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SMHH VideoCast with Hal Sparks – 12-2-22

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StephCast F 12-2-22

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Closing arguments get underway in the Trump Organization’s tax fraud trial

Golden Gavel Court
Golden Gavel Court

Closing arguments began Thursday in the tax fraud trial of the Trump Organization, which is accused of a sweeping 15-year schemeto compensate top executives of former President Donald Trump’s company off the books.

The defense began by recapping testimony from the prosecution’s star witness in the criminal trial, former company chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg, and others.

Trump Organization lawyers laid out their case that Weisselberg committed his crimes to benefit himself, saying prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney’s office failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he did so on behalf of the company.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Arizona county that balked at certifying election results finalizes tally after court order

Phoenix Arizona Cactus
Phoenix Arizona Cactus Saguaro

A Republican-led county in Arizona that flouted a statutory deadlinefor election certification ended up certifying its results Thursday shortly after a judge ordered officials there to take action.

Officials in Cochise County voted 2-0 to accept the results of the Nov. 8 election, enabling statewide certification to move forward Monday.

Ann English, the sole Democrat on the three-member Board of Supervisors, and Vice Chair Peggy Judd, a Republican, voted to approve the election results. GOP member Tom Crosby was absent.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Senate votes to avert rail strike, sends the legislation to Biden for his signature

Railroad crossing rail railway
Railroad crossing rail railway

The Senate passed legislation Thursday to avoid an economically catastrophic rail strike one day after the House approved the measure.

It now goes to President Joe Biden, who said he “will sign the bill into law.” He had pleaded with Congress to act swiftly, warning of major harm to supply chains that could disrupt supplies of clean drinking water and gasoline in an already fragile economy.

“Working together, we have spared this country a Christmas catastrophe in our grocery stores, in our workplaces, and in our communities,” Biden said in a statement after the Senate vote. “I know that many in Congress shared my reluctance to override the union ratification procedures. But in this case, the consequences of a shutdown were just too great for working families all across the country.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Federal Court Halts Mar-a-Lago Special Master Review In Blow To Trump

A federal appeals court on Thursday ended an independent review of documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate, removing a hurdle the Justice Department said had delayed its criminal investigation into the retention of top-secret government information.

The decision by the three-judge panel represents a significant win for federal prosecutors, clearing the way for them to use as part of their investigation the entire tranche of documents seized during an Aug. 8 FBI search of Mar-a-Lag o. It also amounts to a sharp repudiation of arguments by Trump’s lawyers, who for months had said that the former president was entitled to have a so-called “special master” conduct a neutral review of the thousands of documents taken from the property.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

StephCast Th 12-1-22

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Hakeem Jeffries Elected To Lead House Dems’ Next Generation

Rep Hakeem Jeffries Speaker of the House
Rep Hakeem Jeffries Speaker of the House

Emboldened House Democrats ushered in a new generation of leaders on Wednesday with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries elected to be the first Black American to head a major political party in Congress as long-serving Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team step aside next year.

Showing rare party unity after their midterm election losses, the House Democrats moved seamlessly from one history-making leader to another, choosing the 52-year-old New Yorker, who has vowed to “get things done,” even after Republicans won control of the chamber. The closed-door vote was unanimous, by acclamation.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Jan. 6 committee to release transcripts of interviews along with report, expected before Christmas, Thompson says

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

The House Jan. 6 committee will release transcripts of interviews investigators conducted in their investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the panel’s chairman, Bennie Thompson, said Wednesday.

“We plan to make available transcripts and other materials,” Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters on Capitol Hill. He later confirmed that the panel had finished all of its depositions.

The transcripts will be made public at the same time as the committee’s long-awaited report summarizing and detailing the probe, Thompson said, adding that he expects they would be released before the Christmas holiday.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Christine McVie, Fleetwood Mac singer-songwriter, dies at 79

Christine McVie Fleetwood Mac
Christine McVie Fleetwood Mac

Christine McVie, the English musician whose smoky vocals and romantic lyrics helped catapult the rock group Fleetwood Mac to international success, died Wednesday, the band and her family announced on social media.

She was 79.

“There are no words to describe our sadness at the passing of Christine McVie,” the group said in a statement on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. “She was truly one-of-a-kind, special and talented beyond measure.

.Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump’s tax returns now in the hands of House Ways-And-Means after lengthy court battle

A Democratic-led House committee now has access to six years of former President Donald Trump’s tax returns after a multiyear court fight.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday that it had complied with last week’s Supreme Court decision that paved the way for the returns to be handed over to the House Ways and Means Committee.

The committee didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. CNN first reported that the committee had received the tax returns.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast W 11-30-22

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Biden rallies lawmakers to act to avert rail strike ahead of looming deadline

Railroad crossing rail railway
Railroad crossing rail railway

President Joe Biden stepped up calls for Congress to avert a looming rail strike in a meeting at the White House with top lawmakers Tuesday, warning that the economy was at risk if they failed to act in the next few days.

Talks between railway workers and their employers appear to have stalled, making the prospect of a Dec. 9 strike more imminent. Shipments of crucial materials, like chemicals used to treat drinking water, are set to start winding down this week, industry leaders have warned, after some railway unions rejected an agreement between labor leaders and railway companies. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

McConnell after Trump-Fuentes dinner: Anyone meeting with antisemites ‘unlikely to ever be elected president’

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., appeared to take aim at former President Donald Trump on Tuesday over his decision to host Ye and white supremacist Nick Fuentes for dinner last week at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Flanked by other top Republicans, the GOP’s Senate leader opened his weekly news conference by saying: “First, let me just say that there is no room in the Republican Party for antisemitism or white supremacy. And anyone meeting with people advocating that point of view, in my judgment, are highly unlikely to ever be elected president of the United States.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Senate passes bill to protect same-sex and interracial marriage over GOP opposition

LGBT Gay Flag Rainbow
LGBT Gay Flag Rainbow

The Senate passed landmark legislation Tuesday that would codify federal protection for marriages of same-sex and interracial couples, with Democrats securing enough votes to overcome opposition from most Republicans.

The Respect for Marriage Act was approved 61-36, with support from all Democrats and 12 GOP votes, after a filibuster was defeated and three amendments offered by Republicans who oppose the bill were rejected.

The measure now returns to the House for a final vote before it can go to President Joe Biden, who said he looks forward to enacting it.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Two Oath Keepers, including founder, convicted of seditious conspiracy in Jan. 6 case

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

A federal jury in Washington on Tuesday found Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes and Kelly Meggs, another member of the far-right organization, guilty of seditious conspiracy in connection with the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, a victory for the government in a case that involved a rarely used Civil War era statute.

Three other members of the group who were on trial alongside Rhodes and Meggs — Jessica Watkins, Kenneth Harrelson and Thomas Caldwell — were found not guilty on the seditious conspiracy charge. All five defendants were found guilty of obstruction of an official proceeding and aiding and abetting for their actions on Jan. 6, 2021.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast T 11-29-22

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StephCast M 11-28-22

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Democrat Mary Peltola defeats Sarah Palin in race for Alaska’s at-large House seat

Alaska Map
Alaska Map

Democratic Rep. Mary Peltola has won a full two-year term representing Alaska in the House, NBC News projected Wednesday, defeating former governor and GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Peltola made history in August when she became the first Alaska Native seated in Congress after she won the special election to replace longtime GOP Rep. Don Young, who died in March at the age of 88.

Shortly after news broke that she had won a full term on Wednesday night, Peltola tweeted “WE DID IT!!!”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden says he’ll renew push for assault weapons ban following spate of mass shootings

White House Washington DC President
White House DC President

President Joe Biden said Thursday he would make a renewed effort to enact a ban on assault-style rifles following a wave of mass shootings that have again put a spotlight on the nation’s gun laws.

Speaking to reporters during a visit to a fire station on Thanksgiving morning, the president reiterated his long-standing argument that such weapons are a societal menace and should not be sold.

“The idea that we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick,” he said while greeting firefighters in Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he and his family are spending the Thanksgiving holiday. “It has no, no social redeeming value. Zero. None. Not a single solitary rationale for it except profit for the gun manufacturers.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast W 11-23-22

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StephCast T 11-22-22

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StephCast M 11-21-22

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Who is Jack Smith, the special counsel named in the Trump investigations

Jack Smith, the special counsel announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland on Friday to oversee the criminal investigations into the retention of classified documents at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and parts of the January 6, 2021, insurrection, is a long-time prosecutor who has overseen a variety of high-profile cases during a career that spans decades.

Smith’s experience ranges from prosecuting a sitting US senator to bringing cases against gang members who were ultimately convicted of murdering New York City police officers. In recent years, Smith has prosecuted war crimes at The Hague. His career in multiple parts of the Justice Department, as well as in international courts, has allowed him to keep a relatively low-profile in the oftentimes brassy legal industry.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

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Lawmakers Urge Action After Report Of Other Supreme Court Leak

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said his panel is reviewing “serious allegations” in a report that a former anti-abortion leader knew in advance the outcome of a 2014 Supreme Court case involving health care coverage of contraception.

The report Saturday in The New York Times followed the stunning leak earlier this year of a draft opinion in the case in which the high court overturned Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion. That decision was written by Justice Samuel Alito, who is also the author of the majority opinion in the 2014 case at the center of the new report.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Schiff contends Republican House majority will ‘be chaos’ with a ‘very weak leader’

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, on Sunday said he expects the incoming Republican majority will give in to its “lowest common denominator” members by pursuing decisions like removing him from his committee assignments.

In an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” Schiff was asked by co-anchor Jonathon Karl about GOP leader Kevin McCarthy’s promise to kick Schiff off the intelligence committee, to which Schiff responded that he thinks McCarthy will follow the lead of hardline lawmakers like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga.

“Well, I suspect he will do whatever Marjorie Taylor Greene wants him to do. He’s a very weak leader of this conference, meaning that he will adhere to the wishes of the lowest common denominator, and if that lowest common denominator wants to remove people from committees, that’s what they’ll do,” Schiff said.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Colorado club shooting updates: Suspect named after 5 dead, dozens injured at LGBTQ nightclub

Love Over Hate Memorial Shooting Colorado
Love Over Hate Memorial Shooting Colorado

Five people were killed and dozens others were injured in a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado, officials said.

The suspect, identified as 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich, allegedly began shooting as soon as he walked into Club Q in Colorado Springs late Saturday night, Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez told reporters during a news conference Sunday morning.

At least two people, whom authorities described as heroes, then confronted Aldrich and fought with him, which saved more lives, police said.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

SMHH Video Podcast with Kathleen Madigan 11-18-22

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StephCast F 11-18-22 – new

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Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg takes the stand in criminal case against company

Golden Gavel Court
Golden Gavel Court

A longtime executive at the Trump Organization took the witness stand Tuesday for the first time to testify against his employer in a criminal tax fraud case against the company, telling jurors that Donald Trump had been aware of the unusual pay structure for high-level employees.

Former Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, prosecutors’ star witness in their case against Trump’s company, described his role in a scheme that he said allowed the company and executives like him to cheat on taxes. He also told jurors that he pleaded guilty in August and was testifying as part of his plea agreement.

Weisselberg, 75, said Trump was aware that compensation for executives included perks such as apartments and luxury cars in lieu of extra salary.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

House Republicans plan investigations and possible impeachments with new majority

House Republicans’ majority will be smaller than expected, but they’re eager to use their new oversight powers and pass a spate of bills to draw contrasts with Democrats and give the Biden administration heartburn.

In this moment of divided government and fierce partisanship, it’s perhaps appropriate that the GOP conference is expected to be led by Reps. Kevin McCarthy of California and Steve Scalise of Louisiana, veteran lawmakers known more for their skills in political combat than for their policy acumen.

Although House Republicans will still face a Democratic White House and Senate aimed at blocking their legislative aims, McCarthy — who is working feverishly to cement his ascension to speaker despite growing discontent in his ranks — has already made it clear the party plans to launch investigations into the Biden administration and at least one of the president’s family members.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, says she’ll step down as Democratic leader

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi

Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, who helped shape many of the most consequential laws of the early 21st century, said Thursday that she will step down after two decades as the Democratic Party’s leader in the chamber.

“With great confidence in our caucus I will not seek re-election to Democratic leadership in the next Congress,” Pelosi said in a speech on the House floor.

Pelosi was speaker from 2007 to 2011 and returned to the top job in 2019. She announced her decision just a day after NBC News and other news outlets projected that Republicans had flipped control of the House in last week’s midterm election, sending Pelosi and the Democrats back to the minority.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Twitter to temporarily close offices amid wave of new resignations after Musk’s ultimatum

Twitter

Twitter said it would be closing all its offices until Monday, according to an email shared by a departing employee, after a new wave of employees resigned when Elon Musk issued an ultimatum telling them they would need to be willing to commit to a “hardcore” work environment.

“Please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential company information on social media, with the press or elsewhere,” the email shared with CNBC on Thursday said.

Internal Slack messages also shared with CNBC showed engineers and other employees posting goodbye messages to a “watercooler” chat group in the run-up to the 5 p.m. ET Thursday deadline Musk set Wednesday. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast Th 11-17-22

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Pelosi plans to address her future in Congress on Thursday

Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., plans to address her future in Congress to her colleagues on Thursday, according to her spokesperson.

“@SpeakerPelosi has been overwhelmed by calls from colleagues, friends and supporters. This evening, the Speaker monitored returns in the three remaining critical states. The Speaker plans to address her future plans tomorrow to her colleagues. Stay tuned,” Pelosi spokesperson Drew Hammill tweeted Wednesday night.

As Democrats celebrate overperforming expectations in the midterm elections, a conversation between Pelosi and fellow members of the California delegation has fueled speculation on the question of will Pelosi stay or will she step down from her leadership role.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Rep. Karen Bass becomes first woman elected mayor of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Skyline
Los Angeles Skyline

Democratic Rep. Karen Bass has been elected mayor of Los Angeles, NBC News projected Wednesday, making her the first woman to hold the role.

Bass defeated Rick Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer who was endorsed by Elon Musk, in a tight race to replace Democrat Eric Garcetti. The race was nonpartisan; both Bass and Caruso are Democrats. Caruso spent about $100 million on his campaign.

Bass, who is serving her sixth term in the House, was on the shortlist to be Joe Biden’s vice presidential running mate in 2020. She announced her mayoral campaign in September of last year, saying tackling the city’s homeless crisis would be a top priority.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Republicans win control of the House, overtaking Democrats by a slim margin

Republicans have won control of the House, NBC News projected Wednesday, handing President Joe Biden a divided Congress after Democrats kept control of the Senate in last week’s midterm elections.

Republicans finally cemented their takeover a week after polls closed on Election Day, fueled by Democrats’ surprising strength around the country. Republicans had hopes of sweeping into power with dozens of wins, but instead they will have only a thin majority, complicating their ability to function in the House chamber.

The results revealed an America still torn over former President Donald Trump, his repeated false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him and how the country and the GOP should move forward. In several close races, voters cited the economy and inflation as their top concerns, but they weren’t enough to power Republicans to a decisive sweep after Trump effectively made the elections a referendum on him, his past and his plans as the de facto leader of the party.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast W 11-16-22

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Kevin McCarthy wins GOP nomination for House speaker

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy

House Republicans nominated Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current minority leader, as their candidate for speaker of the House on Tuesday, with McCarthy overcoming a conservative challenger as the party inches closer to winning control of the lower chamber.

McCarthy was tapped as the nominee in an internal meeting of the Republican conference by a secret-ballot vote of 188 to 31, multiple sources in the meeting confirmed to CBS News. The vote means the California Republican is the favorite to become speaker of a GOP-controlled House, but the path to securing the 218 votes needed to claim the gavel during a vote of the full House in January is likely to be a difficult one, since Republicans are poised to hold a razor-thin majority of seats after a weaker-than-expected performance in last week’s midterm elections.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Poland calls missile that killed 2 ‘Russian-made’; Biden says it’s ‘unlikely’ it was fired from Russia

Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War
Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War

The Polish government said a Russian-made missile killed two of its citizens Tuesday near the border with Ukraine, but U.S. President Joe Biden said that it was “unlikely” that it was launched from Russia.

