reportedly ‘Irked’ That Biden Called His Debate Bluff

Although Donald Trump eagerly accepted Joe Biden’s offer to do two presidential debates, folks from Trump’s campaign weren’t as enthusiastic.

In fact, they were downright “irked,” according to CNN journalist Kristen Holmes, who spoke with Trump insiders after Biden “took over the debate narrative” Wednesday.

Trump had been making fun of Biden at his campaign rallies, suggesting that the Democratic president was unwilling to debate him.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Biden and Trump agree to CNN debate in June, ABC faceoff in September

Trump and Biden
Trump and Biden

President Biden and former president Donald Trump agreed Wednesday to a June 27 debate on CNN and a Sept. 10 debate broadcast by ABC News, bypassing the decades-old tradition of three fall meetings organized by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.

The decisions by the major-party candidates to take control of the once independent debate planning process upended the timeline that has defined presidential contests for decades, adding unpredictability to an already close race. The two debates will happen much earlier than normal, which could decrease their impact on the election or awaken voters who have not yet tuned in.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

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Sexy Liberal Albuquerque is THIS SATURDAY!!

Sexy Liberal Albuquerque New Mexico
Sexy Liberal Albuquerque New Mexico

Sexy Liberal Albuquerque is THIS SATURDAY!!! Join me, Hal Sparks, John J Fugelsang, Frangela Duo, and special guest Valerie Plame at the Revel Entertainment Center! Tickets, merch, and hotel deals at www.SexyLiberal.com!!

5 takeaways from Tuesday’s primaries

Vote election ballot voter
Vote election ballot voter

Voters headed to the polls in Maryland, Nebraska and West Virginia on Tuesday to set up several key down-ballot races.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks won the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s marquee Senate race, while Republicans in West Virginia appointed candidates likely to take over one of the state’s Senate seats and governor’s mansion.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump sailed to victory in their respective primaries, while restlessness in their respective bases persisted.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Journalist Says He Saw Trump Editing Speeches For His Stooges To Give Outside Court

JD Vance Ohio
JD Vance Ohio

New York Magazine journalist Andrew Rice said on MSNBC that on Monday he saw Donald Trump editing — as proceedings were ongoing during his hush money trial — what his Republican allies would later rant about on his behalf outside the courthouse.

Trump acolytes including Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) have this week attended the New York court in a show of support for the former president and presumptive GOP nominee. They’ve also taken to parroting Trump’s complaints about the criminal proceedings outside. Both Vance and Burgum are reportedly in the running to become Trump’s running mate.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

‘Don’t make it about yourself’: Michael Cohen faces grilling from defense. What you missed on Day 17 of Trump’s hush money trial.

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen

Defense attorney Todd Blanche grew annoyed and raised his voice as he tried to press Michael Cohen into calling himself a liar and Donald Trump’s former fixer tried to skirt the question — it wasn’t quite the fireworks many had expected for the Tuesday cross-examination, but it did illustrate the tense questioning.

Cohen already testified that he had lied repeatedly for Trump.

“I regret doing things for him that I should not have — lying, bullying people in order to effectuate a goal,” Cohen said. “I violated my moral compass.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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LAST DAY of $25 Concert Week at LiveNation!!

Live Nation Concert Week
Live Nation Concert Week

Today is the LAST DAY of CONCERT WEEK at LiveNation, so that means tickets to select Sexy Liberal shows (and thousands of other Live Nation concerts) are just $25 for one more day!!!  See the list of shows available at LiveNation.com/ConcertWeek – and get your VIP packages, merch, and links to hotel deals at SexyLiberal.com!!

Protesters Disrupt Israeli Memorial Day Events Over War Raging in Gaza

Israelis gathered across the country on Monday for the first national day of mourning since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks, with protesters disrupting several ceremonies as they demanded that government ministers do more to secure the release of hostages.

Israel’s Memorial Day is normally one of the most somber on the country’s calendar, a date when Israelis put aside their differences to grieve fellow citizens killed in war or terrorist attacks. But the protests on Monday underscored how feelings of wartime unity have given way to deep disputes over the war in the Gaza Strip, the fate of hostages taken on Oct. 7 and domestic politics.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Nikki Haley reemerges to thank big donors, not expected to endorse Trump

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley will meet with roughly 100 of her biggest donors who supported her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination this week, taking another step toward reemerging back into public life following her defeat at the hands of her chief rival, former President Donald Trump, sources familiar with the event confirmed to ABC News.

The retreat, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, will take place on Monday and Tuesday in Charleston, South Carolina, not far from Haley’s home in the state’s low country.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

‘The benefit of Mr. Trump’: Longtime fixer Michael Cohen testifies in hush money trial. What you missed on Day 16.

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen

Donald Trump’s longtime fixer and lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified Monday that he was acting at Trump’s behest when he made hush money payments to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

For weeks in Manhattan criminal court in New York City, Trump’s defense attorneys have sought to puncture Cohen’s credibility with the jury, and even witnesses have painted him as hot-headed, self-interested and untrustworthy.

“I didn’t know Michael to be an especially charitable person or selfless person,” said Hope Hicks, Trump’s former communications aide, when she was on the stand. Cohen’s former banker said he was assigned to him because of his “ability to handle individuals who are challenging.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: You Might Hate Your Job, But at Least You Don’t Work for Rep. Nancy Mace

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

This is one of my rare, but firm, bipartisan positions: In no neighborhood in any American city can there be found a greater number of horrible bosses than on Capitol Hill. (There once was a Massachusetts congresscritter whose new staffers were told by the veterans in the office that, on pain of death, the boss should not be told that members of Congress can avail themselves of police escorts if they think they need to get somewhere in a hurry.) It should not be necessary at this point to mention that the congressional office buildings more than occasionally turn into Peyton Place with position papers. And then, apparently, there is Congresswoman Nancy Mace, Republican of South Carolina and thoroughgoing public nuisance. Congresswoman Mace did an interview with The Daily Mail, one of Great Britain’s finer sewage-treatment plants, in which she did everything but rave about strawberries and rattle little steel balls in her fist.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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The Rude Pundit: Stormy Daniels Is the Hero America Needs

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit
In her testimony and especially in her cross-examination, writer/director/actor Stormy Daniels became the hero that America needs right now. She was on the stand for the prosecution of Donald Trump, a rapist who is also a former president, for falsifying business records to hide the hush money he paid to Daniels for a sexual encounter in 2006. Over the course of two days, first under questioning from Manhattan prosecutor Susan Hoffinger and then under dickish cross-examination from Trump attorney Susan Necheles, Daniels put a human face on what could be a somewhat dry financial crimes case and, in a much larger sense, responded to the complete bullshit of the Trump side with cutting common sense and a two feet squarely in reality. 
 