Polish leaders convened an emergency security and defense meeting and agreed to increase its military readiness.

Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau summoned the Russian ambassador and demanded an explanation for the deadly blast in Przewodów, a settlement near the southeastern town of Hrubieszów.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Sen. Rick Scott will challenge McConnell for top Senate GOP leadership post

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., on Tuesday announced a challenge to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for the top Republican leadership job in the Senate.

“The status quo is broken and big change is needed,” Scott said in a tweet. “It’s time for new leadership in the Senate that unites Republicans to advance a bold conservative agenda. That’s why I’m running to be the Senate Republican Leader.”

Scott first announced the move at a meeting of GOP members, a spokesman said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump, whose lies about the 2020 election inspired an insurrection, announces third White House bid with rambling, low-energy speech

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

Donald Trump, the only president impeached twice, launched a campaign to reclaim the Oval Office on Tuesday, two years after voters ousted him and a week after they rejected his hand-picked candidates in several pivotal Senate races.

“America’s comeback starts right now,” Trump said from the ballroom of his Mar-a-Lago resort, where he was joined by members of his family and prominent supporters such as political operative Roger Stone, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

“We have always known that this was not the end. It was only the beginning of our fight to rescue the American dream,” Trump said, adding a twist to his trademark slogan: “In order to make America great and glorious again, I am tonight announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast T 11-15-22

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Trump D.C. hotel receipts reveal $10,500-a-night rooms for foreign officials seeking to influence U.S. policy

Trump Tower Chicago
Trump Tower Chicago

During Donald Trump’s presidency, the governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey, China and Malaysia spent hundreds of thousands of dollars at Trump International Hotel in Washington at the same time they were trying to influence U.S. foreign policy, according to investigative findings released Monday by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

Hotel receipts obtained by the Oversight Committee show that the thenprime minister of Malaysia and his delegation spent $259,724 at the hotel during a one-week stay in September 2017, including a $10,000 room and a $1,500 “Personal Trainer” for embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak, as well as $9,229 for “Coffee Break[s].” At the time, Razak was unsuccessfully lobbying the Trump administration to drop an investigation into a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund he had co-founded.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Partisan control of the House remains unknown with 14 races uncalled

capitol washington DC
capitol washington DC

Races for more than a dozen House seats remained uncalled as of Monday night, leaving political control of the chamber unknown nearly a week after voting in the 2022 midterms general election cycle concluded.

Most of the 14 House seats that NBC News has not called are in California. So far, Democrats have been elected to 206 seats and Republicans have won 215. A party needs to secure 218 to hold the majority in the House.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Conservatives warn McCarthy: You don’t have the votes for speaker

republican elephant GOP
republican elephant GOP

Conservative lawmakers sent a strong message to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy on Monday, telling him he doesn’t have the votes to be the next speaker.

The warning shot came just one day before McCarthy heads into a closed-door election seeking to become his party’s nominee for speaker of the House starting in January.

The California Republican is expected to easily surpass the simple majority needed to win the nomination, but members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus are planning to put up a symbolic challenger to make clear that McCarthy can’t reach the magic number needed — 218 votes — in the formal floor vote when the new Congress convenes on Jan. 3.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Democrat Katie Hobbs defeats MAGA favorite Kari Lake in high-stakes race for governor in Arizona

Phoenix Arizona Cactus
Phoenix Arizona Cactus Saguaro

Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has defeated Republican Kari Lake in Arizona’s race for governor, NBC News projected Monday.

Hobbs’ victory is key for Democrats in a presidential battleground state and a rebuke to a prominent election denier — although the closeness of the contest left the result up in the air for nearly a week.

“I am honored to have been selected to serve as the next Governor of Arizona,” Hobbs said in a statement Monday night. “I want to thank the voters for entrusting me with this immense responsibility. It is truly an honor of a lifetime, and I will do everything in my power to make you proud.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: Can Joe Biden Save America’s Soul?

It was a cold and windy February day in South Carolina. Pundits doing live shots in the parking lot of the bar were wearing blankets over the lower third of their bodies, just out of frame. A Democratic presidential primary was going on, and if there was a general consensus, it was that Joe Biden’s campaign at least had to cloud a mirror held under its nose to account for what had been to that point a doomed and futile ride into forced retirement.
 

He’d stumbled badly in Iowa, fallen flat on his face in New Hampshire, and finished far up the track in second in Nevada. This was Biden’s third try at the presidential nomination, and he had yet to win a single primary in any of them. A former vice president to a still-popular two-term president, Biden needed to do something in South Carolina or he was headed for the remainder bin. Almost a year later, after a lot of fuss and bother (and one armed insurrection), Biden was sworn in as the forty-sixth president of these United States. 

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

StephCast M 11-14-22

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Biden Takes Victory Lap Overseas On Dems Taking Senate But Notes ‘It’s Always Better With 51’

Biden Speaking
Biden Speaking

President Joe Biden took a victory lap in Cambodia over the Democrats taking control of the Senate again in the midterms, but noted a victory in the Georgia runoff is still crucial.

Shortly after Democrats ensured 50-seat control with the victory of Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto, President Biden emerged to speak briefly with reporters at the Raffles Hotel Le Royal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Biden congratulated Leader Chuck Schumer and took questions for several minutes.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Democrats Sweep GOP Election Deniers In Battleground Races For Secretary Of State

democrat democratic donkey DNC
democrat democratic donkey

Republican election deniers used the 2022 midterms to target battleground positions for secretary of state that would allow them to take over key electoral systems and turn the “big lie” into official election protocols.

They completely failed.

The Associated Press has projected that Democrat Cisco Aguilar will defeat Republican election denier Jim Marchant in Nevada’s race, a result that confirmed Democrats had pulled off a clean sweep of the major contests for secretary of state that GOP election deniers had targeted.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Democrats retain control of Senate with victory in Nevada

Washington Dc Capitol
Washington Dc Capitol

Democrats will continue to control the Senate following the 2022 midterm elections, after Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto on Saturday was projected by CBS News to win a tight reelection race against Republican Adam Laxalt.

In a speech Sunday, Cortez Masto said when “national pundits said I couldn’t win, I knew Nevada would prove them wrong.”

Cortez Masto highlighted her support for first responders and labor unions, as well as her Latino heritage — her grandfather immigrated to Nevada from Mexico. And she said Nevada voters “rejected the far-right.” 

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Trump sues Jan. 6 committee to block subpoena for documents, testimony

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

Former President Trump has sued to block the Jan. 6. committee subpoena for documents and testimony.

The committee last Friday extended the deadline for Trump to comply with their documents request by one week. The initial deadline was Nov. 4. The committee also asked Trump to appear for a deposition on Monday, Nov. 14.

As ABC News previously reported, this move was expected by Trump’s team to attempt to run out the clock on the subpoena before Republicans potentially retake the House following the 2022 midterm elections.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

The Rude Pundit: Blaming Trump Lets Republicans Off the Hook (and Other Observations on a Pretty Good Election)

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

(Started writing this early in the week, but because Covid is still a thing, I’ve been back in Louisiana with to see a sick, hospitalized family member. Things are looking good now, but it was dicey. Get vaccinated. Wear masks. Do the shit you need to do.)

In the wake of Republicans having their raging red wave erections slapped flaccid by the firm, stinging hand of reality in the 2022 midterm elections, blame for this epic cock block has seemed to come to rest on one major cause: Donald Trump, who really was once president of the United States (something that still boggles my mind every goddamn day) and is still, to some, the de facto leader of the Republican Party. “A red wave of criticism crashes into Donald Trump after midterm losses,” says the Washington Post, quoting current Republicans about how Trump’s endorsements and his general Donald Trumpishness didn’t help. The Guardian goes with “Republicans have someone to blame for their disappointing result: Donald Trump.” And Fox Business quotes former Trump adviser Mercedes Schlapp, which is the name of a real adult human and not an SNL character or terrible branding exercise, saying that Republicans were being too hasty to blame Trump.

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

SMHH VideoCast with Jen Kirkman & Victor Shi 11-11-22

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StephCast F 11-11-22

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Alex Jones ordered to pay an additional $473 million to Sandy Hook families

justice court lawyer
justice court lawyer

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his company were ordered Thursday to pay an additional $473 million in punitive damages to families of the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre over promoting the falsehood that the 2012 school shooting was a hoax.

The order is part of a Connecticut lawsuit brought against Jones and his company Free Speech Systems Jones for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of the state Unfair Trade Practices Act. The plaintiffs testified in court that Jones profited off his lies that the school shooting never happened while they were harassed and abused by those who believed him.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Kevin McCarthy’s bid to be House speaker is in jeopardy

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy

In 2015, bomb-throwers in the House Freedom Caucus derailed Kevin McCarthy’s quest to become speaker.

Seven years later, members of the ultraconservative, Trump-aligned group are once again causing major headaches for McCarthy as the California Republican makes another run for the top job.

NBC News has not yet projected which party will control the House, but an estimate modeling the outcome finds Republicans with a slightly better chance. Republicans would have a razor-thin majority should they win.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Democrats Pad Narrow Leads In Arizona Senate, Governor Races

Phoenix Arizona Cactus
Phoenix Arizona Cactus Saguaro

Democrats padded their narrow leads in key Arizona contests on Thursday, but the races for U.S. Senate and attorney general were still too early to call with about a fifth of the total ballots left to be counted.

Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly led Republican Blake Masters by 5.6 percentage points, while Democrat Katie Hobbs had a much tighter lead of 1.4 points against Republican Kari Lake in the governor’s race. Democrats also led in the races for secretary of state and attorney general.

Election officials in Maricopa County, which includes metro Phoenix and more than 60% of voters, expected to begin reporting results Friday from a crucial group of ballots — nearly 300,000 mail ballots that were returned on Election Day. That group has swung wildly in recent election cycles, from strongly Democratic in the 2018 midterms to strongly Republican in 2020.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Trump Unleashes On ‘Average’ DeSantis After Florida Gov. Cruises To Victory

Former President Donald Trump issued a blistering tirade against newly reelected Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday, calling the potential presidential nominee an “average” governor with “great public relations.”

“Ron came to me in desperate shape in 2017 — he was politically dead, losing in a landslide,” Trump said in a statement. “Ron had low approval, bad polls, and no money, but he said that if I would Endorse him, he could win. … When I Endorsed him, it was as though, to use a bad term, a nuclear weapon went off.”

The former president unveiled a new nickname for DeSantis at a rally earlier this month, calling the governor Ron “DeSanctimonious.”

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

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Control Of Congress Unclear With Many Races Still Up For Grabs

Capitol Washington Snow Night DC
Capitol Washington Snow Night DC

Americans will have to wait to learn whether Democrats will maintain control of the House and Senate, allowing President Joe Biden to continue to enact policy and appoint judges, or whether Republicans will receive a majority in either chamber to block his agenda.

Votes were still being counted in the Arizona and Nevada Senate races hours after the polls closed Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, Georgia’s Senate race is headed to a Dec. 6 runoff election after no candidate received a majority of the vote.

Democrats picked up an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania and are favored to hold on to their seat in Arizona. That means the question of Senate control will likely be decided by the winners of the Nevada and Georgia races.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

2022 Georgia Senate race: Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker headed for a runoff

georgia

The closely-watched race for the U.S. Senate in Georgia between Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker will head to a runoff election, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced Wednesday afternoon.

“Ballots are being built as we speak, and counties are making preparations,” Raffensperger told reporters.

There was a third-party candidate in the race, and neither Warnock nor Walker was projected by CBS News to clear the 50% threshold of votes needed to declare victory, setting up another showdown between the two at the ballot box on Dec. 6.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Biden says midterm voters sent an ‘unmistakable message’ about democracy and abortion rights

Biden Speech
Biden Speech

President Joe Biden on Wednesday celebrated midterm electionresults that he said defied expectations for the Democratic Party, arguing that the country is on the “right path” under his leadership and that his policy agenda is delivering results.

Biden said at the White House that voters “sent a clear and unmistakable message” about issues such as democracy and abortion rights but were also “clear that they are still frustrated” when it comes to the economy and inflation.

While it remains unclear whether Democrats will keep control of Congress, Biden and his party have avoided the “red wave” that some strategists predicted would be fueled by inflation and economic woes.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Kari Lake or Katie Hobbs? Hobbs’ lead in Arizona’s race for governor narrows

Phoenix Arizona Cactus
Phoenix Arizona Cactus Saguaro
Katie Hobbs leads Kari Lake by thousands of votes, but it could still be a few days before all ballots are counted.
 

PHOENIX — Arizona’s race for governor has come down to a tight struggle between Republican Kari Lake and Democrat Katie Hobbs.

As of 2:00 a.m, the lead is narrowing. 

Read the story at AZCentral.com

J.D. Vance wins Ohio Senate race, defeating Democrat Tim Ryan, NBC News projects

Ohio Flag
Ohio Flag

J.D. Vance, the “Hillbilly Elegy” author who was a searing Donald Trump critic before he converted into one of his most loyal allies, has defeated Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan in Ohio’s Senate race, NBC News projects.

Vance will succeed fellow Republican Rob Portman, who did not seek re-election. Unlike Portman, Vance has advanced unsubstantiated theories that a second term was stolen from Trump at the ballot box in 2020.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude,” Vance told a cheering crowd of supporters crammed inside a hotel ballroom here.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

John Fetterman wins Pa. Senate race, defeating celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz and flipping key state for Democrats

Pennsylvania Seal
Pennsylvania Seal

John Fetterman, the state lieutenant governor, has won Pennsylvania’s high-voltage race for an open Senate seat, defeating celebrity TV doctor Mehmet Oz, bringing an end to one of the nastiest and most expensive campaigns of the year as both parties treated it as a potential tipping point for control of the chamber.

Fetterman will succeed Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican who opted against seeking re-election. Just after 2 a.m. E.T., Fetterman led by more than 2 percentage points with about 93% of expected votes being reported.

“It’s official. I will be the next U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania,” Fetterman tweeted. “We bet on the people of Pennsylvania — and you didn’t let us down. And I won’t let you down. Thank you.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

CONTROL OF CONGRESS UNCERTAIN AS DEMS DODGE A ‘REPUBLICAN WAVE’

A deeply divided American electorate delivered a Congress so evenly split that partisan control remained unknown Wednesday morning — and may for some time — after Republican hopes for a major “red wave” dissipated.

Hours after polls closed, dozens of critical House and Senate races remained too close to call. It could be weeks before control of the Senate is settled if the Georgia contest between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker is forced into a runoff in December.

It’s a far cry from the decisive early victory Republicans expected to sweep them into power on Capitol Hill, based on recent polls and historical trends. The GOP in anticipation had already drawn up plans to investigate and potentially even impeach President Joe Biden.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Stewart Rhodes says fellow Oath Keepers were ‘stupid’ to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6

Golden Gavel Court
Golden Gavel Court

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes told jurors at his seditious conspiracy trial Monday that other members of the far-right group who stormed the U.S. Capitol were “off-mission” and insisted he was not engaged in any operation to forcefully oppose the federal government on Jan. 6.

“I had no idea that any Oath Keeper was even thinking about going inside or would go inside,” Rhodes said in his testimony in what has become a six-week-long trial for himself and co-defendants Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell.

During hours of testimony, Rhodes told jurors that going into the Capitol was “stupid” because it “opened the door for our political enemies to persecute us, and that’s what happened, and here we are.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Powerball jackpot up to a dizzying, world record $1.9B as drawing delayed again

dollars money bills
dollars money bills

Americans are once again playing a waiting game in early November after Monday night’s Powerball drawing with a historic $1.9 billion jackpot was delayed.

Many had waited on tenterhooks for Monday’s result, only to learn that the drawing would be delayed, with the Multi-State Lottery Association saying it had one participating lottery that needed additional time to process its sales.  

Powerball requires all 48 participating lotteries to submit their sales and play data before the winning numbers can be selected.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Legal fight explodes in Pennsylvania over mail-in ballots

Pennsylvania Seal
Pennsylvania Seal

On the eve of Election Day, a legal battle has erupted in one of the most closely watched battleground states of the 2022 midterms.

Democrats sued Monday demanding that undated or incorrectly dated mail-in ballots be counted in Pennsylvania’s election, which could end up determining which party controls the Senate.

The lawsuit, filed in part by Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman’s campaign, argues that a provision in state law requiring that mail-in ballots include the date on the outside of the envelopes violates federal law. The suit names the state’s 67 county election boards as defendants.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Election Day Dawns, Shadowed by Threats to Democracy

Vote Election Ballot
Vote Election Ballot

After a long and chaotic campaign, Election Day is finally here. The consequential election could shift the balance of power in Congress and determine the fate of President Biden’s agenda, as well as legislation on abortion, immigration and crime. Also up for grabs are contests for state houses and governor’s mansions with major implications for democracy itself.

Millions of Americans have already voted; millions more will do so today. New York Times reporters are on the ground across the country and will report on developments throughout the day and night.

Read the live updates at The New York Times

Charlie Pierce: This Time the Robber Barons Came for Democracy

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire
When I was living and going to school in Milwaukee back in the early 1970s, Uihlein was one of those names that seemed always to be in the atmosphere, in which, I might add, it shared space with yeast and hops and the sweet, enveloping aroma of the Ambrosia Chocolate Company. On hot summer days, the air was a riot of industrial bouquets, and none of them was perfumed (the component parts of beer smell even worse than beer does when it’s run through a human being. I’m just saying).
 

Anyway, the Uihlein name was all over the place, like Schroeder or Pabst. It was most prominently featured on the city’s Uihlein Center For The Performing Arts (since 1994, it’s been the Marcus Center For The Performing Arts, but there’s still a Uihlein Hall inside). The Uihleins have bankrolled more than theaters, however. Even before the Supreme Court’s ill-starred decision in Citizens United v. SEC, the Uihleins—and their money—were deeply involved in conservative politics.

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

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Trump considered announcing 2024 presidential run at Oz-Mastriano rally

According to a source familiar with the discussions and in frequent communication with former President Trump, Mr. Trump considered Saturday’s rally in Pennsylvania as a backdrop to announce a run for President in 2024. 

This source said his advisers urged him not to, saying it could take attention away from the candidates on the ballot on Tuesday.

Ultimately the former president agreed. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Obama and Trump battle over western Pennsylvania with dueling rallies in a final midterm push for the critical state

vote ballot election
vote ballot

Two former presidents duked it out with dueling rallies Saturday across western Pennsylvania, where they stumped for Senate candidates locked in one of the most consequential races of the cycle and offered wildly different visions of America as the final midterm fight centers on the Keystone State.

Around noon, Barack Obama rallied with Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic Senate nominee, along with Democratic candidates in local House races on the University of Pittsburgh’s campus. Hours later, Donald Trump campaigned with Republican Senate nominee Mehmet Oz, GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, and down-ballot Republicans at a regional airport in Latrobe, about an hour east of Pittsburgh.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

A Basic Guide to the U.S. Midterm Elections

Vote Election Ballot
Vote Election Ballot

If you are broadly aware that the upcoming midterm elections in the United States have major global implications, but you’re not up to speed on the American system of government or you’re having trouble following along, you’re in the right place.

In the United States’ two-party system, control of two crucial bodies of government — the Senate and the House of Representatives — is essential for getting laws made, and it will be decided by a vote on Nov. 8. Democrats currently control both bodies and the presidency, and losing either the House or the Senate to Republicans would significantly decrease Democrats’ power in the next two years of President Biden’s term.

Read the guide at The New York Times

Comedian Kathy Griffin suspended from Twitter after mocking CEO Elon Musk

Twitter

Comedian Kathy Griffin’s Twitter account was suspended Sunday, the same day she changed her page’s title to “Elon Musk” and mocked the new CEO.

It wasn’t clear whether the suspension was permanent or a direct result of her mockery. It came as Musk announced that accounts that impersonate celebrities and other notables would be prohibited unless they’re labeled “parody.”

Twitter’s policy has always prohibited impersonation, but the immediate action is new.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

The Rude Pundit: Barack Obama Calls Crazy “Crazy” and We Need More of That

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

We needed Barack Obama to lay it all out for us: “Imagine if you hire your plumber. You’ve got an overflowing toilet. It’s a problem,” he said during a rally in Michigan. “[The plumber] comes in and, you know, you’re waiting for the toilet to be fixed. He starts, ‘Have you heard about the latest conspiracy of the Lizard People?’ and he starts talking to you about all this stuff. ‘We gotta do something about that.’ You’d be like, ‘No no no, I just want you to fix my toilet.’ You’d find another plumber.” 

What Obama has done as he crosses the country for Democratic candidates in tight races is to say that crazy motherfuckers are crazy motherfuckers and we need to say they’re crazy motherfuckers and stop acting like their crazy motherfucking is in any way valid. In that Michigan speech, Obama brought up how Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s opponent, Republican Tudor Dixon (which sounds like what you’d call a shitty mobile home park to make it sound fancy) said in 2020 that Democrats are trying to topple the U.S. government and control people through Covid-19 restrictions because they lost the Civil War. Obama exclaimed, “Now first of all…what?” And then he turned to the laughing crowd and gave a confused/concerned smirk, adding, “Wha…what?” The “the fuck” is implied. He continued, “I mean, I know some people go down these rabbit holes on the internet. They’re up too late. But that’s like a subway tunnel. That’s deep. That’s the darkest rabbit hole I’ve ever seen.”

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

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Judge grants independent monitor to oversee Trump Organization, in major victory for NY AG

Trump Tower Chicago
Trump Tower Chicago

A New York judge has approved a preliminary injunction and an independent monitor to oversee the Trump Organization in an order that follows several hours of oral arguments Thursday.

The judge chided the Trump defense team for failing to submit “an iota of evidence” that would rebut the New York attorney general’s allegations of “comprehensive demonstration of persistent fraud” within the Trump Organization.

In deciding to appoint a monitor to supervise parts of former President Donald Trump’s business and grant a preliminary injunction to stop, what the attorney general’s office described as “ongoing fraudulent activities,” Judge Arthur Engoron said Trump has “demonstrated propensity” to engage in fraud, specifically calling out the overvaluation of Trump’s New York City apartment.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Biden puts economic record front and center at New Mexico midterms rally

Biden Harris
Biden Harris

President Joe Biden gave a forceful defense of his economic record Thursday at a rally in the final days before the midterm elections, warning that Republicans are backing policies that would gut the social safety net families need for retirement and health care.

Speaking at a campaign event for Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Biden struck a populist chord, blaming big oil companies for high gas prices and the pharmaceutical industry for making prescription drugs tough to afford.

He also singled out Republican lawmakers like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia for benefiting from pandemic relief loans aimed at businesses as they criticized his plan to forgive student loan debt.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Paul Pelosi Released From Hospital After Being Attacked At San Francisco Home

San Francisco Skyline Dark
San Francisco Skyline Dark

Paul Pelosi, the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was released from the hospital Thursday, six days after an assailant broke into their San Francisco home and struck him in the head with a hammer, her office said.

“The Pelosi family is thankful for the beautiful outpouring of love, support and prayers from around the world,” the speaker said in a statement Thursday. “Paul is grateful to the 911 operator, emergency responders, trauma care team, ICU staff, and the entire ZSFGH medical staff for their excellent and compassionate life-saving treatment he received after the violent assault in our home.”

Pelosi said her husband remained under doctors’ care and was beginning a “long recovery process and convalescence” after he underwent surgery for a skull fracture and injuries to his right arm and hands.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Oprah Throws Support Behind Fetterman In Pennsylvania Senate Race, Abandoning Oz

Pennsylvania Seal
Pennsylvania Seal

Oprah Winfrey threw her support behind Pennsylvania Democrat John Fetterman in his race for a U.S. Senate seat on Thursday, a major loss for his Republican competitor, Mehmet Oz.

Winfrey made the comments during a virtual voting event with community leaders Thursday, part of her OWN Your Vote initiative to encourage Black women to participate in elections.

“If I lived in Pennsylvania, I would’ve already cast my vote for John Fetterman, for many reasons,” Winfrey said during the Zoom call, The 19th News’ Jan Staley reported.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

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Parkland school shooter sentenced to life in prison without parole after emotional victims’ statements

gavel courtroom trial
gavel courtroom trial

A Florida judge formally sentenced Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz to life in prison without parole Wednesday for the 2018 campus massacre that killed 14 students and three staff members.

Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer followed the jury’s recommendation to spare Cruz, 24, the death penalty, instead sentencing him to a lifetime behind bars.

Last month, in a 9-3 vote, a jury leaned toward sending Cruz to death row, but Florida law dictates that anything less than a unanimous vote automatically shifts the sentence to life without parole.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Capitol Police had a camera feed of Pelosi’s home during attack, but no one was monitoring it

blue light police siren

U.S. Capitol Police had a camera feed showing the outside of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, D-Calif., home in San Francisco during the attack on her husband Friday, but no one was monitoring it at the time, two sources familiar with the situation said.

The camera is one of about 1,800 at the Capitol complex and around the country that the Capitol Police have the ability to monitor. The Washington Post first reported no one was actively watching the camera feed when the break-in occurred early Friday morning.

Pelosi’s home is monitored full time when she is there, however. “She is the mission,” one of the sources told NBC News.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Bedeviled by high inflation, Federal Reserve hikes interest rate by 0.75% again

graph poll
graph poll

Battling inflation that remains at four-decade highs, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday it hiked its key interest rate by another 0.75%.

“Inflation remains elevated, reflecting supply and demand imbalances related to the pandemic, higher food and energy prices, and broader price pressures,” the Fed said in its statement Wednesday. It added it is “strongly committed to returning inflation to its 2% objective.” 

The rate hikes this year have unfolded against the backdrop of a consumer price index that has remained elevated. In September, it clocked in at 8.2% on an annual basis. Food and energy price increases were higher. Even stripped of those two items, whose price swings tend to be more volatile, the index saw its largest increase since 1982.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden calls midterms a ‘defining moment’ for democracy amid political violence and voter intimidation

Biden speech flag
Biden speech flag

President Joe Biden said Wednesday the midterms are a “defining moment” for democracy as threats of political violence and voter intimidation loom over the upcoming elections.

In closing remarks days before the midterms, Biden again called election deniers an existential threat to democracy, tying the Jan. 6 insurrection to last week’s attack on Paul Pelosi. Prosecutors have said that the alleged attacker was looking for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., when he attacked her husband with a hammer.

“We must with an overwhelming voice stand against political violence and voter intimidation, period. Stand up and speak against it,” Biden said in a roughly 20-minute speech near the Capitol. “We don’t settle our differences in America with a riot, a mob or a bullet or a hammer. We settle them peacefully at the ballot box. We have to be honest with ourselves, though. We have to face this problem. We can’t turn away from it. We can’t pretend it’s just going to solve itself.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Brazil’s Bolsonaro doesn’t concede election but authorizes transition

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday did not concede the election he lost to leftist Lula da Silva in a brief speech that marked his first comments since results were released two days ago.

But afterward, Chief-of-Staff Ciro Nogueira told reporters that Bolsonaro has authorized him to begin the transition process.

Bolsonaro’s address didn’t mention election results, but he said he will continue to follow the rules of the nation’s constitution.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Supreme Court declines to block subpoena of Lindsey Graham in Georgia election probe

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to quash a grand jury subpoena in a Georgia prosecutor’s probe of allegations of interference in the 2020 presidential election.

The decision is a victory for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, whose office is investigating phone calls Graham made to Georgia election officials at a time when then-President Donald Trump was contesting the result. As a result, the subpoena can now be enforced, although Graham could refuse to answer questions by invoking his right against self-incrimination under the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

The decision means Graham could face questioning as soon as Nov. 17, according to his lawyer’s court filings.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Suspect in Paul Pelosi attack allegedly told police he was on ‘suicide mission’ with more targets

San Francisco Skyline Dark
San Francisco Skyline Dark

The man accused of brutally attacking the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told police officers at the scene that he was on “a suicide mission” and had additional targets, according to court documents filed Tuesday.

The new details came shortly after California prosecutors charged David DePape, 42, with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, residential burglary, false imprisonment and threatening a public official in connection with Friday’s attack on Paul Pelosi.

DePape, who appeared in state court Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Trump asks Supreme Court to block release of tax records to House Democrats

Trump Dumb
Trump Dumb

Former President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Monday to block a congressional committee from accessing his tax records as a long-running legal battle reaches its final stage.

Trump, who, unlike other recent presidents, refused to make his tax returns public amid scrutiny of his business affairs, turned to the justices after an appeals court in Washington refused to intervene. The court has recently rejected similar requests made by Trump.

Trump’s lawyers say the House Ways and Means Committee’s assertion that it needed the information to probe how the IRS conducts the auditing process for presidents did not stand up to scrutiny.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

‘Greed and cheating’: Prosecutor outlines tax fraud allegations against Trump Organization

Trump Tower Chicago
Trump Tower Chicago

Opening arguments began Monday in the high-profile criminal tax fraud case against the Trump Organization, the former president’s family-run company that helped make him a household name.

“This case is about greed and cheating,” prosecutor Susan Hoffinger told jurors in her opening statement about what she alleged was a “clever scheme.”

Two corporations that are a part of the company, Trump Corp. and Trump Payroll Corp., “paid their already highly paid executives even more by cheating on their taxes,” Hoffinger said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Supreme Court leans toward ending affirmative action in college admissions

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

Conservative Supreme Court justices indicated Monday that they are willing to end the explicit consideration of race in college admissions as they weighed cases challenging affirmative action policies at the University of North Carolina and Harvard University.

Members of the court’s conservative majority questioned the legal rationale for allowing the practice and probed to what extent colleges and universities could enact new “race neutral” admissions policies aimed at improving racial diversity. Some justices, however, indicated they would be willing to allow applicants to discuss their racial identities in some form as part of essays touching upon their experiences, such as examples of overcoming discrimination.

Liberal justices, who are in the minority, defended the use of race in admissions, citing the importance of diversity on campus and the difficulty of achieving it without any consideration of race.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Suspect in Paul Pelosi attack planned to break House speaker’s kneecaps, DOJ says in filing charges

San Francisco Skyline Dark
San Francisco Skyline Dark

State and federal authorities announced criminal charges Monday against the suspect in Friday’s brutal attack on the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., which is alleged to have included plans to break the speaker’s kneecaps.

Federal prosecutors charged the suspect, David DePape, 42, with attempted kidnapping and assault with intent to retaliate against a federal official by threatening or injuring a family member.

Hours later, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins announced state charges, including attempted murder, residential burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse, false imprisonment of an elder and threats to a public official and their family.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: Well, America, You Were a Nice Idea While You Lasted

It was this weekend that I finally gave up. I have watched the steady descent of American conservatism—and its primary public vehicle, the Republican Party—into the terminal depths of the prion disease it acquired when Ronald Reagan and Richard Viguerie and Jerry Falwell first fed it the monkey-brains back in the late 1970s when I was just starting out in this racket. 

I mocked it and inveighed against it. Better people than I—Dave Neiwert, Chip Berlet, the SPLC—went out in the field, took good notes, and have spent four decades warning us what was coming unless the prion disease was kept in check. Too many people in a position to do so bailed on the task: the Republicans, because the prion disease was flourishing on the radio and winning them elections; and the Democrats, because they were too polite, or too naive, or too…something to care. (Some Democrats, worse ones, even tried to break off some of the people in whom the prion disease was raging.)