Like in this exchange with Necheles, where Necheles was trying to say that everything Daniels was doing was just for money:
 
Q: That motivates you a lot in life, making more money; right?
 
A: Well, it is the United [States] — that’s what we do here. (Shrugs)
 

Trump, Bashing Migrants, Likens Them to Hannibal Lecter, Movie Cannibal

In an extended riff at his rally on Saturday in New Jersey, former President Donald J. Trump returned to a reference that has become a staple of his stump speech, comparing migrants to Hannibal Lecter, the fictional serial killer and cannibal from “The Silence of the Lambs,” as he aims to stoke anger and fear over migration in advance of the election.

“Has anyone ever seen ‘The Silence of the Lambs’? The late, great Hannibal Lecter. He’s a wonderful man,” Mr. Trump said in Wildwood, N.J. “He often times would have a friend for dinner. Remember the last scene? ‘Excuse me, I’m about to have a friend for dinner,’ as this poor doctor walked by. ‘I’m about to have a friend for dinner.’ But Hannibal Lecter. Congratulations. The late, great Hannibal Lecter.”

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Wait. Why are 3 of Trump’s 4 criminal trials delayed indefinitely?

Former President Donald Trump’s public defense against his four, distinct prosecutions in four, separate jurisdictions is that they are a coordinated hit job and a political persecution – evidence, he says, of a double standard of justice.

Disproving Trump’s allegation is the likelihood, which seems to be growing this week, that three of the four criminal prosecutions might not reach the courtroom before Election Day.

The other prosecution – generally seen as the weakest case against Trump – has provided salacious and embarrassing moments for the former president. But the facts of that case in New York, focused on his effort to hide an alleged affair rather than his conduct as president or his effort to overturn the 2020 election, feel like something from a different time.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

Tickets To Select SEXY LIBERAL Shows On Sale For LiveNation Concert Week!

Live Nation Concert Week
Live Nation Concert Week

It’s CONCERT WEEK at LiveNation, so that means tickets to select Sexy Liberal shows (and thousands of other Live Nation concerts) are just $25 this week!!!  See the list of shows available at LiveNation.com/ConcertWeek – and get your VIP packages, merch, and links to hotel deals at SexyLiberal.com!!

Trump’s former ‘thug’ Michael Cohen set for trial-defining testimony in hush money case

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen once described himself as Donald Trump’s “spokesman, thug, pit bull and lawless lawyer.”

But this week, he has a new role. He will be the star witness for prosecutors trying to prove Trump illegally falsified business records after paying off adult film actress Stormy Danielsas part of an alleged election interference scheme in 2016.

Cohen’s testimony is set to be the critical moment of the hush money trial that could make Trump the first ex-president to be convicted of a crime. His appearance will mark the zenith of a bitter personal feud between two brash New Yorkers obsessed with betrayal and revenge. And it marks one of the most lurid twists yet in the presumptive Republican nominee’s legal morass that is entwined with the 2024 election.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

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Madison Sexy Liberal Is THIS WEEKEND

Sexy Liberal Madison 2024
Sexy Liberal Madison 2024

Madison Sexy Liberal at The Barrymore Theater is THIS WEEKEND and this is your last chance to get tickets for the big show featuring Stephanie Miller, John Fugelsang, Hal Sparks, Frangela, Rep. Mark Pocan, and John Nichols!  Get your tickets, VIP packages, merch, and hotel deals at SexyLiberal.com!!!

‘No easy way out’: Biden faces anger from all sides as he navigates Israel-Hamas war

President Joe Biden in front of White House
President Joe Biden in front of White House

President Joe Biden is taking heat from all sides as he faces what could be the most fraught moment in the Israel-Hamas war since fighting broke out seven months ago.

A dizzying number of recent developments, both at home and abroad, have underscored the politically perilous path Biden finds himself on as he navigates criticism from Republicans and Democrats unhappy with his approach to the conflict.

All this mixed up with his reelection campaign in which polls show voters say they trust Donald Trump to do a better job in the same tough situation.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Stormy Daniels Is Steady on the Stand: 5 Takeaways From Trump’s Trial

Stormy Daniels In Court
Stormy Daniels In Court

In a combative cross-examination Thursday, Stormy Daniels battled the former president’s lawyers as they attacked her account of a sexual encounter with Donald J. Trump in a Nevada hotel.

Susan Necheles, a lawyer defending Mr. Trump in his criminal trial, spent almost three hours delving into Ms. Daniels’s memories of that 2006 night in Lake Tahoe, as well as suggesting that Ms. Daniels’s desire to tell her story was motivated only by money. Eventually, Ms. Necheles went straight to the point.

“You made all this up, right?” she asked.

Ms. Daniels responded forcefully: “No.”

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

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Tickets to select Sexy Liberal Shows on sale for $25 this week!!

Live Nation Concert Week
Live Nation Concert Week

It’s CONCERT WEEK at LiveNation, so that means tickets to select Sexy Liberal shows (and thousands of other Live Nation concerts) are just $25 this week!!!  See the list of shows available at LiveNation.com/ConcertWeek – and get your VIP packages, merch, and links to hotel deals at SexyLiberal.com!!

Biden says Trump won’t accept 2024 election results

Biden Harris
Biden Harris

President Joe Biden said Wednesday that former President Donald Trump would not accept the outcome of the 2024 election.

“He may not accept the outcome of the election? I promise you he won’t,” Biden said in an interview on CNN, adding that it was “dangerous.”

Biden was responding to a question about Trump’s remarks last week in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“If everything’s honest, I’ll gladly accept the results. I don’t change on that. If it’s not, you have to fight for the right of the country,” Trump said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden says U.S. won’t transfer offensive weapons if Israel invades Rafah

Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War
Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War

President Joe Biden said Wednesday the U.S. would not supply Israelwith certain weapons and artillery shells if its military invades Rafah, a city in southern Gaza where more than 1 million people are sheltering.

If the Israeli military launches a ground offensive in Rafah, the administration will not supply “the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah, to deal with the cities,” Biden said in an interview on CNN.

“We’re not going to supply the weapons and the artillery shells used,” Biden said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Speaker Johnson Survives Greene’s Ouster Attempt as Democrats Join G.O.P. to Kill It

Speaker Mike Johnson
Speaker Mike Johnson

Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday easily batted down an attempt by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia to oust him from his post, after Democrats linked arms with most Republicans to fend off a second attempt by G.O.P. hard-liners to strip the gavel from their party leader.

The vote to kill the effort was an overwhelming 359 to 43, with seven voting “present.” Democrats flocked to Mr. Johnson’s rescue, with all but 39 of them voting with Republicans to block the effort to oust him.

Members of the minority party in the House have never propped up the other party’s speaker, and when the last Republican to hold the post, Kevin McCarthy, faced a removal vote last fall, Democrats voted en masse to allow the motion to move forward and then to jettison him, helping lead to his historic ouster.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

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Malcolm Nance: SWORDS OF IRON Part 3 – End Game or Bloodbath?

Malcolm Nance
Malcolm Nance

Months of organized college protests in America and Europe gave HAMAS’s leader, Yahyah Sinwar, a feeling of confidence that the Israeli-HAMAS war was about to end in his favor. Almost ten weeks of wrangling and begging Hamas to accept cease-fires led protesters around the world to start chanting. “Palestine is almost free.”

Having just spent five weeks in Israel, it was pretty clear to me that protesters were living a delusion. Israel remains a mighty, likely nuclear-armed regional superpower that could defeat the best of whatever was thrown at them. Even after Iran had fired almost 350 drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles at Israel (virtually none of which damaged anything except critically wounding a Muslim Bedouin girl), the mood around American campuses was that their efforts were being noticed and that a cease-fire was imminent. Perhaps this irrational exuberance was seeping into the decision-making of the terrorist group’s senior management.  It would be a fatal error.  I’m sure the HAMAS fighters that were being bombarded on a minute-to-minute basis all across the Gaza Strip were not so agreeable. 

Read the rest of Malcolm Nance’s piece at and subscribe to his Substack

Florida Judge delays Donald Trump’s classified documents trial indefinitely

Trump Classified Documents
Trump Classified Documents

The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents casehas now indefinitely postponed the trial date pending resolution of outstanding pretrial litigation, including disagreements about how the classified information is used during trial.

It comes as Judge Aileen Cannon has continued to delay various deadlines in the case, making it all but certain the case doesn’t go to trial before Election Day.

“The Court also determines that finalization of a trial date at this juncture — before resolution of the myriad and interconnected pre-trial and CIPA issues remaining and forthcoming — would be imprudent and inconsistent with the Court’s duty to fully and fairly consider the various pending pre-trial motions before the Court, critical CIPA issues, and additional pretrial and trial preparations necessary to present this case to a jury,” Cannon wrote in the new order.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

U.S. paused shipment of thousands of bombs to Israel amid Rafah rift

The Biden administration paused the shipment of thousands of weapons to Israel, including controversial 2,000-pound bombs, amid mounting concern about the country’s plan to expand a military operation in southern Gaza that could dramatically increase the conflict’s death toll, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

“Israel should not launch a major ground operation in Rafah, where more than a million people are sheltering with nowhere else to go,” said a senior administration official, explaining the U.S. decision to pause the weapons shipments. “We are especially focused on the end-use of the 2,000-pound bombs and the impact they could have in dense urban settings as we have seen in other parts of Gaza.”

The disclosure marks the first known instance of a pause in U.S. arms transfers since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack into Israel that killed more than 1,200 people.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

Takeaways from Stormy Daniels’ testimony at the Trump hush money trial

Stormy Daniels In Court
Stormy Daniels In Court

Adult film star Stormy Daniels dished out salacious details of her alleged sexual encounter with former President Donald Trump in 2006 from the witness stand on Tuesday, describing how they met at a celebrity golf tournament and what she says happened when she went to Trump’s Lake Tahoe hotel room.

In a mostly casual and conversational tone, Daniels recounted details from the floors and furniture in Trump’s hotel room to the contents of his toiletry kit in the bathroom. At one point in court, Daniels threw back her arm and lifted her leg in the witness box to re-create the moment she says Trump posed on his hotel bed for her, stripped down to his undergarments.

But some of the details Daniels described were so explicit that Judge Juan Merchan cut her off at several points. And Trump’s lawyers argued that Daniels had unfairly prejudiced the jury, asking Merchan to declare a mistrial. The judge denied the request but added that some of the details from Daniels were “better left unsaid.”

Read the rest of the story at CNN

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M.I.T. Orders Encampment Cleared, and Columbia Cancels Main Commencement

Student Protest Palestine Campus
Student Protest Palestine Campus

Tensions were rising at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Monday after pro-Palestinian demonstrators resisted an order from the school to clear their encampment, leading to some skirmishes between the protesters and the police.

The entrenched protest movement was also causing disruptions to university commencements, with Columbia announcing the cancellation of its main ceremony. The move came after a weekend in which student activism was on display at several graduation events, alongside the usual pomp.

The weeks of demonstrations that led to police raids and arrests on several campuses — including at least 100 more at California schools on Monday morning — have spilled into the start of graduation season, with protests over the war in Gaza briefly disrupting some ceremonies over the weekend.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

With truce talks with Hamas at critical stage, Israel seizes Gaza side of Rafah border crossing with Eqypt

Tank Jeep Army Soldier Military
Tank Jeep Army Soldier Military

An Israeli tank brigade took control Tuesday of the Gaza Strip side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, authorities said, moving forward with an offensive in the southern city even as cease-fire negotiations with Hamas remain on a knife’s edge.