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

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The Rude Pundit: They Once Blew Up a Classroom Over Textbooks, So, Yeah, There Will Be Violence

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

In 1974, in West Virginia, protesters used dynamite and Molotov cocktails against the buildings of their enemies. The protesters were upset that the Board of Education of Kanawha County voted to update the textbooks in the district’s language arts classes to include more modern authors in an effort to be more inclusive and multiracial. Kanawha County is the biggest in the state, and it includes the capital, Charleston. A fundamentalist Christian member of the board, Alice Moore, discovered that some of the new books included profanity, sex, evolution, and Freud. Oh, they also contained works by Black activists like Malcom X. Moore said that she was upset that the new books would teachAmerican history in a way that “unduly favoring Blacks.” Yeah, the connections to the current fuckery over curriculum in schools are that blatant. 

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

Democrats criticize GOP after attack on Pelosi’s husband: ‘Many people have stayed silent’

Washington Dc Capitol
Washington Dc Capitol

Some Democrats criticized Republicans after the assault on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, accusing their colleagues across the aisle of failing to sufficiently condemn violent rhetoric targeting lawmakers.

“Many people have stayed silent during this time — not Liz Cheney, not Adam Kinzinger within their own party,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” referring to two GOP lawmakers on the House Jan. 6 committee.

“I think it is really important that people realize that it is not just this moment of this horrific attack but that we have seen violence perpetrated throughout our political system,” she said. “And there are several things we can do from the security standpoint. … But it is also about making sure we don’t add more election deniers to our political system.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Elon Musk, new owner of Twitter, tweets unfounded anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi attack

Twitter

Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, tweeted and deleted an unfounded anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory Sunday morning about the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband from a website that has a history of publishing false information.

Musk responded to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she tweeted out a Los Angeles Times story about how David DePape, the suspect in the attack on Paul Pelosi, had spread far-right conspiracy theories.

Clinton tweeted the link to that story along with the message: “The Republican Party and its mouthpieces now regularly spread hate and deranged conspiracy theories. It is shocking, but not surprising, that violence is the result. As citizens, we must hold them accountable for their words and the actions that follow.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Suspect in Pelosi home invasion attack had zip ties, duct tape: Sources

San Francisco Skyline Dark
San Francisco Skyline Dark

The suspect arrested in the violent home invasion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco residence and the hammer attack on her 82-year-old husband, was carrying a bag that contained duct tape and zip ties, two law enforcement officials briefed on the probe told ABC News Sunday.

Investigators discovered the contents of the bag that suspect David Depape had with him at the time of the attack, after securing the necessary search warrants to open it, the sources said

The zip ties, in particular, echoed what multiple suspects in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington were carrying, including some who made it inside the building as they searched for officials, including Pelosi, in order to take them captive, officials said.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Leftist Lula wins Brazil presidential election, ends far-right Bolsonaro era for now

vote ballot election
vote ballot

Leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva defeated his bitter rival, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, to secure his return as Brazil’s leader Sunday after a tightly fought race in the world’s fourth-largest democracy.

The country’s Superior Electoral Court verified the win.

The court said da Silva secured slightly more than 50.84% of the vote, with 99.10% of votes counted, in a runoff election that was held after neither candidate got enough support to win outright this month.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

SMHH VideoCast 10-28-22 with Jill Wine-Banks & DNC Chair Jaime Harrison

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StephCast F 10-28-22

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Jan. 6 rioter who dragged Michael Fanone into crowd sentenced to 7.5 years in prison

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

A Jan. 6 rioter who dragged former Washington, D.C., Police Officer Michael Fanone into the crowd on the steps of the U.S. Capitol was sentenced to 7.5 years in federal prison Thursday.

Albuquerque Head, 43, of Tennessee, was sentenced to 90 months in federal prison, a bit shy of the 96 months prosecutors had requested but still one of the longest sentences to date in the Capitol riot cases. Head will get credit for the roughly 18 months he has spent locked up already.

Fanone urged U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson to sentence Head to the maximum, saying Head had cut his career in law enforcement short. Fanone suffered a heart attack and a traumatic brain injury in the assault on Jan. 6, 2021, and ended up resigning from the Metropolitan Police Department.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Federal appeals court denies Trump effort to keep tax records from House committee

Trump Dumb
Trump Dumb

A federal appeals court on Thursday denied former President Donald Trump‘s latest attempt to prevent a congressional committee from accessing his tax records.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., denied the effort after a three-judge panel of the court unanimously ruled in August that the House Ways and Means Committee is allowed to obtain Trump’s tax records after years of effort to secure them.

Trump can appeal Thursday’s ruling to the Supreme Court. His lawyers have indicated in previous filings that they would appeal to the high court if the appeals court denied his request for a hearing.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Elon Musk now leading Twitter, ushering in likely changes to online speech

Elon Musk is now leading Twitter, according to CNBC.

Two top Twitter executives, CEO Parag Agrawal and Chief Financial Officer Ned Segal, were also out, CNBC reported.

Musk first made his $44 billion offer to acquire the social media platform in April, then sought to pull out of the deal weeks later over concerns about its volume of fake and spam accounts. Twitter ultimately sued Musk for breaching the original agreement, and Musk countersued, alleging fraud.

The two sides had been scheduled to meet in a Delaware courtroom this month to settle the dispute before Musk resubmitted his original $44 billion offer, without explanation.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast TH 10-27-22

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Herschel Walker denies 2nd woman’s claim that he paid for her abortion: ‘Lie’

Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker

Georgia Senate candidate Herschel Walker on Wednesday denied an unnamed woman’s new claim that in Dallas in 1993 he paid for and strongly encouraged her to have an abortion that she did not want.

The woman, only identified as Jane Doe, made her accusation at a video news conference hosted from Los Angeles by her attorney, Gloria Allred. The woman was not shown on camera and said that she feared reprisal if she revealed her true name or her face.

In a statement issued later Wednesday, Walker said, “I’m done with this foolishness. This is all a lie, and I will not entertain any of it.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Mark Meadows ordered to testify before grand jury in Georgia election probe

gavel courtroom trial
gavel courtroom trial

A South Carolina judge ruled Wednesday that Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows must testify before a special grand jury in Georgia investigating possible interference in the 2020 presidential election.

At a hearing Wednesday morning, South Carolina Circuit Judge Edward Miller ruled that Meadows must comply with a petition seeking his testimony before the grand jury in Fulton County, Georgia, the clerk of court for Pickens County, South Carolina, told NBC News.

Meadows, who lives in South Carolina, has tried to avoid testifying before the grand jury probe into possible election interference by then-President Donald Trump and his allies. An attorney for Meadows did not immediately reply to messages seeking comment.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast W 10-26-22

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Biden Urges Americans To Get Vaccinated Ahead Of Winter COVID-19 Surge

Vaccine mRNA Pfizer Moderna
Vaccine mRNA Pfizer Moderna

President Joe Biden received the updated COVID-19 vaccine live on television Tuesday, urging Americans to protect themselves against the virus ahead of the anticipated winter surge but stopping short of encouraging mask-wearing.

Biden received the latest vaccine targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the omicron strain, the current versions of COVID-19 that are most prevalent in the country and globally. Public health officials in the U.S. recommend people over the age of 5 get the updated vaccine once a year — with the exception that the elderly and immunocompromised may need more than one shot annually.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Hope Hicks, a longtime Trump aide, interviewing with Jan. 6 committee

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

Hope Hicks, who served as a top adviser to former President Donald Trump, is interviewing with the Jan. 6 committee on Tuesday, a source familiar told NBC News.

The Jan. 6 committee declined to provide a comment or any additional details. Hicks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hicks served in multiple senior roles in Trump’s White House for much of his presidency. She left the White House six days after the Jan. 6 insurrection, on Jan. 12, after serving as a counselor to the president. She had previously served as White House communications director as well as director of strategic communications. Prior to her stints at the White House, Hicks worked for Trump’s presidential campaign, the Trump Organization and Ivanka Trump’s fashion brand.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

One hour with Fetterman and Oz: Key takeaways from their only debate

Pennsylvania Seal
Pennsylvania Seal

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Mehmet Oz met Tuesday night for the only debate of what’s become perhaps the most important Senate race in the country this year — one that could determine partisan control of the chamber.

Recent independent polling has shown a tight race between Fetterman, the Democratic nominee, and Oz, a Republican doctor best known for his long-syndicated TV show.

A showdown like Tuesday’s, clips from which are sure to be played on local news and in paid TV ads in a state that already has seen tens of millions of dollars’ worth of political commercials, could move the race.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast T 10-25-22

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Biden delivers midterms pep talk: ‘If we get people out to vote, we win’

President Joe Biden visited the Democratic Party’s Washington headquarters Monday to deliver a pep talk to volunteers just 15 days until the midterms end.

“If we get people out to vote, we win,” Biden said as he walked among the volunteers at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters. “We get people out to vote, we win and you’re getting them out to vote.”

Biden told the volunteers, as well as staffers and grassroots donors, that “the power is in your hands” to “get out the vote.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

2022 ELECTION Crist to DeSantis: Will you run for president? Florida governor refuses to say in caustic debate

Democrat Charlie Crist came to his first and only debate with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ready with just one question about his opponent’s political aspirations Monday night.

“You’re running for governor,” Crist said, looking at DeSantis as the governor looked forward. “Why don’t you look in the eyes of the people of the state of Florida and say to them if you’re re-elected, you will serve a full four-year term as governor. Yes or no?”

DeSantis said nothing as four seconds ticked by and the debate hall started to fall quiet.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Justice Clarence Thomas temporarily blocks Lindsey Graham’s testimony in Georgia election interference probe

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)

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on Monday temporarily put on hold a requirement that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., testify in a Georgia prosecutor’s probe of allegations of interference in the 2020 election by former President Donald Trump and his allies.

The decision by Thomas, who handles emergency requests that arise from Georgia, freezes the litigation while the justices weigh Graham’s plea that the Supreme Court quash the subpoena. Thomas had asked lawyers for the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office to respond to Graham’s request by close of business Thursday. Thomas can handle the application by himself, although generally such issues get referred to the full nine-justice court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: The GOP Assault on the Vote Is About to Come to a Boil

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

It’s all coming together in Arizona, and the Supreme Court should be so very proud. Its Heller and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association are fitting so neatly in tandem with its rulings in Shelby County and Brnovich, as the personal right to bear arms dovetails with the increased constitutionality of voter suppression—twin sons from different motherfckers.

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

StephCast M 10-24-22

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Jury selection to begin in Trump Organization fraud trial

Golden Gavel Court
Golden Gavel Court

Jury selection is set to begin Monday in the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump’snamesake family real-estate business, which was charged last year by prosecutors in Manhattan with orchestrating a years-long scheme to evade taxes.

The Trump Organization compensated certain executives with off-the-book perks — including rent, utilities and garage expenses at a luxury apartment building, private school tuition, and leases for luxury cars — that were never accounted for on the company’s payroll taxes, according to the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Student debt relief ‘moving full speed ahead’ despite GOP-led lawsuits, education secretary says

Graduation Cap College High School
Graduation Cap College High School

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said the Biden administration is “moving full speed ahead” preparing to implement its federal student debt forgiveness program, a day after a federal appeals courthit pause on the administration’s efforts.

Cardona said in a video posted Saturday that the administration is “not deterred” by lawsuits that seek to block its relief program.

In an op-ed published Saturday in USA Today, Cardona said the Education Department is “moving full speed ahead with preparations for the lawful implementation” of the program.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Jan. 6 panel will not rule out taking live testimony from Trump, Cheney says

Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., on Sunday did not rule out the possibility of the House Jan. 6 committee’s taking live televised testimony from former President Donald Trump.

Trump has not publicly indicated how he would respond to the subpoena the committee issued Friday for his testimony and documents.

Asked whether the committee is open to live testimony in an interview on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” Cheney, its vice chair, said: “He’s not going to turn this into a circus.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

The Rude Pundit: The Questions Republican Candidates Aren’t Being Asked Enough (or At All)

We know that if Republicans win back even one house of Congress, the whole place will become a nightmare of masturbating clowns, all cackling wildly as they rub and tug their greasepainted genitals to a screaming spurt and then declare they’re ride-or-die Americans just engaged in old-fashioned horseplay to own the libs. Unfortunately, not enough attention has been paid to just how fucking insane that is. The typical Democrat will say, “Republicans will take away your abortion rights and destroy democracy.” What they need to add is “and they’re scary clowns jacking off on the Constitution.” 

I don’t think that most Americans really understand that part. Sure, we here on the musky Twitter machine have that awareness, but we are not most Americans. While the moderators of the debates I’ve seen or read about do ask if the Republican accepts that Joe Biden won the 2020 election or if the Republican will accept the results of the 2022 election, voters need to know what they’re getting with the GOP candidates. Because, see, it sure as shit seems as if a lot of voters think that when they vote for Republicans this cycle, they’re trading already tenuous abortion rights for cheaper milk and safer streets. They don’t realize that what they’re really getting is a pack of crazed clowns who will spooge on them after they murder them.

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

SMHH VideoCast with Joel Stein & Michael Cohen 10-21-22

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StephCast F 10-21-22

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You Can Still Watch Stephanie Miller’s Sexy Liberal “Save Democracy” Tour on Pay-Per-View!!

The Sexy Liberals and special guests Rob Reiner and Glenn Kirschner were LIVE at Los Angeles’ historic Saban Theater for the last performance of the year! And you can still watch it streaming Live on Pay Per View as many times as you want until the end of the year! This is not hyperbole; sluggish from a raging pandemic, staring down the Big Lie(s), a violent January 6 th attack on the home of democracy, and now, and now..the reversal of Roe..we have been battered and bruised, but Sexy Liberals everywhere are standing up with Stephanie Miller and all her Sexy Liberals to Save Democracy.  Pay-Per-View is just $20 for unlimited viewings until the end of the year!

Tickets and Pay-Per-View (good for unlimited viewings until 12/31/22) available here

What to know about Friday’s sentencing of Steve Bannon for contempt of Congress

Steve Bannon
Steve bannon

Steve Bannon, the ex-adviser to former President Donald Trump, will be sentenced on Friday for his criminal contempt of Congress after defying of a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection.

The sentencing will unfold in a federal courtroom in Washington, DC. Judge Carl Nichols – a Trump appointee – will hand down the penalty in proceedings that will begin at 9 a.m. ET.

The sentencing is a milestone moment in the Justice Department’s response to January 6, as prosecutors say that by “flouting” the committee’s subpoena, Bannon “exacerbated” the assault on the rule of law that the US Capitol attack amounted to. It may also bolster the leverage lawmakers have in securing cooperation of witnesses resistant to participating in congressional investigations.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

Justice Amy Coney Barrett denies attempt to block Biden student loan forgiveness plan from taking effect

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected a challenge to the Biden administration’s student loan forgiveness program on Thursday, declining to take up an appeal brought by a Wisconsin taxpayers group.

The order is a win for President Joe Biden for now, though there are other challenges in the pipeline making their way up to the high court.

Student loan cancellations, worth up to $20,000 per eligible borrower, could begin on Sunday.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

Appeals court orders Sen. Lindsey Graham to testify in Georgia election probe

A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., must testify before a Georgia grand jury examining possible election interference in the state two years ago.

The ruling is a win for Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and comes the same day NBC News confirmed that Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone testified before the grand jury. Cipollone’s appearance was first reported by CNN.

Graham has fought tooth-and-nail to avoid testifying. He filed suit in federal court seeking to quash a subpoena seeking details about phone calls he made to top election officials in Georgia amid complaints from then-President Donald Trump that there had been widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast Th 10-20-22

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Biden announces sale of 15 million barrels of reserve oil

oil well refinery
oil well refinery

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he would authorize the sale of more oil from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve as his administration scrambles to rein in high gas prices before the midterm elections.

Speaking at the White House, Biden said the Energy Department would sell the remaining 15 million barrels of the 180 million barrels that were authorized for sale in March — a move that he argued would help drive down the price of gas and give families a bit of “breathing room.”

“I have been doing everything in my power to reduce gas prices since Putin’s invasion of Ukraine caused these prices to spike and rattled international oil markets,” Biden said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Omicron subvariants reflect a ‘viral evolution on steroids’

covid coronavirus
covid coronavirus

An omicron subvariant is once again demonstrating immune-dodging abilities, posing a threat to both vaccinated and previously infected individuals.

A report published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that the subvariant, called BA.4.6, could drive reinfections.

As of Friday, BA.4.6 accounted for just over 12% of new Covid casesin the U.S. BA.5, meanwhile, has been detected in nearly 68% of new cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Oath Keeper testifies he was ready to die on Jan. 6 to keep Trump in office

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

A member of the far-right Oath Keepers who stormed the U.S. Capitol testified that he was ready to fight to keep President Donald Trump in office and was preparing himself in the weeks before Jan. 6, 2021, to say goodbye to his family, he testified in a seditious conspiracy trial Tuesday.

Jason Dolan, 46, a military veteran, pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy and a count of obstruction of an official proceeding in September and testified in the trial of five other members of the extremist group under a cooperation agreement with the government.

Other cooperating defendants are also expected to testify in the trial. Dolan has not pleaded guilty to seditious conspiracy; three other Oath Keepers have.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump signed legal documents that he knew included false voter fraud numbers, judge says

Documents Papers Stack
Documents Papers Stack

Former president Donald Trump and his political allies understood that their allegations of widespread voter fraud in Georgia were baseless but continued to push the unfounded claims in courts and the public, according to recent federal court filings.

The revelations came in an 18-page opinion Wednesday over Trump ally and conservative lawyer John Eastman’s resistance to a subpoena for emails from the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter found that several documents between Trump’s allies must be made public, as they showed that the group participated in a “knowing misrepresentation of voter fraud numbers in Georgia when seeking to overturn the election results in federal court.”

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

StephCast W 10-19-22

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Trump Special Master Says He Has ‘No Patience’ for Records Spats

Trump Classified Documents
Trump Classified Documents

The special master reviewing documents seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate warned the former president’s lawyers that their initial efforts to claim certain records were personal and not presidential might be lacking enough detail.

“Where’s the beef? I need some beef,” US District Senior Judge Raymond Dearie told the attorneys during a telephone status hearing Tuesday.

Dearie also suggested there was a “certain incongruity” to Trump’s lawyers claiming so far that at least one document was both personal to Trump and covered by executive privilege, a protection that applies to government information.

Read the rest of the story at Bloomberg

Former Oath Keeper Says Militia Planned to Use ‘Any Means Necessary’ on Jan. 6

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

A former member of the Oath Keepers militia testified on Tuesday that the far-right group intended to block the certification of the 2020 election “by any means necessary,” stashing weapons in a hotel in Virginia on Jan. 6, 2021, in anticipation of supporting President Donald J. Trump in his bid to keep Joseph R. Biden Jr. out of the White House.

The former Oath Keeper, Jason Dolan, gave his account at the seditious conspiracy trial of the organization’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, telling the jury that the group envisioned a battle breaking out in Washington that day between factions loyal to Mr. Trump and others loyal to Mr. Biden.

“My thinking was you would have portions of federal government that would side with President Trump and parts that would side with President Biden,” Mr. Dolan said.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Police Videos Show Shock and Fear as DeSantis Begins Arrests For Alleged Voter Fraud: ‘I Voted But I Didn’t Commit No Fraud’

The Tampa Bay Times published video of several Floridians being arrested for voter fraud as part of Gov. Ron DeSantis‘s new Office of Election Crimes and Security crackdown.

The arrests of 20 people took place on August 18th, hours before DeSantis called a press conference to boast of the crackdown, declaring, “They’re going to pay the price.”

“Our new election crimes office has sprung into action to hold individuals accountable for voter fraud. Today’s actions send a clear signal to those who are thinking about ballot harvesting or fraudulently voting. If you commit an elections crime, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said DeSantis during the press conference, making clear the office’s work will continue.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Biden vows to push abortion rights bill if Democrats keep control of Congress

Biden speech flag
Biden speech flag

President Joe Biden pledged Tuesday to push for an abortion rightsbill if Democrats keep control of Congress in the November midterm elections.

Speaking at a Democratic National Committee event in Washington, Biden said that if Democrats both hold the House and add seats to their Senate majority, he would offer make a bill to codify abortion rights his first priority. He said that if it passed, he would aim to sign it into law by the 50th anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in January.

“If you care about the right to choose, then you got to vote. That’s why these midterm elections are so critical — elect more Democratic senators to the United States Senate and more Democrats to keep control of the House of Representatives,” he said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast T 10-18-22

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Debating once again, Kemp and Abrams paint drastically different pictures of Georgia

georgia

Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams faced off on Monday, laying out drastically different views of the state ahead of their rematch at the polls.

The debate, hosted by the Atlanta Press Club, allowed both candidates to detail their platforms, which focused on the state’s economy, crime and voting rights.

Kemp spent most of the night touting his accomplishments via the legislature and struck a tone of positivity after what he called a first term of positive work.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance attack each other over ‘great replacement’ theory in final Ohio Senate debate

Ohio Flag
Ohio Flag

The already hostile Senate race in Ohioturned even nastier Monday as Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan and Republican J.D. Vance clashed over racist rhetoric and lobbed personal insults.

At their final debate before the Nov. 8 election, tensions ran highest toward the end of their hour onstage, when one of the moderators asked the candidates about the “great replacement” theory.

The conspiracy theory, which has found a home on the far-right fringes, broadly states that a Jewish-led cabal of liberals is trying to take power by replacing white voters with nonwhites by any means necessary, including immigration and interracial marriage.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden administration officially opens application for student debt cancellation

Graduation Cap College High School
Graduation Cap College High School

President Joe Biden announced Monday that the online application to cancel federal student debt is available.

The form — which can be found at StudentAid.gov — is available in English and Spanish, and it is accessible on both mobile and desktop devices. The form asks for people’s dates of birth, Social Security numbers and contact information. Applicants do not have to upload any documents.

In a speech at the White House, Biden said it takes less than five minutes to fill out the form. “It’s easy, simple and fast. And it’s a new day for millions of Americans all across our nation,” he said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump Organization charged Secret Service as much as $1,185 per night to stay at Trump properties

dollars money bills
dollars money bills

During Donald Trump’s presidency, Trump hotels charged the Secret Service as much as $1,185 per night, more than five times the recommended government rate, and the high rates continued after he left office, according to an investigation released Monday by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Beginning in January 2017 through Sept. 15, 2021, the Secret Service received at least 40 waivers to let it spend more than the recommended per diem rates to stay at Trump properties to protect Trump as a president and former president, and also to protect those around him, the investigation found.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: America Has a Long History of Fumbling Its Democracy

I shouldn’t be dreading Election Day the way I am. Or at least not for the reasons for which I’m dreading it. I have dreaded Election Days before, but I dreaded them because I dreaded the outcome—the traditional American reason for dreading Election Days. And for the most part, the Election Days I dreaded for that reason were elections worth dreading: Nixon (twice), Reagan (twice), George W. (once, the second term; I didn’t know enough about him in 2000). And Lord knows both 2016 and 2020 filled my brain with snakes and dragons. 
 

But as we approach this Election Day, I’m dreading it for an entirely new reason. A reason I thought we’d left behind with Tammany Hall in the North and with the Klan in the South. I’m dreading the actual act of voting, all over the country.

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

StephCast M 10-17-22

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StephCast M 10-17-22

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U.S. Asks Court to End Special Master Review of Files Seized From Trump

The Justice Department asked an appeals court on Friday to end a special master review of thousands of documents that the F.B.I. seized from former President Donald J. Trump’s Florida estate, arguing that a federal judge had been wrong to intervene in its investigation into Mr. Trump’s hoarding of sensitive government records.

In a 53-page brief for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, the Justice Department broadly challenged the legal legitimacy of orders last month by Judge Aileen M. Cannon, who blocked investigators from using the materials and appointed an independent arbiter to sift them for any that are potentially privileged or Mr. Trump’s personal property.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Herschel Walker defends use of ‘honorary’ sheriff’s badge in Georgia Senate debate

Herschel Walker Badge
Herschel Walker Badge

Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker defended pulling out a sheriff’s badge during Friday’s closely watched debate in Georgia, telling NBC in an interview that aired on Sunday it was “a legit,” but honorary badge from his hometown sheriff’s department.

Walker had pulled out the badge during a discussion over support for police – in a move that was admonished by the debate moderators and led to widespread mockery from Democrats.

“This is from my hometown. This is from Johnson County from the sheriff from Johnson County, which is a legit badge,” Walker told NBC’s Kristen Welker in a clip from the interview.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

Russia hits Kyiv with new ‘kamikaze’ drone attack

Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War
Israel Gaza Palestine Missiles War

Russia blasted the Ukrainian capital with a wave of “kamikaze” drones Monday in a renewed attack just a week after unleashing a deadly barrage against civilian and infrastructure targets across the country.

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said “kamikaze” drones caused four explosions that rocked the city’s central Shevchenkivskyi District in the early morning hours.

Klitschko initially said the drone attack caused a fire in a nonresidential building, but he later said a residential building in the district was also hit, with 18 people rescued from it.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump attacks American Jews, says they must ‘get their act together’ on Israel ‘before it’s too late’

Former President Donald Trump attacked Jews in the U.S. on his Truth Social platform Sunday, writing that they need to “get their act together” and “appreciate” Israel “before it is too late.”

“No President has done more for Israel than I have. Somewhat surprisingly, however, our wonderful Evangelicals are far more appreciative of this than the people of the Jewish faith, especially those living in the U.S.,” Trump wrote.

“Those living in Israel, though, are a different story — Highest approval rating in the World, could easily be P.M.!” he continued.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

The Rude Pundit: The Patriotic Case for Jailing Donald Trump

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

Thursday’s hearing by the January 6 Committee was clarifying in the way that a great closing argument at a trial can be, pulling together threads that had previously come up and demonstrating how someone is guilty of the crime or crimes they’ve been accused of. What is so absolutely glisteningly clear is that Donald Trump, while President of the United States (a thing that really did happen), tried to overturn a legitimate election he had lost. What’s more, he knew that he had lost the election and he knew that the election had been legitimate. What’s more, he knew ahead of time how the voting was going to go for the election, that mail-in ballots, the number of which surged because voters were encouraged to vote by mail during the pandemic, would be counted later and break towards Biden. Because he knew this, he planned, with others, in advance to say he had won, even if he had lost, and then to fight it out to the bitter end, making everything that came after premeditated.

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

SMHH VideoCast with Tristan Snell & Judy Gold 10-14-22

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Jan. 6 Committee Votes to Subpoena Trump – ‘He’s Required to Answer for His Actions’

The Jan. 6 House select committee investigating the 2021 Capitol insurrection voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump during its final public hearing on Thursday.

Near the end of the hearing, Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) stated the committee had clearly demonstrated Trump tried to overthrow American democracy when he incited an angry mob to storm the Capitol. Trump had spent more than two months falsely telling his supporters the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

Read there rest of the story at Mediaite

Parkland school shooter avoids the death penalty after jury recommends life in prison without parole

gavel courtroom trial
gavel courtroom trial

A jury on Thursday spared Parkland, Florida, school shooter Nikolas Cruz from the death penalty, recommending that he be sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 14 students and three staff members dead.

The 12-person jury’s recommendation was read in a packed courtroom before visibly distraught family members and the shooter, who remained blank-faced throughout.

The jury reached its decision after more than a day of deliberations, nearly capping the exhaustive trial that saw jurors review graphic videos and photos from the shooting, tour the high school left practically untouched since the massacre, and hear emotional testimonies of victims’ family members. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Supreme Court rejects Trump’s request in dispute over Mar-a-Lago documents

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

The Supreme Court handed former President Donald Trump a loss Thursday in his dispute with the Justice Department over documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago residence, rejecting his request that a special master be allowed to review classified papers.

The justices denied Trump’s relatively narrow emergency request in a brief unsigned order. No dissents were noted.

The decision does not affect the Justice Department’s access to the same documents as part of a criminal investigation. The more than 100 documents marked as classified are just a small part of the 11,000 records federal agents seized in August amid concerns that Trump had unlawfully retained official White House records after he left office.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Jarring new video, evidence Trump knew he lost: Key takeaways from the latest Jan. 6 hearing

Capitol Washington Inauguration
Capitol Washington Inauguration

While President Donald Trump was refusing to call off the mob of his supporters attacking the Capitol, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and other congressional leaders leaped into action to try to retake control of the sprawling complex.

They called the secretary of defense and the acting attorney general and urged them to send help. They called the governors of neighboring Virginia and Maryland to send National Guard troops and other police. And they got on the phone with Vice President Mike Pence to figure out how they could return to the Capitol that same night and finish certifying Joe Biden’s election victory.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Charlie Pierce: Sen. Ed Markey Keeps Pushing the Feds to Show a Little Spine on DeSantis’ Evil Stunt

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire

Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts always has been a workhorse in the Senate. As a congressman, he was out ahead of most of the rest of his colleagues on the climate crisis, even back when it was “the greenhouse effect.” He also saw the revolution coming in computer science and the internet. His prescience on issues like these is how he won the support of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and others in what might have been a tough primary battle against young Rep. Joseph Kennedy.

On Wednesday, Markey—who obviously counts the good people of Martha’s Vineyard among his constituents—along with several other members of the Massachusetts delegation, got the inspector general’s office of the Department of the Treasury to look into whether or not Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis played fast and loose with federal COVID relief funds to finance his little airplane stunt.

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

Ex-Oath Keeper says ‘many weapons’ were stored outside capital during Jan. 6 attack

Guns Bullets Shooting
Gun Bullet Shooting

A former member of the Oath Keepers militia group testified Wednesday about the large stash of weapons stored by the group at a hotel just outside Washington, D.C., during the Jan. 6, 2001, assault on the Capitol, as prosecutors provided more details on the group’s planning and private communications leading up to the attack.

“I had not seen that many weapons in one location since I was in the military,” said Terry Cummings, a former member of the group’s Florida chapter who was subpoenaed for his testimony and has not been charged or accused of wrongdoing in connection with Jan. 6.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

A Trump employee told the FBI that the former president ordered staff to move boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

One of Donald Trump‘s employees told FBI agents the former president ordered boxes of documents at Mar-a-Lago to be moved before federal agents searched the property, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The source also told NBC News that the FBI obtained security video showing people moving boxes out of a storage room at Trump’s Florida estate.

The Washington Post first reported the employee’s account on Wednesday.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Alex Jones must pay $965 million in damages to families of 8 Sandy Hook victims

gavel courtroom trial
gavel courtroom trial

The conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay $965 million to the families of eight Sandy Hook shooting victims and an FBI agent who responded to the attack for the suffering he caused them by spreading lies on his platforms about the 2012 massacre, a Connecticut jury found on Wednesday.

Jones faced liability for defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violations of the state Unfair Trade Practices Act, for creating a fake narrative that the mass shooting was a hoax. The families claimed Jones profited off the lies while they were harassed and abused by those who believed him.

The jury made 15 individual awards that ranged from $28.8 million to $120 million. The families and agent also received separate punitive damages.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Jan. 6 panel set to hold final hearing today before midterm elections

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

The Jan. 6 committee’s ninth and likely final investigative hearing Thursday will feature new testimony and evidence, including Secret Service records and surveillance video.

The hearing, set for 1 p.m. ET, will not include any live witnesses, a committee aide said. And unlike earlier hearings that focused on a specific aspect of the GOP plot to overturn the 2020 election and keep then-President Donald Trump in power, Thursday’s presentation will take a more sweeping view of what happened before, during and after the Jan. 6 attack.