The move comes after hours of whiplash in the Israel-Hamas war, with the militant group on Monday saying it accepted an Egyptian-Qatari mediated cease-fire proposal. Israel, meanwhile, insisted the deal didn’t meet its core demands. The high-stakes diplomatic moves and military brinkmanship left a glimmer of hope alive – but only barely – for an accord that could bring at least a pause in the 7-month-old war that has devastated the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli 401st Brigade entered the Rafah crossing early Tuesday morning, the Israeli military said, taking “operational control” of the crucial crossing. It’s the main route for aid entering the besieged enclave and exit for those able to flee into Egypt. Israel has fully controlled all access in and out of Gaza since the war began.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Marjorie Taylor Greene backs off immediate vote to oust Speaker Johnson as she seeks deal

Marjorie Taylor Greene MTG State of the Union SOTU
Marjorie Taylor Greene MTG State of the Union SOTU

After a nearly two-hour meeting with Speaker Mike Johnson, far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., emerged from his office and said the two will continue their discussions Tuesday morning amid her threats to force a vote to depose him.

“We’re going to be meeting again tomorrow based on the discussion that we’ve had,” Greene said, standing in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, though she did not elaborate on what she and the speaker discussed.

She would not answer any questions about whether she was backing off forcing a vote on a so-called motion to vacate the speaker’s chair.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

What you missed on Day 12 of Trump’s trial: Another gag order ruling and details on how Michael Cohen was paid

Trump Angry
Trump Angry

Two new witnesses took the stand Monday on the 12th day of Donald Trump’s hush money trial, shortly after the judge overseeing the case again cited the former president for violating the gag order he imposed last month.

Ahead of trial testimony, New York state Judge Juan Merchan found that Trump ran afoul of the order prohibiting him from attacking witnesses and others involved in the case. Trump was fined $1,000 and warned that he could face jail time “if necessary” for any further violations.

When testimony resumed, a former Trump Organization executive and the first current employee to testify described how many of the large sums that went to Michael Cohen, for the alleged purposes of hush money payments, came directly from Trump’s bank account.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: Judge Merchan Says Throwing Trump In The Can For Violating His Gag Order Would Be ‘The Last Thing’ He Wants

He really, really, double-dog—really, no kidding really, means it this time. From The New York Times:

In a moment of remarkable courtroom drama, the judge, Juan M. Merchan, addressed Mr. Trump personally from the bench, saying that if there were further violations, he might bypass financial penalties and place the former president behind bars. Justice Merchan acknowledged that jailing Mr. Trump was “the last thing” he wanted to do, but explained that it was his responsibility to “protect the dignity of the justice system.” The judge said that he understood “the magnitude of such a decision” and that jailing Mr. Trump would be a last resort. He noted: “You are the former president of the United States, and possibly the next president as well.” As the judge delivered his admonition and imposed a $1,000 fine, Mr. Trump stared straight at him, blinking but not reacting, and when the remarks were over, the former president shook his head.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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Hope Hicks testifies at Trump trial about fallout from “hush money” payments

Hope Hicks at Trump Trial
Hope Hicks at Trump Trial

Nervous, and at one point in tears, Donald Trump’s former communications director Hope Hicks on Friday told the jury in his criminal trialabout how he reacted in 2016 and 2018 when news reports surfaced about allegations of extramarital sexual encounters and his attempts to suppress them.

Hicks was Trump’s top press aide during his 2016 presidential campaign and later served as White House communications director. On the stand, she testified about how she and others in Trump’s orbit handled revelations about the “hush money” payments made to two women before the election.

Earlier in the trial, former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker testified that Hicks had been “in and out” of a 2015 Trump Tower meeting where Pecker, Trump and Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney at the time, allegedly hatched the scheme to bury stories about Trump, a tactic now known as “catch and kill.” 

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Israeli Army Tells Palestinians To Evacuate Parts Of Rafah Ahead Of An Expected Assault

Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War
Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War

The Israeli army on Monday ordered tens of thousands of people in the southern Gaza city of Rafah to begin evacuating, signaling that a long-promised ground invasion could be imminent.

The announcement complicated last-ditch efforts by international mediators, including the director of the CIA, to broker a cease-fire. Hamas and Qatar, a key mediator, have warned that an invasion of Rafah could derail the talks.

Israel has described Rafah as the last significant Hamas stronghold after seven months of war, and its leaders have repeatedly said they need to carry out a ground invasion to defeat the Islamic militant group.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Kristi Noem suggests Biden’s dog Commander should be killed like hers

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

Kristi Noem suggested Sunday that President Joe Biden’s dog Commander should meet a similar fate as her 14-month-old dog Cricket, whom the South Dakota governor reportedly described shooting and killing in her coming book.

“Joe Biden’s dog has attacked 24 Secret Service people. So how many people is enough people to be attacked and dangerously hurt before you make a decision on a dog and what to do with it?” Noem, who is considered a potential running mate for former President Donald Trump, said in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Commander, a German shepherd, was relocated from the White House last year after a series of biting incidents.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

The Rude Pundit: Protect the Free Speech Rights of the Student Encampments

Rude Pundit
Rude Pundit

On Friday, I spoke to author and activist Ashley Dawson. Like me, Dawson is a professor at the City University of New York, which has a bunch of campuses around NYC. Unlike me, he had been to the Gaza war protest encampment at the City College of New York, which is a CUNY school. The encampments have sprung up at universities around the country (and the world) as part of an outcry against Israel’s massacre of civilians in its war on Gaza, as well against the United States’s role in funding that massacre. 

What Dawson described to me at CCNY sounded very much like the set-up at Occupy Wall Street, the protest that took up residence on a block in Lower Manhattan in Fall of 2011 and was beloved and supported across the board on the American left. He said of CCNY, “The encampment was a pretty amazing space. There were upwards of 40 tents, which included not just places for people to sleep but also a large and well-stocked people’s kitchen, a people’s library, and a medical clinic.” 

Read the rest of The Rude Pundit’s piece at his blog…

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Arizona Democratic governor signs bill repealing 1864 abortion ban

Arizona State Flag
Arizona State Flag

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed legislation Thursday repealing the state’s 160-year-old near-total abortion ban, setting the stage for a 15-week restriction to remain law.