“Tomorrow, what we’re going to be doing is taking a step back and we’re going to be looking at that entire plan, the entire multipart plan to overturn the election. We’re going to be looking at it in a broader context and in a broader timeline as well,” a committee aide said on a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Herschel Walker claims ex-girlfriend, whose identity he says he knows, is lying about abortion

Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker

Senate hopeful Herschel Walker said Tuesday that he now knows the identity of the person alleging that he reimbursed her for the cost of an abortion procedure more than a decade ago, but said he has not spoken to the ex-girlfriend since the news broke and accused her of lying.

“I know nothing about an abortion,” Walker told ABC News anchor Linsey Davis. “I knew it was a lie and I said it was a lie — and I just move on … it’s sad that people say October surprise, but you’re destroying families.”

“This race is too important for me to give up or for me to stop,” he continued. “So, October surprise is not going to faze me.”

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Kevin McCarthy Reportedly Berated a GOP Colleague and Drove Her to Tears for Speaking About His Jan. 6 Call With Trump

Kevin McCarthy
Kevin McCarthy

A pair of new book excerpts show Kevin McCarthy lashing out and under massive pressure from the fallout of Donald Trump’s supporters attacking the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.

Politico Playbook got an early look at Weapons of Mass Delusion: When the Republican Party Lost Its Mind, the upcoming book from New York Times Magazine writer Robert Draper. The book delves into the GOP’s continued subservience to Trump after the 2020 election, and in a chapter called “The Enabler,” it explores the phone call where McCarthy begged Trump to call off his rioting supporters who laid siege to Congress.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Justice Department urges Supreme Court to reject Trump request over seized Mar-a-Lago documents

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court on Tuesday to reject former President Donald Trump‘s request to give the special master reviewing documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate access to those marked as classified.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in court papers that Trump would suffer “no harm at all” if the documents are temporarily withheld from the special master. Addressing Trump’s potential ownership stake in the documents, including possible assertions of attorney-client privilege or executive privilege, Prelogar said Trump had “no plausible claims.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden warns there will be ‘consequences’ for Saudi Arabia after oil production cut

oil well refinery
oil well refinery

President Joe Biden warned Tuesday that Saudi Arabia would face “consequences” after OPEC+ last week announced the biggest cut in oil production since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Senior Democrats on Capitol Hill have condemned the decision by Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the oil-producing alliance, to reduce the global supply of petroleum. Higher oil prices are seen as helping Russia, the world’s second-largest oil exporter, finance its war in Ukraine.

“There’s going to be some consequences for what they’ve done with Russia,” Biden said of Saudi Arabia in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I’m not going to get into what I’d consider and what I have in mind. But there will be — there will be consequences.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Trump Lawyers Are Turning on Each Other Over Mar-a-Lago Probe

CHRISTINA BOBB, THE Trump lawyer who in June signed a letter certifying that all of the sensitive material the former president moved from the White House to Mar-a-Lago had been returned, is talking to federal authorities investigating the matter.

The news that Bobb is dishing to the feds, reported initially by NBC News, comes just over two months after the FBI searched Trump’s Palm Beach estate, where they found scores of sensitive, classified documents. This means Bobb’s statement was false, of course. She claims it’s not her fault, though, reportedly telling investigators that one of Trump’s other lawyers, Evan Corcoran, told her to sign it.

Read the rest of the story at Rolling Stone

U.S. airport websites knocked offline in apparent pro-Russia hacking attack

plane airplane flight
plane airplane flight

An apparently coordinated denial-of-service attack organized by pro-Russia hackers rendered the websites of some major U.S. airports unreachable early Monday, though officials said flights were not affected.

The attacks — in which participants flood targets with junk data — were orchestrated by a shadowy group that calls itself Killnet. On the eve of the attacks the group published a target list on its Telegram channel.

While highly visible and aimed at maximum psychological impact, DDoS attacks are mostly a noisy nuisance, different from hacking that involves breaking into networks and can do serious damage.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Secret Service agents were denied when they tried to learn what Jan. 6 info was seized from their personal cellphones

Secret Service agents asked the agency for a record of all of the communications seized from their personal cellphones as part of investigations into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, but were rebuffed, according to a document reviewed by NBC News.

The Secret Service’s office that handles such requests, the Freedom of Information Act Program, denied the request, in which agents invoked the Privacy Act to demand more information about what had been shared from their personal devices.

The request was made in early August, just after news came to light that both Congress and the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general were interested in obtaining text messages of Secret Service agents that had been erased as part of what the agency said was a planned upgrade.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump lawyer Christina Bobb speaks to federal investigators in Mar-a-Lago case

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

Christina Bobb, the attorney who signed a letter certifying that all sensitive records in former President Donald Trump’s possession had been returned to the government, spoke to federal investigators Friday and named two other Trump attorneys involved with the case, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The certification statement, signed June 3 by Bobb, indicated that Trump was in compliance with a May grand jury subpoena and no longer had possession of a host of documents with classification markings at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, according to the three sources who do not want to comment publicly because of the sensitive nature of the sprawling federal investigation.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Trump campaigns for Arizona election deniers in a state that will test his power in 2022 and beyond

There is perhaps nowhere in the country where former President Donald Trump had more success elevating his slate of “Make American Great Again” candidates into formidable 2022 contenders than Arizona, a state he narrowly lost in 2020 where he has relentlessly sought to overturn the presidential election results.

With less than a month until Election Day, Trump campaigned in Mesa on Sunday with those hand-selected GOP candidates vying for the top offices in the state: Gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake, US Senate nominee Blake Masters and Secretary of State nominee Mark Finchem.

Read the rest of the story at CNN

Kanye West’s Twitter account locked after offensive tweet aimed at Jewish community

Twitter

Kanye West is facing controversy again, after Twitter locked his account over a tweet he wrote aimed at the Jewish community that violated the company’s policies.

The rapper, who changed his name to Ye, posted a highly offensive tweet referencing the Jewish community on Saturday night, which involved a reference to the defense readiness alert used by the U.S. armed forces.

“The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda,” the rapper wrote in the now-deleted post.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Blasts rock Kyiv after Putin accuses Ukraine of Crimea bridge attack ‘terrorism’

Kiev Kyiv Ukraine Flag
Kiev Kyiv Ukraine Flag

Multiple explosions rocked Kyiv and cities across Ukraine on Monday, shattering months of relative calm for civilians in the capital and beyond.

At least 8 people were killed and 24 others injured after Russian missile attacks hit the city, Ukrainian officials said.

NBC News has not verified the claims.

Air defenses were activated in what appeared to be a broad attack not seen since the very earliest days of the war, when Moscow’s troops invaded after launching a barrage of fire on civilian targets.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

The Rude Pundit: Herschel Walker Proves That All That GOP Abortion Sh** Was a Lie

I’ve never seen a grift given away quite as blatantly as it was by right-wing talk thing Dana Loesch (motto: “I was too fucking crazy for the NRA”). In talking about the revelation that ultra-anti-abortion Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, running against incumbent Democrat Raphael Warnock, paid for a girlfriend’s abortion, Loesch started with “What I’m about to say is in no means a contradiction or a compromise of a principle,” which automatically means “I’m throwing my principles out the window faster than a priest at Disney World.” Then she just fucking said it, the thing we all knew was true but that none of them had the guts to just let everyone know: “I am concerned about one thing, and one thing only at this point. So, I don’t care if Herschel Walker paid to abort endangered baby eagles. I want control of the Senate.”

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

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Judy Tenuta, Accordion-Playing ‘Love Goddess’ of Standup Comedy, Dies at 72

Judy Tenuta
Judy Tenuta

Judy Tenuta, a standup comic who shot to fame during the 1980s, delivering her frenetic, off-kilter comedy while dressed in outlandish outfits, playing the accordion and anointing herself “The Love Goddess,” died on Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 72.

Her longtime manager, Roger Paul, said the cause was ovarian cancer.

Ms. Tenuta broke through at a time when the comedy industry was almost exclusively male and was the first woman standup comic to win “Best Female Comedian” at the American Comedy Awards in 1988, according to a biography on her official website. She was also nominated for two Emmys for her comedy albums, “Attention Butt-Pirates & Lesbetarians!” and “In Goddess We Trust.”

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Justice Dept. Is Said to Believe Trump Has More Documents

Trump Classified Documents
Trump Classified Documents

A top Justice Department official told former President Donald J. Trump’s lawyers in recent weeks that the department believed he had not returned all the documents he took when he left the White House, according to two people briefed on the matter.

The outreach from the official, Jay I. Bratt, who leads the department’s counterintelligence operations, is the most concrete indication yet that investigators remain skeptical that Mr. Trump has been fully cooperative in their efforts to recover documents the former president was supposed to have turned over to the National Archives at the end of his term.

It is not clear what steps the Justice Department might take to retrieve any material it thinks Mr. Trump still holds.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Biden warns risk of nuclear ‘Armageddon’ is highest since Cuban Missile Crisis

Biden Speaking
Biden Speaking

President Joe Biden said Thursday the risk of nuclear “Armageddon” is the highest it has been for 60 years after Russian President Vladimir Putin renewed his threats.

In remarks at a reception for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Biden said it was the first time since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis that there has been a “direct threat” of nuclear weapons’ being used, “if, in fact, things continue down the path they are going.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden to pardon thousands convicted of marijuana possession

marijuana pot cannabis
marijuana pot cannabis

President Joe Biden announced Thursday he will take executive action to pardon thousands of people convicted of marijuana possession under federal law.

Biden said he would also encourage governors to take similar action with state offenses and ask the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department to review how marijuana is scheduled, or classified, under federal law.

The president’s action, a significant shift in the federal government’s approach to marijuana policy, is a step toward making good on his campaign commitment to decriminalize marijuana.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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In Rebuke to West, OPEC and Russia Aim to Raise Oil Prices With Big Supply Cut

oil well refinery
oil well refinery

Saudi Arabia and Russia, acting as leaders of the OPEC Plus energy cartel, agreed on Wednesday to their first large production cut in more than two years in a bid to raise prices, countering efforts by the United States and Europe to choke off the enormous revenue that Moscow reaps from the sale of crude.

President Biden and European leaders have urged more oil production to ease gasoline prices and punish Moscow for its aggression in Ukraine. Vladimir V. Putin, the Russian president, has been accused of using energy as a weapon against countries opposing its invasion of Ukraine, and the optics of the decision could not be missed.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

Appeals court agrees to speed up Justice Department’s appeal of order appointing outside arbiter in Trump documents dispute

Trump Classified Documents
Trump Classified Documents

A federal appeals court in Atlanta agreed to speed up consideration of the Justice Department’s appeal of a lower court order appointing an outside legal expert to review the documents seized by the FBI at former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit granted the request from federal prosecutors to shorten the timeline for the Justice Department and Trump’s lawyers to file briefs in the dispute. The former president opposed the request, arguing in a filing to the 11th Circuit on Monday that he would be prejudiced if the appeal were expedited.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Woman Who Claims Herschel Walker Paid for Her Abortion Says They Also Share a Child

Herschel Walker
Herschel Walker

Walker’s campaign has been in damage control mode for 48 hours – since it was reported by the Daily Beast that he paid $700 to have a pregnancy he considered inconvenient terminated. The candidate has denied the story as a lie and has claimed he does not know who the woman is.

Her identity has been protected, but she told the Beast his adamant denials drove her to divulge the bombshell.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Biden meets with DeSantis in Florida as he surveys Hurricane Ian damage

President Joe Biden and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appeared side-by-side in hard-hit Fort Myerson Wednesday as the president surveyed damage from Hurricane Ian.

The two leaders, often political opponents, have momentarily put politics aside to respond to the historic storm, which is shaping up to be one of Florida’s deadliest and costliest in decades. Making landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, Ian leveled the coast, knocking out power to millions. At least 100 people died.

DeSantis and his wife, Casey DeSantis, greeted Biden and first lady Jill Biden upon their arrival at Fisherman’s Wharf for an operational briefing. FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, and other local officials were also at the site.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

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New Poll Shows Lauren Boebert Effectively Tied With Challenger, Suddenly at Risk of Losing Seat

graph poll
graph poll

Controversial Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) leads her Democratic challenger Adam Frisch by only two points, according to a new poll out this week.

The Keating Research poll, conducted from Sept. 2 to October 2, found Boebert leading with 47 percent of the vote to Frisch’s 45 percent, with 7 percent undecided. The poll carried a margin of error of 4.4 percent, making the result a statistical tie.

The last poll from Keating, a left-leaning firm, found Boebert leading 49-42 percent. The new poll shows a 5-point swing in the direction of the Democrat.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

“The final defense is us and our rifles”: Oath Keepers leaders talked of taking up arms days after Biden’s victory

gun guns ammo weapon bullets
gun guns ammo weapon bullets

In the days after media outlets calculated that Joe Biden had won the 2020 presidential election, prosecutors allege members of the far-right Oath Keepers group, including founder Stewart Rhodes, were making calculations of their own: how best to mount a resistance to Joe Biden’s presidency and disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

FBI Special Agent Michael Palian — assigned to investigate the group’s role in the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack – told a Washington, D.C., jury on Tuesday that records and text messages from Nov. 9, 2020, show that Rhodes and other Oath Keepers convened a call to discuss where their fight would go next. 

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Trump Lashes Out at ‘Fake News Media’ Over Herschel Walker’s Abortion Bombshell: ‘Trying to Destroy a Man’ With ‘True Greatness in His Future’

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Former President Donald Trump attacked the media while defending Herschel Walker over the newly-reported abortion bombshell for the Republican Senate candidate he endorsed.

“Herschel Walker is being slandered and maligned by the Fake News Media and obviously, the Democrats,” Trump declared in a statement on Tuesday. “Interestingly, I’ve heard many horrible things about his opponent, Raphael Warnock, things that nobody should be talking about, so we don’t. Herschel has properly denied the charges against him, and I have no doubt he is correct.”

Trump declined to elaborate on these so-called “horrible things” people ought to know about Walker’s opponent, the Democratic incumbent senator. The ex-president also refused to address any of the evidence The Daily Beast cited in their report that Walker — an anti-abortion absolutist — impregnated his girlfriend in 2009 and then paid for her to have the procedure. The Beast broke the story after speaking with the woman, who produced a $575 receipt from the abortion clinic, a bank deposit receipt with a check from Walker, and a “get well” card that — according to Walker’s own son — has his dad’s handwriting on it.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene in Mar-a-Lago Case, Rips Raid as Political and Says: ‘I Want My Documents Back’

Supreme Court SCOTUS
Supreme Court SCOTUS

Former President Donald Trump has asked the United States Supreme Court to intervene on his behalf in his classified documents fight against the Justice Department.

In a filing Tuesday afternoon, attorneys for Trump said they are seeking to overturn a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that ordered his hand-picked special master to halt a review of documents from his home on Aug. 8.

In a request addressed to Justice Clarence Thomas, who is assigned to the 11th Circuit, Trump’s legal team portrayed the DOJ’s case against Trump as political

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

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Oath Keepers leader regretted not having guns on Jan. 6, prosecutors say at seditious conspiracy trial

gavel courtroom trial
gavel courtroom trial

The founder of the far-right Oath Keepers was recorded days after the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol saying his “only regret” about that day is that the group “should have brought rifles,” federal prosecutors revealed in federal court Monday.

Opening statements began Monday in the seditious conspiracy trialof Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes alongside Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins and Thomas Caldwell. Other members of the alleged conspiracy will go on trial in November.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Herschel Walker’s son lashes out at dad after news report the Senate GOP nominee paid for an abortion in 2009

Twitter

Herschel Walker’s son Christian Walker blasted his dad’s bid for a Georgia Senate seat by calling him a bad father, a liar and a hypocrite just hours after a news report Monday said the GOP nominee got a woman pregnant and paid for her abortion more than a decade ago.

“I don’t care about someone who has a bad past and takes accountability. But how DARE YOU LIE and act as though you’re some ‘moral, Christian, upright man.’ You’ve lived a life of DESTROYING other peoples lives. How dare you,” Christian Walker wrote in a series of tweets.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump defamation suit accuses CNN of escalating slander against him over ‘fears’ he will run in 2024

CNN
CNN

Former President Donald Trump sued CNN alleging defamation on Monday, accusing the news network of taking persistent actions aimed at “defeating him politically.”