The Democratic governor signed the bill one day after it passed the GOP-held Senate, where two Republicans joined with all 14 Democrats in the chamber to advance the measure. The hourslong debate over the bill grew contentious as Republicans blasted the two defectors and railed against Democrats and a potential fall ballot initiative that would enshrine abortion rights into the state constitution.

At a signing ceremony Thursday, Hobbs and other Democratic leaders framed the repeal as the first step in a larger struggle over reproductive rights.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

President Biden Addresses Growing Student Protests, Calls For Order

President Joe Biden Flags Speech
President Joe Biden Flags Speech

In brief, previously unscheduled remarks Thursday morning, President Joe Bidenaddressed the growing pro-Palestinian protests at college campuses across the country that have at times been marred by violence and vandalism.

“There’s the right to protest but not the right to cause chaos,” he said.

Speaking from the White House’s Roosevelt Room, Biden praised both the right to free speech and the rule of law as “fundamental American principles” and urged both be upheld and respected.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Secretly recorded phone calls and carefully worded denials: What you missed on Day 10 of Trump’s hush money trial

Trump Sleeping Courtroom Sketch
Trump Sleeping Courtroom Sketch

Taking the stand on Thursday, an attorney for porn actor Stormy Daniels fielded questions on a litany of celebrity gossip stories as attorneys for Donald Trump tried to paint him as an extortionist who helped leverage sex tapes into multimillion-dollar payouts.

Keith Davidson, the lawyer who represented two women — Daniels and Karen McDougal — who said they had affairs with Trump and were paid to stay quiet, gave jurors crucial insight into how the payment came about. Trump has denied the claims by McDougal, a former Playboy playmate, and Daniels.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

More than 2,000 people arrested nationwide in pro-Palestinian campus protests

Campus Protest Police
Campus Protest Police

The clashes between police officers and pro-Palestinian protesters on college campuses have seized national attention, putting a spotlight on modern-day campus activism, law enforcement tactics and the contentious debate over Israel’s war in Gaza. In the last three weeks, more than 2,000 people have been arrested across the U.S., according to a tally compiled by NBC News.

The arrests of protesters at Columbia University and UCLA have drawn particular scrutiny in recent days, but political demonstrations and heated confrontations have also roiled dozens of other campuses across the U.S., from state schools in the South and the Midwest to Ivy League institutions in the Northeast.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Trump acknowledges he told Secret Service on Jan. 6 that he would ‘like to go down’ to the Capitol

Former President Donald Trump acknowledged Wednesday that he told the Secret Service he wanted to go to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, depicting a different tone of an event that became a contentious detail of a former White House aide’s testimony before the House committee that investigated the attack.

In remarks at a campaign rally Wednesday afternoon in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Trump blasted the account of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. Hutchinson was a key witness during closely watched committee hearings in 2022.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she will force a vote to oust Speaker Mike Johnson next week

Marjorie Taylor Greene MAGA Hat SOTU
Marjorie Taylor Greene MAGA Hat SOTU

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said Wednesday she will force a vote next week to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson, daring Democrats and Johnson’s GOP allies to step in and save his job.

Wearing a red “MAGA” hat, Greene accused Johnson, R-La., of betraying the GOP and going against conservative wishes on government funding bills, passing Ukraine aid and reauthorizing the foreign intelligence surveillance program without new warrant requirements, among other issues.

“So next week, I am going to be calling this motion to vacate. Absolutely calling it,” Greene said at a news conference outside the Capitol. “I can’t wait to see Democrats go out and support a Republican speaker and have to go home to their primaries and have to run for Congress again.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

U.S. Violence breaks out at some pro-Palestinian campus protests

Student Protest Palestine Campus
Student Protest Palestine Campus

Dueling groups of protesters clashed Wednesday at the University of California, Los Angeles, grappling in fistfights and shoving, kicking and using sticks to beat one another. Hours earlier, police burst into a building at Columbia University that pro-Palestinian protesters took over to break up a demonstration that had paralyzed the school while inspiring others.

In addition, police and protesters clashed at the University of Arizona’s Tucson campus, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

After a couple of hours of scuffles between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators at UCLA, police wearing helmets and face shields formed lines and slowly separated the groups, quelling the violence. At least 15 protesters suffered injuries, and the tepid response by authorities drew criticism from political leaders, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, as well as Muslim students and advocacy groups.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Arizona Senate passes repeal of 1864 abortion ban, sending it to governor’s desk

Arizona State Flag
Arizona State Flag

The Arizona Senate on Wednesday voted to repeal a strict, Civil War-era abortion banthat was recently ruled enforceable by the state Supreme Court.

Two Republican senators, T.J. Shope and Shawnna Bolick, joined the 14 Democrats in the minority and the bill passed 16-14, over vocal GOP objection.

Ahead of her vote, Bolick took a broadly anti-abortion position on the floor — explaining in detail the three difficult pregnancies she had herself, including the story of her own miscarriage — but she voted with Democrats, suggesting the repeal of the stricter ban might weaken support for a Democratic-led ballot initiative in November to broaden abortion access further.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

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Malcolm Nance: Will the Free Palestine College Protests End American Democracy?

Malcolm Nance
Malcolm Nance

When I found myself running around the west side of the Pentagon on the morning of 9/11, almost three hundred people were burning to death a few dozen feet away from me.  I knew who had carried out the terrorist attacks.  I had worked on the al-Qaeda mission, training special operations soldiers in their mindset and ideology since early 1997.  I had studied, dissected, and analyzed al-Qaeda’s murderous playbook for years.  I wrote extensively about it in my 2010 book, An End to Al-Qaeda.

Read the rest of Malcolm Nance’s piece at and subscribe to his Substack

Democrats win a New York special election, further narrowing the House GOP’s majority

democrat democratic donkey DNC
democrat democratic donkey

Democrats won a special election for a House seat in western New York on Tuesday, The Associated Press projected, further shrinking the GOP’s narrow majority in the House.

Democratic state Sen. Tim Kennedy defeated Republican town supervisor Gary Dickson in the 26th District, a reliably blue area that includes Buffalo and some of its surrounding suburbs. Democrats will now control 213 seats in the House, compared with 217 for the Republicans. Five seats remain vacant.

Kennedy will serve the rest of Democratic Rep. Brian Higgins’ term. Higgins, who was in his 10th term, resigned in February to run a local performing arts center, and he had some choice words for partisan gridlock in the House. Higgins told The Buffalo News late last year that Congress is “in a very, very bad place” and that “we’re at the beginning phases of a deterioration of the prestige of the institution.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Violent clashes at UCLA; police clear occupied Columbia building and arrest nearly 100

Student Protest Palestine Campus
Student Protest Palestine Campus
  • There were violent clashes between the pro-Palestinian encampment and counter-protesters at UCLA overnight.
  • Hours earlier, special police units breached the occupied building at Columbia Universityentering Hamilton Hall through a second-story window using a massive truck and a ramp. Officers cleared the area and arrested almost 100 people.
  • The college said it was left with no choice but to call in the NYPD, and has asked police to maintain a presence on campus until May 17, after restricting access to residents and essential staff only.

Read the rest of the story and get live updates at NBC News

Biden administration plans to reclassify marijuana, easing restrictions nationwide

marijuana pot cannabis
marijuana pot cannabis

The Biden administration will take a historic step toward easing federal restrictions on cannabis, with plans to announce an interim rule soon reclassifying the drug for the first time since the Controlled Substances Act was enacted more than 50 years ago, four sources with knowledge of the decision said.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is expected to approve an opinion by the Department of Health and Human Services that marijuana should be reclassified from the strictest Schedule I to the less stringent Schedule III. It would be the first time that the U.S. government has acknowledged its potential medical benefits and begun studying them in earnest.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

What you missed on Day 9 of Trump’s trial: Gag order jail threat and testimony from Stormy Daniels’ former lawyer

Trump Sad Leaving Plane
Trump Sad Leaving Plane

The most consequential moment of Tuesday’s trial proceedingshappened just minutes after court began, when the judge held Donald Trump in criminal contempt over his social media posts and warned the former president that future violations could land him in jail.

Hours after New York state Judge Juan Merchan said he had violated the order’s prohibition against attacks on witnesses and jurors, Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, took to his Truth Social platform to call the trial “RIGGED” while attacking Merchan and vowing he would not stay quiet about the case.

When jurors returned to the courtroom, the focus was on the witness stand. The jury heard from four witnesses, including an attorney who helped broker the hush money agreements involving two women who alleged they had affairs with Trump. He has denied their claims.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Donald Trump’s hush money trial set to resume Tuesday as prosecutors continue to keep their plans secret

Trump Angry
Trump Angry

The third week of the Donald Trump criminal hush money business fraud trial will resume Tuesday with the Manhattan district attorney’s office continuing to be secretive about it its plan of attack.

Prosecutors are expected to pick up questioning of Michael Cohen’s former banker Tuesday morning.

It’s unclear what other witnesses will take the stand this week – Prosecutors have been tightlipped on their witness order, blaming Trump for his unpredictable public comments. In court, they said they would not give Trump’s legal team much in an effort to avoid subjecting witnesses to Trump’s social media wrath before they take the stand.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

Lawyers for Hunter Biden plan to sue Fox News ‘imminently’

Hunter Biden
Hunter Biden

Lawyers for Hunter Biden plan to sue Fox News “imminently,” according to a letter sent to the network and obtained by NBC News. 

The letter, dated April 23, puts the Fox News Channel and Fox News Digital on notice for litigation claims arising from the network’s alleged “conspiracy and subsequent actions to defame Mr. Biden and paint him in a false light, the unlicensed commercial exploitation of his image, name, and likeness, and the unlawful publication of hacked intimate images of him.” 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

A look at the protests of the war in Gaza that have emerged at US colleges

Student Protest Palestine Campus
Student Protest Palestine Campus

Student protests over the Israel-Hamas war have popped up at many college campuses following the arrest of demonstrators this month at Columbia University.

The students are calling for universities to separate themselves from companies that are advancing Israel’s military efforts in Gaza — and in some cases from Israel itself. The number of arrests nationwide has approached 1,000 since New York police arrested demonstrators at Columbia on April 18.

Protests on many campuses have been orchestrated by coalitions of student groups. The groups largely act independently, though students say they’re inspired by peers at other universities. Some universities say outsiders have joined student protesters and caused trouble.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Charlie Pierce: We’re Still Doing This Whole White House Correspondents Dinner Thing, Huh?

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

I guess this must have been what it was like at Versailles while all hell broke loose in Paris. From The Washington Post:

After a turn on the step-and-repeat with [owner of the music venue Echostage, Pete] Kalamoutsos, [social media content creator] Tony P was whisked upstairs, champagne in hand, to a roped-off VIP area, where he mingled with party doyenne and consultant Tammy Haddad and Axios CEO Jim VandeHei. Eventually, another guest joined the VIP section: former speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan. Tony P was star-struck. He worked up his courage. He shakes Ryan’s hand. “I would have voted for you in ’12 if I was old enough,” Tony P says to Ryan, even though Tony P is a Democrat. A dozen feet away and a foot lower in elevation from that stage, Henry considers this odd yet somehow perfectly matched pairing. “It’s Paul Ryan and Tony P. That’s the VIP section. And I feel like that’s emblematic of D.C.,” she says.

Be still, my heart.

Read the rest of Charlie Pierce’s piece at Esquire Politics

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The Rude Pundit: The Question that Justice Sonia Sotomayor Should Have Asked About Absolute Immunity for Presidents

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

Last week’s Supreme Court hearing in Trump v. United States (as accurate a case name as I’ve seen), aka “The One About Immunity from Prosecution,” was, to put it mildly, a shitshow at the monkeyfuck factory. In a case that should never have been taken, at least 5 of the justices, all the men, seemed to actually believe that Donald Trump and, presumably (but who knows), every president should have some immunity from being charged and tried as a criminal from acts done while president. In this case, it’s to try to get Trump out of any responsibility for the January 6 insurrection, which Special Counsel Jack Smith is trying to get to trial. Frankly, the hearing was a disgrace, a disgusting display of a deviant ideology that was disposed of in the goddamned Declaration of Independence. These right-wing dickholes actually tried to come up with ways that laws don’t apply to a president. 

Read the rest of The Rude Pundit’s post at his blog…

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem stands by decision to kill dog, share it in new book

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem – who has been considered to be a potential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump – addressed on Sunday the recent attention on her new book where she writes about killing an unruly dog and a goat.