According to the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for Southern Florida, Trump alleged CNN has maliciously made false and defamatory statements about him. He is seeking $475 million in punitive damages, as well as compensatory damages to be determined at trial.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

National Archives notified Trump lawyers in May 2021 it was missing Kim Jong Un correspondence and Obama letter

Write writing letter pen paper
Write writing letter pen paper

The National Archives notified Donald Trump’s lawyers in May 2021 that some of the presidential records it was missing included correspondence between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and a letter former President Barack Obama left for Trump, according to a previously undisclosed email.

The National Archives and Record Administration made the email, dated May 6, 2021, and several other documents public Monday in response to Freedom of Information Act requests by numerous news organizations. The bulk of requested material was not released.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Charlie Pierce: They’ve Figured Out who Ronald DeSantis’ Pied Piper of the Vineyard Is

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire
When details started to emerge from Martha’s Vineyard about the mechanics of Florida Gov. Ronald DeSantis’ dirty trick, one of the principal villains was the mysterious “Perla,” who (one assumes) has some interesting tales to tell about how she landed the gig, including who hired her and what her instructions were. If only we knew who she was!

Imagine that: CNN figured it out. She’s Perla Huerta.

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

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“They cheat like hell, these people”: Trump airs 2020 grievances in Michigan, weeks before midterm elections

For the first seven minutes of his Michigan rally Saturday, former President Donald Trump stuck to two familiar issues Republicans are running on this November: inflation and the rising cost of living under President Biden, and immigration and the southern border. 

Then, he turned to a topic that’s been occupying him since November 2020: that the presidential election had been “stolen” from him. 

He claimed John James, now a congressional candidate for Michigan’s 10th District, had won his last race for U.S. Senate in 2020. He did not. James lost to Sen. Gary Peters by over 92,000 votes. Trump accused Democrats of obliterating “election integrity.” He said America is a “third world country” because of how ballots are counted, and he praised France for using paper ballots.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Sen. Rick Scott says there are ‘arguments to do’ abortion restrictions ‘at the federal level’

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

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., the chairman of Senate Republicans’ campaign fundraising arm, said Sunday that he supports “reasonable” abortion restrictions and that “there’s arguments to do it at the federal level.”

Scott was asked on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” to weigh in on Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bill to ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy and whether he believes such restrictions should be done on the federal level.

“Look, there’s arguments to do it at the federal level,” he said. “Right now, all the candidates are taking positions.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Historic search-and-rescue operation underway as Ian’s death toll reaches 87

As federal emergency management officials launched their largest ever search-and-rescue effort, the number of fatalities in Hurricane Ian’s wake climbed to 87 Sunday.

That number, tallied by NBC News, was expected to continue to climb as additional deaths were investigated for possible ties to last week’s storm.

The fatalities so far have included 83 in Florida, where Ian struck as a Category 4 hurricane Wednesday, and four in North Carolina, where the storm ended up after striking the coast of South Carolina Friday.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

National Archives says some records from Trump White House are still missing

Documents Papers Stack
Documents Papers Stack

The National Archives and Records Administration has informed the House Oversight and Reform Committee that some records from the Trump White House have not been turned over in compliance with the Presidential Records Act.

In a letter Friday to the panel’s chairwoman, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., acting Archivist Debra Steidel Wall said the National Archives is still trying to retrieve records from Trump administration officials who “conducted official business using non-official electronic messaging accounts.”

“While there is no easy way to establish absolute accountability, we do know that we do not have custody of everything we should,” Wall wrote.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

The Rude Pundit: On Mental Health, Like on Everything Else, Republicans Are Always Liars

In June, during the debate over two Democratic-sponsored bills with mild new rules for purchase and ownership of firearms in the wake of the horrific school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, Republicans predictably lost their collective shit over “muh 2nd ‘Mendment.” Putting aside the fact that without the guns, people in all kinds of mental states would not be able to shoot other people, what was fascinating in that GOP shit-losing was how many times Republicans said that they wanted to pass bills that addressed mental health issues, not guns. It’s as if they found a magical talking point and they waved it like a wand made of liberal tears.

For instance:

Rep. August Pfluger of Texas claimed that Republicans had a bill that provided funding for “mental health counselors” for schools.

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

SMHH Videocast 9-30-22 Elie Mystal & Frangela

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StephCast 9-30-22

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Ginni Thomas Denies Discussing Election Subversion Efforts With Her Husband

WASHINGTON — Virginia Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas and a conservative activist who pushed to overturn the 2020 election, told the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol that she never discussed those efforts with her husband, during a closed-door interview in which she continued to perpetuate the false claim that the election was stolen.

Leaving the interview, which took place at an office building near the Capitol and lasted about four hours, Ms. Thomas smiled in response to reporters’ questions, but declined to answer any publicly.

Stephcast 9-29-22

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StephCast 9-28-22

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Jan. 6 committee postpones planned hearing as Hurricane Ian advances

capitol Washington DC
capitol Washington DC

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol is postponing its highly anticipated hearing because of Hurricane Ian, which is expected to barrel into the western coast of Florida on Wednesday, according to two people familiar with the decision.

It’s unclear when the daytime hearing, which seeks to recapture the nation’s attention with what is likely to be the panel’s final public hearing before the release of a final report, will be rescheduled.

StephCast 9-27-22

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How a QAnon splinter group became a feature of Trump rallies

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Julie McDaniel can’t say for sure who started it. It might even have been her.

McDaniel was in the front section at a Trump rally earlier this month in Youngstown, Ohio, when the former president started wrapping up his speech by playing an instrumental score embraced by followers of the QAnon online conspiracy theory. She felt moved to raise her right hand and point to the sky — to God, she said. Soon everyone around her was doing it, too.

“It was spontaneous, it was it was like the domino effect,” said McDaniel, who also attended Friday’s rally here in Wilmington, N.C., coming from her home in the Chicago area. She objected to news coverage that condemned the gesture, with some comparing it to a Nazi salute. “It was an amazing, amazing moment, when you have the unity that everybody is there, and not only in this small group that was on the floor, but other people were doing it,” she said.

Jan. 6 committee hearing will use clips from Roger Stone documentary

The Danish filmmakers, who previously were hesitant to cooperate with the investigation, said this week they decided to comply with a subpoena issued by the committee

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob intends to show at its hearing this week video footage of Roger Stone recorded by Danish filmmakers during the weeks before the violence, according to people familiar with the matter.

The committee is considering including video clips in which Stone, a longtime friend and adviser of Donald Trump, predicted violent clashes with left-wing activists and forecast months before the 2020 vote that the then-president would use armed guards and loyal judges to stay in power, according to one of the people familiar with hearing planning.

Kevin McCarthy Tripped Over His Clown Shoes Rolling Out His Pitch to Be Speaker

We had a little sport with Kevin McCarthy’s “Commitment To America” plan of inaction earlier this week. I believe the concept of rake-stepping was discussed at some length. Well, the agenda had its rollout on Friday, complete with an explanatory video. And, well…WHAP!

From HuffPost:

The GOP’s video, “The Preamble to the Commitment to America,” opens with a narrator highlighting aspects of what it means to be an American. “We celebrate the rich heritage of the American story and the vibrancy of the American Dream,” the voice says, over footage of a drilling rig at sunrise. But this video snippet, an apparent nod to America’s natural resources, wasn’t filmed in America. It’s stock footage created by Serg Grbanoff, a filmmaker based in Russia.

Classic.

The Gnawing Anxiety That Trump Will Get Away With All of It

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

I can’t get past something when it comes to the multiple crimes of Donald Trump, who really was president (something I still can’t fucking believe happened – I mean, I know it happened. I’m not denying the existence of facts, like Trump and his braindead legions do. I’m just always gonna be like “Fuck us that we let that happen”). And it’s really simple, one of those elegant confluences of circumstance that should have complete clarity. It’s this:

The law is intensely clear: With a few exceptions that need to be approved, the records of a presidential administration belong to the nation, not the president. All of it, classified, unclassified, and declassified, go to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, an office set up to take care of those records that are, again, by law, the nation’s. There’s no wiggle room on this. The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals made it crystal-fuckin’-clear in its decision this week in favor of the Justice Department when it comes to the hundred or so documents found by the FBI at Trump’s shitty fake castle, Mar-a-lago. “They are ‘owned by, produced by or for, or . . . under the control of the United States Government,'” it wrote

StephCast 9-26-22

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Career prosecutors recommend no charges for Gaetz in sex-trafficking probe

Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz

Investigators see credibility challenges for two of the main witnesses in the probe of the congressman’s past dealings with a 17-year-old

Exclusive: Trump’s secret court fight to stop grand jury from getting information from his inner circle

Trump Dumb
Trump Dumb

Former President Donald Trump’s attorneys are fighting a secret court battle to block a federal grand jury from gathering information from an expanding circle of close Trump aides about his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, people briefed on the matter told CNN.

The high-stakes legal dispute – which included the appearance of three attorneys representing Trump at the Washington, DC, federal courthouse on Thursday afternoon – is the most aggressive step taken by the former President to assert executive and attorney-client privileges in order to prevent some witnesses from sharing information in the criminal investigation events surrounding January 6, 2021.

Bombshell: J6 staffer told 60 Minutes White House switchboard called rioter on Jan. 6

White House Washington DC President
White House DC President

On Friday, 60 Minutes revealed that Denver Riggleman, a key staffer for the House Select Committee on January 6, discovered the White House switchboard patched through to the phone of a Capitol rioter — while the attack was in progress.

Tish James Got the Goods on the Trump Family Grift—Now What?

While it’s nice to learn more about the crimes Trump & Co. committed, what many of us really want is to know when he’ll be held accountable.

SMHH VideoCast with Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) & Jill Wine-Banks

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StephCast F 9-23-22

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House Passes Symbolic Police Funding And Reform Bills

capitol Washington DC
capitol Washington DC

House Democrats approved legislation Thursday that would provide millions of dollars to local law enforcement while aiming to enhance police training and technology.

The four bills, which are unlikely to clear the Senate and become law, are designed to send a message: that Democrats support small police departments, but also improvements to police practices.

Democrats reached a breakthrough deal after months of arguments between progressives and centrists. President Joe Biden and other moderates have worked to distance the party from the “Defund the Police” slogan and activism of the summer of 2020, which they feel has damaged the party’s electoral prospects.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

‘A Lot of Panic’: Russian Men, Fearing Ukraine Draft, Seek Refuge Abroad

A little more than 12 hours after he heard that Russian civilians could be pressed into military service in the Ukraine war, the tour guide said he bought a plane ticket and a laptop, changed money, wrapped up his business, kissed his crying mother goodbye and boarded a plane out of his country, with no idea when he might return.

On Thursday morning, he walked into the cavernous arrival hall of the Istanbul International Airport carrying only a backpack and the address of a friend who had promised to put him up while he figured out what to do with his life.

“I was sitting and thinking about what I could die for, and I didn’t see any reason to die for the country,” said the tour guide, 23, who, like others interviewed for this article, declined to give his name for fear of reprisals.

Read the rest of the story at The New York Times

In angry outburst, Infowars host Alex Jones says ‘he’s done being sorry’ during second defamation trial

In an angry outburst, conspiracy theorist and Infowars host Alex Jones said “he’s done being sorry” as he took the stand Thursday during his second defamation trial for saying the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a hoax. 

“Is this a struggle session? Are we in China?” he exclaimed during his testimony after being reminded of those who were murdered and shown a clip of Robbie Parker at a press conference the day after his daughter Emilie died in the 2012 mass shooting. 

“I’ve already said I’m sorry hundreds of times and I’m done saying I’m sorry,” Jones said. 

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Special master in Mar-a-Lago case asks Trump to back up his allegation that FBI ‘planted’ evidence

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

The special master appointed to review documents federal agents seized at Donald Trump’s Florida estate has given the former president until Friday of next week to back up his allegation that the FBI planted evidence in the search on Aug. 8.

After the FBI search of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Trump and his lawyers have publicly insinuated on multiple occasions without providing evidence that agents planted evidence during the search. “Planting information anyone?” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform Aug. 12.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast Th 9-22-22

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Appeals court lifts hold that prevented Justice Department from using classified documents in Mar-a-Lago probe

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

A federal appeals court said Wednesday that the Justice Departmentcan resume using classified documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate in its criminal investigation.

The Justice Department had appealed a ruling this month by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, a Trump appointee, that temporarily barred it from reviewing and using the seized materials for investigative purposes.

The appeals court panel, comprised of two Trump appointees and one Obama appointee, thoroughly rejected Trump’s position on the classified documents and parts of Cannon’s reasoning for issuing her original order. The appeals court said that among the factors under consideration were whether or not Trump had individual interest or need for the classified documents, which the district court hadn’t mentioned in its analysis.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

1,300 arrested for protesting Putin’s mobilization as others scramble for flights out of Russia

Putin Russia
Putin Russia

The Kremlin has for months fought to maintain a sense of domestic normalcy while pursuing its faltering war in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin’s declaration of a “partial mobilization”has, for some Russians at least, shattered that illusion. 

By the time Putin’s recorded announcement was done playing on TV on Wednesday, Russians were scrambling to buy the last available flights out of the country and opposition groups were calling for protests as his order bred a sense of unease at home, just as his nuclear threats sought to do abroad.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Ginni Thomas to meet with House committee investigating Jan. 6 riot

The House Jan. 6 committee has reached an agreement with Ginni Thomas to be interviewed in the coming weeks, a source close to the House panel said Wednesday.

Emails, records and reporting indicate that Thomas, a conservative activist and the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, was involved in some aspects of a scheme involving “fake electors” after the 2020 election and was also in touch with Trump lawyer John Eastman about his strategies to overturn the election results.

CNN first reported the planned meeting with Thomas, which comes after weeks of back and forth and a letter asking her to speak with the panel.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

New York AG sues Trump, 3 of his children and their company, charging large-scale business fraud

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a sweeping lawsuit Wednesday against former President Donald Trump, his three eldest children and the Trump Organization in connection with her yearslong civil investigation into the company’s business practices.

In the suit, which runs more than 200 pages, James’ office detailswhat it says are Trump’s efforts to inflate his personal net worth to attract favorable loan agreements and alleges more than 200 instances of fraud over 10 years.

James is seeking to permanently bar the Trump family from serving as officers of New York-based companies and prevent Trump and his company from entering into commercial real estate acquisitions in the state for five years. She is also seeking about $250 million in penalties. In addition, her office is sending a criminal referral to the IRS and U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan, she said.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast W 9-21-22

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Putin orders partial mobilization of Russian reservists and hints using nuclear weapons still possible

Putin Russia
Putin Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a partial mobilization of reservists in Russia, in a measure that appeared to be an admission that Moscow’s war against Ukraine isn’t going according to plan after nearly seven months of fighting and amid recent battlefield losses for the Kremlin’s forces.

The Russian leader, in a televised address to the nation aired on Wednesday morning, also warned the West that he isn’t bluffing over using all the means at his disposal to protect Russia’s territory, in what appeared to be a veiled reference to Russia’s nuclear capability. Putin has previously warned the West not to back Russia against the wall and has rebuked NATO countries for supplying weapons to help Ukraine.

Read the rest of the story at CBS News

Fed expected to raise interest rates, escalate fight against inflation

graph poll
graph poll

Wall Street will watch closely on Wednesday as the Federal Reserve is expected to escalate its fightagainst inflation with a dramatic interest rate hike.

The move would come a little more than a week after a higher-than-expected inflation report revealed that prices rose slightly in August, worsening the cost woes for U.S. households and sending the S&P 500 tumbling for its worst day of 2022.

The Fed has instituted a series of aggressive interest rate hikes in recent months as it tries to slash price increases by slowing the economy and choking off demand. But the approach risks tipping the U.S. into an economic downturn and putting millions out of work.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Members of far-right group America First charged in connection with Jan. 6 riot

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

Five people who federal investigators say are associated with the far-right group America First have been arrested in connection with last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

In addition to numerous criminal charges, they are accused of entering House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s conference room, according to a court filing.