The Guardian obtained a copy of Noem’s soon-to-be-released book, “No Going Back: The Truth on What’s Wrong with Politics and How We Move American Forward.” Noem is scheduled to be interviewed on “Face the Nation” next week about her upcoming book, set to be released on May 7. 

In it, she tells the story of the ill-fated Cricket, a 14-month-old wirehaired pointer she was training for pheasant hunting.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Biden swipes at Trump at White House correspondents’ dinner

President Joe Biden Speech
President Joe Biden Speech

President Joe Biden on Saturday used his White House Correspondents’ Association dinner speech to swipe at former President Donald Trump, taking shots at the presumptive GOP nominee while highlighting the stakes of the election.

Biden cracked jokes at his political rival’s expense and tackled age head-on, saying that he was “a grown man running against a 6-year-old.”

The president said later that age was the only thing he and Trump had in common, adding, “My vice president actually endorses me,” a reference to former Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to say he’ll back his former running mate in 2024.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden speaks with Netanyahu as tensions over the Israel-Hamas war mount in the US

President Joe Biden held a phone call on Sunday with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the backdrop of growing U.S. college campus protests and a possibly imminent invasion of Rafah.

The two discussed areas of commonality, with Biden “reaffirm[ing] his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security” after Iran’s missile and drone attack on the country earlier this month, the White House readout said. The leaders reviewed hostage and cease-fire discussions and talked about humanitarian aid in Gaza as well.

But the call also underscored daylight between the two on Israeli strategy in Gaza’s southern city of Rafah. Netanyahu shows no signs of backing away from a ground offensive there — a potential move that the U.S. publicly opposes.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Pro-Palestinian Encampments Spread, Leading to Hundreds of Arrests

Student Protest Palestine Campus
Student Protest Palestine Campus

In the week since Columbia University started cracking down on pro-Palestinian protesters occupying a lawn on its campus, protests and encampments have sprung up at other colleges and universities across the country. Police interventions on several campuses have led to more than 400 arrests so far.

Student protests against the war in Gaza and against their schools’ financial and academic ties to Israel and to weapons manufacturers have intensified since Columbia initially cleared the encampment, on April 18. Scores of people have been arrested in recent days at Emerson College, the University of Southern California and the University of Texas at Austin.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Supreme Court signals further delay in Trump election interference case as it weighs immunity claims

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

The Supreme Court indicated Thursday that any trial in former President Donald Trump’s election interference case is unlikely to take place any time soon, with justices expressing concern about whether certain presidential acts should be off-limits.

Although the court appears likely to reject Trump’s expansive claim of absolute immunity, it could remand the case for further proceedings, making it less likely that a trial would take place before the election.

The court is weighing the novel legal question of whether a former president can be prosecuted for what Trump’s attorneys say were “official acts” taken in office, though much of the focus remains on whether the justices will rule quickly so a trial can take place before the November election.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Sexy Liberal Philadelphia w/ Glenn Kirschner, JoJo From Jerz, and Lindy Li is TOMORROW NIGHT!! Tix available HERE!!!

Sexy Liberal Save The World Tour
Sexy Liberal Save The World Tour

Don’t miss out on the biggest night in Philadelphia history!  Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal “Save The World” Tour is Saturday!  Tickets available at:

https://concerts.livenation.com/stephanie-millers-sexy-liberal-save-the-philadelphia-pennsylvania-04-27-2024/event/0200605A8FE64571

‘To protect Donald Trump’: Hush money trial witness details deals with Playboy model and porn actress

Trump Sleeping Courtroom Sketch
Trump Sleeping Courtroom Sketch

A key witness in Donald Trump‘s criminal trial testified Thursday about his role in hush money payments to a porn actress and a Playboy model the former president allegedly had affairs with — and Trump’s plan to make sure other negative stories about him never saw the light of day. 

David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, said Trump at one point sought to buy the rights to Karen McDougal‘s allegations of a monthslong affair with him, as well as other information the Enquirer had on him in its archives. Trump has denied McDougal’s claims.

Pecker said that he eventually backed out of the deal for fear he could get into legal trouble — and that when he heard about adult film star Stormy Daniels’ claim of a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump, he decided he couldn’t front any more cash to keep his longtime friend out of trouble.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Glenn Kirschner: How prosecutors will ‘draw the sting’ during opening statements in Trump’s trial

The first criminal trial of a former president of the United States turns toward opening statements this week. Criminal litigators neither win nor lose a trial based on their opening statements. But jurors will begin to form important impressions: not only of the evidence for or against the charges they will be called upon to decide, but of the attorneys themselves. 

To understand the different goals and priorities of a prosecutor giving an opening statement and those of a defense attorney, we need to start with the basic principles of a criminal trial. Every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until the evidence proves the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof rests solely with the prosecution, to the point that the defense is not required to produce any evidence at trial. 

Read the rest of Glenn Kirschner’s piece at MSNBC

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Arizona Grand Jury Indicts Donald Trump Allies (incl. Meadows & Giuliani), 11 Fake Electors

Rudy Giuliani Shoe Polish Drip
Rudy Giuliani Shoe Polish Drip

An Arizona grand jury has indicted former President Donald Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, lawyer Rudy Giuliani and 16 others for their roles in an attempt to overturn Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

The indictment released Wednesday names 11 Republicans who submitted a document to Congress falsely declaring that Trump won Arizona in 2020. They include the former state party chair, a 2022 U.S. Senate candidate and two sitting state lawmakers, who are charged with nine counts each of conspiracy, fraud and forgery.

The identities of seven other defendants, including Giuliani and Meadows, were not immediately released because they had not yet been served with the documents. They were readily identifiable based on descriptions of the defendants, however.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Police arrest protesters at USC, UT Austin as pro-Palestinian demonstrations spread to more campuses

Student Protest Palestine Campus
Student Protest Palestine Campus
  • University of Southern California police arrested 93 people after they warned protesters to disperse. The university said protests devolved into vandalism and confrontations.
  • Columbia University said Wednesday that student protesters had agreed to take down “a significant number of tents,” but protests will continue.
  • Police said 108 people were arrested in protests around Bostons’ Emerson College Wednesday night.
  • Protests encampments are now in place on at least 20 college campuses across the U.S., including Harvard University, Brown University, the University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt

Read the latest updates at NBC News

Trump trial to resume with testimony about hush money deals with Playboy model and porn star

Trump Sleeping Courtroom Sketch
Trump Sleeping Courtroom Sketch

The first criminal trial of a former president resumes Thursday with a key witness against Donald Trump expected to describe details of the hush money agreement that was struck on his behalf with porn star Stormy Daniels.

David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer, is expected to outline his role in Daniels’ agreement, as well as another hush money deal involving Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model who claims she had a monthslong affair with Trump. McDougal alleges the affair began in 2006, the year Daniels alleges she had a sexual encounter with him. Trump has denied both women’s claims.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Supreme Court today will consider Trump’s claim of sweeping immunity in 2020 election case

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

The Supreme Court will convene Thursday to consider whether former President Donald Trump is entitled to broad immunity from federal prosecution, jumping into a blockbuster dispute that will be critical to the fate of his 2020 election case in Washington, D.C.

At issue in the case known as Trump v. United States is whether the former president can face criminal charges for allegedly official acts while he was in the White House. The dispute, which arose from the federal prosecution by special counsel Jack Smith, is the second to come before the justices in their current term with significant consequences for Trump’s political future.

The Supreme Court has never before addressed whether a former president is immune from criminal prosecution, and the outcome of the legal battle will determine whether Smith’s case heads to trial. The court has a 6-3 conservative majority, and Trump appointed three of its members.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

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SM Happy Hour VideoCast with Santiago Mayer, Hal Sparks, and Kimberley Johnson – 4-19-24

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Stephanie Miller Among Those To Enter Buffalo Broadcasters’ Hall Of Fame

Buffalo Broadcasters Association Logo
Buffalo Broadcasters Association Logo

The Buffalo Broadcasters Association (BBA) has announced this year’s Broadcasting Hall of Fame inductees; included on the list is syndicated talk show host Stephanie Miller. Buffalo Broadcasters Association president Steve Monaco comments, “Our Hall of Fame classes become more impressive every year. Each inductee has made important contributions to broadcasting in Buffalo.” A standup comedienne and best-selling author, Miller gained her first radio experience doing comedy bits on Sandy Beach’s morning show. She began her talk radio career at Los Angeles’ KFI in 1994. Miller would later host afternoons in Los Angeles at KTZN in 1997, before doing evenings at KABC (1997 – 2000). Her show was heard on progressive news/talk KTLK from 2005 – 2013 and she started the “Stephanie Miller’s Happy Hour” podcast. In a 1995 Los Angeles Times interview, Miller admitted, “I never thought about doing talk radio. To me talk radio was like old gray-haired guys talking about the budget.” Miller’s fellow BBA 2024 inductees will be former WGR sports radio morning host Howard Simon; former WGR-TV news anchor/reporter Sheila Murphy (who was a news reporter/anchor at Buffalo radio outlets WGR-AM and WBEN); network television producer/writer/actor Nick Bakay; former WKBW-TV reporter Mary Travers Murphy; morning radio team Shredd & Ragan; WGRZ-TV videographer J. Dooley O’Rourke; and former director of national sales for Buffalo/Toronto Public Media Jim DiMino. The Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame Dinner will be held September 19 at 7:00 pm at Samuel’s Grande Manor in Williamsville.

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Arizona Republicans block another Democratic effort to repeal 1864 abortion ban

Phoenix Arizona Cactus
Phoenix Arizona Cactus Saguaro

Arizona Republicans on Wednesday again blocked a Democratic-led effort to repeal a controversial 19th-century ban on almost all abortions in the state, which the Arizona Supreme Court has ruled is enforceable.

Democrats in the state House failed to overcome procedural obstacles to advance House Bill 2677, introduced by Democratic state Rep. Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, to repeal the 1864 abortion law, which predates Arizona’s statehood and only provides exceptions to save the life of the pregnant woman.

Only one of the Republican representatives joined with the Democratic minority, leaving them one vote short of pushing the bill forward.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

House Republicans release aid bills for Israel and Ukraine, eyeing weekend House votes

Speaker Mike Johnson
Speaker Mike Johnson

Facing a divided party and pressure to act, House Speaker Mike Johnson rolled out three bills Wednesday to provide assistance to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, with the hope of holding final votes on Saturday.

The bills represent a major test of Johnson’s ability to navigate a thicket of political and global challenges with a wafer-thin majority. And it comes as Johnson, R-La., faces a serious threat to his gavel from Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Thomas Massie, R-Ky.

Johnson’s biggest challenge is Ukraine funding, an issue that has bitterly divided the GOP. He has been squeezed by conservative security hawks who want to help Ukraine fend off Russia’s aggression and by an empowered isolationist wing that is feeding off former President Donald Trump’s criticism of NATO and prior Ukraine aid measures.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Senate quickly votes to dismiss impeachment articles against DHS Secretary Mayorkas

US Capitol Washington DC
US Capitol Washington DC

Senate Democrats successfully voted to dismiss two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday, just hours after the trial formally opened.

The speed of the impeachment trial was an embarrassing blow to Republicans who had threatened to gum up the Senate and delay the proceedings in a bid to highlight what they argue is Mayorkas’ failure to secure the border and stop the flow of thousands of undocumented migrants at the border.

However, Democrats, who control the upper chamber, easily dispensed with the pair of impeachment articles — as well as several motions to adjourn the Senate.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

On trial off-day, Trump complains about jury selection process for his criminal case

Trump Angry
Trump Angry

Former President Donald Trump ripped the jury selection process for his historic New York criminal trial Wednesday, the day after the first seven jurors were selected out of a pool of nearly 100 people.

Posting about the hush money trial on its scheduled off-day, Trump — who has repeatedly accused the judge in the case of being biased against him — suggested incorrectly that he should be entitled to unlimited strikes of potential jurors in his criminal case.

“I thought STRIKES were supposed to be ‘unlimited’ when we were picking our jury? I was then told we only had 10, not nearly enough when we were purposely given the 2nd Worst Venue in the Country,” he wrote on Truth Social before he decried the criminal cases against him as “election interference” and part of a “witch hunt.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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