The Justice Department said in the filing that the leadership of America First “has espoused a belief that they are defending against the demographic and cultural changes in America.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Special master in Mar-a-Lago case appears skeptical of Trump ‘declassification’ claims

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

The special master appointed to review documents federal agents seized at former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate appeared doubtful Tuesday about Trump’s contention that he had declassified the various top secret and other highly sensitive documents found there.

The special master, Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond J. Dearie of New York, had asked Trump’s attorneys for more information about which of the over 100 sensitive documents federal agents found at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach might have been declassified. Trump’s attorneys had told the judge in a letter Monday night that they didn’t want to disclose the information yet because it could force them to prematurely “disclose a defense to the merits of any subsequent indictment.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast T 9-20-22

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Trump ally Mike Lindell must face defamation suit over election-rigging claims

Mike Lindell MyPillow
Mike Lindell MyPillow

MyPillow Inc. Chief Executive Mike Lindell must face a defamation lawsuit brought by a voting machine company that the Trump ally falsely accused of rigging the 2020 U.S. election, a Minnesota federal judge ruled on Monday.

Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright denied Lindell and MyPillow’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit by Smartmatic USA Corp., finding ample evidence that Lindell ignored publicly available information that contradicted his theories.

Judge Wright also found sufficient evidence that Lindell knew or should have known his statements were false and acted with “actual malice” in promoting them, a key legal threshold in defamation cases.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Trump attorneys don’t want to disclose which Mar-a-Lago documents he claims to have declassified

Trump Classified Documents
Trump Classified Documents

Donald Trump’s attorneys said in a filing Monday night that they don’t want to disclose to a court-appointed special master which Mar-a-Lago documents they assert the former president may or may not have declassified.

In a four-page letter to the special master, Trump’s attorneys pushed back against Senior U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie’s apparent proposal that they submit “specific information regarding declassification” to him in the course of his review.

Dearie issued an order Friday summoning both parties to the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, New York, for a preliminary conference Tuesday.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Texas sheriff opens criminal investigation into Martha’s Vineyard migrant trips

blue light police siren

A Texas sheriff said Monday that his office has opened a criminal investigation into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ unprecedented move to send nearly 50 migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, last week.

Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said the inquiry was in its early stages, and he declined to name possible suspects. But in a news conference, he said: “Everybody on this call knows who those names are already.”

Salazar said it was not clear whether any laws had been broken, but he said that 48 migrants appeared to have been “lured under false pretenses” into staying at a hotel for a couple of days before they were flown to Florida and Martha’s Vineyard.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Top Jan. 6 committee members propose reforms to 1887 Electoral Count Act

Liz Cheney
Liz Cheney

Two senior members of the Jan. 6 select committee have introduced a bipartisan bill to reform the counting of presidential electoral votes to prevent another riot at the Capitol over disputed results.

The Presidential Election Reform Act from Reps. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., targets some of the perceived nuances in 135-year-old Electoral Count Act that former President Donald Trump and his supporters attempted to exploit to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.

“Our proposal is intended to preserve the rule of law for all future presidential elections by ensuring that self-interested politicians cannot steal from the people the guarantee that our government derives its power from the consent of the governed,” Cheney and Lofgren wrote in a joint Wall Street Journal column last week.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Charlie Pierce: The Republicans Built a Time Machine, Powered by Racism

Charlie Pierce Esquire
Charlie Pierce Esquire
The good people who manage the vast archives at the John F. Kennedy Library down by the bay in Boston are not people known to miss a trick. There is so much history stored there because, as we oldsters will tell you, the 1960s were a pretty target-rich environment, history-wise. Of course, JFK’s time in office was cut off before what we call the ’60s really got rolling. Consider: If he had not been murdered, Kennedy would have been president of the United States when the Beatles arrived and throughout the Summer of Love in 1967—but a lot of the seeds that sprouted later can be found in the stacks of his library, which sits like the prow of a ship, pointed out over a domesticated slice of the Atlantic Ocean.

For example, during his entire time in office (but especially after the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961), Kennedy and the CIA were at sword’s point. Kennedy didn’t trust the CIA as far as he could throw Allen Dulles—and, in the aftermath of the Cuban fiasco, JFK threw him pretty far—and the spooks out at Langley thought the president was callow and not up to the job of being butch with the Soviet Union and Fidel Castro. (So many of the ‘Who Shot John?’ theories surrounding Kennedy’s murder have their roots in this undeniable conflict.) Anyway, on March 16, 1963, looking to manufacture a casus belli with which to justify another Cuban invasion, the Joint Chiefs of Staff came up with a plan called Operation Northwoods, a blatantly illegal and utterly batshit plan to create false-flag domestic terrorist attacks that could be blamed on Castro’s regime. One of these proposed actions involved blowing up John Glenn on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral.

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

StephCast M 9-19-22

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The Rude Pundit: Graham and DeSantis Tried to Own But Got Owned

The Rude Pundit
The Rude Pundit

You know what’s darkly hilarious or perhaps hilariously dark or maybe not hilarious at all and just plain dark? I’d bet that Lindsey Graham and Ron DeSantis thought what they did this week was fucking awesome and that they’d show those no-good liberals what fucking hypocrites they are. Except that reality ended up punching them both in the dick for acting like dicks, and, yeah, that’s pretty fucking funny.

First, South Carolina Sen. Graham, who lately always looks like he’s on his fifth mint julep while annoyed that he doesn’t have enough liquor for number six, put out a bill to outlaw nearly all abortions after 15 weeks, and he fucking expected Republicans to jump for joy that he had solved the post-Roe clusterfuck of bad news for his party going into the midterms. At his weird little press conference announcing the bill, Graham pronounced, “If we adopted my bill, our bill, we would be in the mainstream of most everybody else in the world. I think there are 47 of the 50 European countries have a ban on abortion from 12 to 15 weeks. And I pick 15 weeks, which is a little longer than Belgium, Germany and Spain, longer than France, Denmark, and Norway.” So now we’re taking our cues from Europe? I thought that was wrong and might turn us all gay to do that. 

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

All of Puerto Rico without power as Hurricane Fiona slams island

Hurricane Fiona battered Puerto Rico on Sunday, cutting power to the entire island while bringing destructive winds and life-threatening flash flooding. Conditions rapidly deteriorated even before the Category 1 storm made landfall Sunday afternoon, and the situation was not expected to improve much going into Monday.

As the wind and rain escalated Sunday, all 3.2 million people on the island were without power, according to PowerOutage.us, a site that tracks power failures. Puerto Rico’s governor, Pedro Pierluisi, confirmed in a tweet on Sunday afternoon that power was out on the entire island.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

World watches Britain lay its longest-reigning monarch to rest

Queen Elizabeth Royal UK
Queen Elizabeth Royal UK

An elaborate state funeral is Britain’s final tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, featuring a service at the 13th century Westminster Abbey, where her coronation took place almost 70 years ago, and a procession led by King Charles III through the crowd-lined streets of central London. Almost 2,000 guests are attending — among them more than 90 world leaders, representatives from dozens of royal families and members of the House of Windsor, including the queen’s great grandchildren George and Charlotte.

It is a national holiday in the United Kingdom, and tens of thousands of people have camped out overnight for the event. Millions more will watch from around the globe. Britain’s last state funeral was held in 1965 for wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Read the rest of the story at The Washington Post

NY Mayor Eric Adams calls for ‘coordination’ with GOP governors, WH on bused migrants

child sad boy
sad child boy

New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday called for more “coordination” with the federal government and Govs. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, and Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., who are busing and flying newly arrived migrants to blue states across the country.

“I traveled to Washington last week, spoke with Sen. [Chuck] Schumer, Sen. [Kirsten] Gillibrand and other lawmakers and sat down with Biden administration to talk about — how do we coordinate?” Adams, a Democrat, told ABC “This Week” co-anchor Jonathan Karl, referencing New York’s two Democratic senators.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

‘The pandemic is over,’ Biden says in ’60 Minutes’ Interview

Biden Speaking
Biden Speaking

After more than 1 million deaths in the U.S. and almost three years of lockdowns and economic disruption, President Joe Biden declared the coronavirus pandemic is over in an interview that aired Sunday.

Biden said on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that “we still have a problem with Covid,” adding: “We’re still doing a lot of work on it. But the pandemic is over.”

CBS News said the interview was conducted Thursday, before the president flew to the United Kingdom for observances of the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

SMHH VideoCast with Ali Velshi & Carlos Alazraqui – 9-16-22

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StephCast F 9-16-22

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Biden Approval Rises Sharply Ahead Of Midterms: Poll

graph poll
graph poll

President Joe Biden’s popularity improved substantially from his lowest point this summer, but concerns about his handling of the economy persist, according to a poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Support for Biden recovered from a low of 36% in July to 45%, driven in large part by a rebound in support from Democrats just two months before the November midterm elections. During a few bleak summer months when gasoline prices peaked and lawmakers appeared deadlocked, the Democrats faced the possibility of blowout losses against Republicans.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Trump Says Americans Won’t ‘Stand’ For Charges Against Him, Warns Of Trouble

Donald Trump said Thursday that Americans will not “stand” for indictments against him regarding top secret documents he took from the White House — and ominously warned that criminal charges could trigger “big problems” never before seen.

Trump also declared that he issued a standing order to declassify everything he took from the White House. It’s a resurrected claim that even his attorneys haven’t presented in court filings — and one contradicted by several Trump administration officials.

Asked about possible indictments related to the several boxes of White House documents, including classified and even top secret files, stashed at Mar-a-Lago, Trump repeatedly told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt on his program that Americans won’t “stand for it,” and that any charges would trigger “problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before.”

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Jeffrey Clark, whom Trump considered for AG, had phone seized in obstruction probe

Federal agents who seized former Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark‘s phone in June were looking for evidence of crimes of making false statements, criminal conspiracy and obstruction of justice, according to a new filing.

Clark, whom former President Donald Trump considered naming attorney general as part of his effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, told officials with the Washington, D.C., bar that the search warrant for seizure of his electronic devices was connected to a criminal investigation into violations of three federal laws. Special agents with the Justice Department inspector general conducted the search in June.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Federal judge appoints special master to review documents seized at Mar-a-Lago

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

A federal judge appointed a special master to review documents the FBI seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida estate while denying the Justice Department continued access to roughly 100 classified documents for use in its criminal investigation.

In an order Thursday, U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon named Raymond J. Dearie, a senior U.S. district judge for the Eastern District of New York, to review all of the materials seized on Aug. 8. The Trump team had proposed Dearie, and Justice officials had previously signaled its approval for him as a potential arbiter to determine if any of the documents are protected by attorney-client or executive privileges.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast Th 9-15-22

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CNN Reports Mark Meadows Complied With Department of Justice Subpoena as DOJ Goes ‘Gun Blazing’ on Jan. 6 Investigation

Mark Meadows has complied with a subpoena served to him by the Department of Justice, CNN reported Wednesday night.

Meadows served as former President Donald Trump’s last chief of staff. In the waning days of Trump’s presidency on Jan. 6, 2021, a mob stormed the Capitol to stop certification of the 2020 election Trump falsely claimed was rigged against him. That event has prompted investigations by both the DOJ and Congress.

“He’s complied with a subpoena from the Justice Department as part of the January 6th investigation,” CNN’s Evan Perez reported on Don Lemon Tonight. Now, this makes him the highest-ranking Trump official to comply with a subpoena as part of this criminal investigation.”

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

‘You’re gonna die tonight’: Trump fan admits dragging cop down Capitol steps

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

A man who wore a “Trump 2020” hat as he beat one officer and dragged another down the steps of the Capitol on Jan. 6 has pleaded guilty, admitting telling officers “you’re gonna die tonight” and repeatedly assaulting law enforcement.

Jack Wade Whitton, 32, from Georgia, bragged in a message obtained by the government that he had “fed” a cop “to the people.” He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a felony charge of assaulting, resisting or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon, which carries a maximum of 20 years in federal prison. His estimated sentencing guidelines are 6.5 to 8 years in federal prison but could be slightly lower if a judge agrees with Whitton’s contention that none of his victims were physically restrained during the assault.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

DeSantis flies two planes of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday flew two planes of immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, escalating a tactic by Republican governors to draw attention to what they consider to be the Biden administration’s failed border policies.

Flights to the upscale island enclave in Massachusetts were part of an effort to “transport illegal immigrants to sanctuary destinations,” said Taryn Fenske, DeSantis’ communications director.

While DeSantis’ office didn’t elaborate on their legal status, many migrants who cross the border illegally from Mexico are temporarily shielded from deportation after being freed by U.S. authorities to pursue asylum in immigration court — as allowed under U.S law and international treaty — or released on humanitarian parole.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast W 9-14-22

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Graham’s proposed near-total national abortion ban quickly meets GOP resistance

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)

Less than two months before the midterm elections, Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday introduced a bill that would impose a nationwide ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The measure, the first GOP effort to ban abortion at the national level since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, contains exceptions for cases of rape, incest or when a mother’s life is in danger but otherwise would restrict abortions after the point when Graham, citing medical research, claimed a fetus’ nerves develop enough to feel pain.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Kenneth Starr, independent counsel behind Bill Clinton’s impeachment, dies at 76

Ken Starr

Kenneth Starr, whose investigation as independent counsel led to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, has died, his former employer Baylor University said Tuesday. He was 76.

Starr died at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston of complications from surgery, the school said.

Starr ended his legal and scholarly career as president and chancellor of the private university in 2016 after six years.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

‘Irreparable harm’: Justice Department warns against further delay in Trump documents probe

The Justice Department on Tuesday blasted efforts by former President Donald Trump’s lawyers to delay its investigation of classified documents seized at his Florida resort, while a magistrate judge unsealed some previously redacted information relating to the FBI’s search of Trump’s club.

“Plaintiff [Trump] has characterized the government’s criminal investigation as a ‘document storage dispute’ or an ‘overdue library book scenario.’ In doing so, Plaintiff has not addressed the potential harms that could result from mishandling classified information or the strict requirements imposed by law for handling such materials,” the Justice Department said in a court filing urging U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon to allow it to proceed for now with its criminal investigation into the over 100 classified documents the department says it took from Trump’s home in Palm Beach, Florida.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Judge Unseals Additional Portions Of Mar-A-Lago Affidavit

Documents Papers Stack
Documents Papers Stack

A federal judge Tuesday unsealed additional portions of an FBIaffidavit laying out the basis for a search of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home, showing that agents earlier obtained a hard drive after issuing a subpoena for surveillance footage recorded inside Mar-a-Lago.

A heavily redacted version of the affidavit was made public last month, but the Justice Department requested permission to show more of it after lawyers for Trump revealed the existence of a June grand jury subpoena that sought video footage from cameras in the vicinity of the Mar-a-Lago storage room.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

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Charlie Pierce: Herschel Walker Is the Reductio ad Absurdum of Every “Not a Politician” Campaign

Sen. Raphael Warnock is a brilliant, eloquent advocate for the issues that he supports on behalf of his constituents. His opponent in the upcoming senatorial election in Georgia is…incredibly none of those things. Last week, for example, the opponent said this: “Warnock, I remember hearing him say, ‘America need to apologize for it whiteness.’ That’s not in a Bible I ever read. Our Founding Fathers already apologized for its whiteness. Because if you read the Constitution, it talks about every man being treated fair.”
 

First, Warnock never said this, and his opponent never heard him say it. Second, one does not have to have read the Bible to know it doesn’t contain that particular sentiment, and I don’t believe his opponent ever read the Bible, anyway. And, finally, the Constitution says nothing of the sort, and Warnock’s opponent hasn’t read the Constitution either. (The original Constitution, in fact, said quite the opposite, Three-Fifths Of All Other People etc.)

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

DOJ Agrees to Accept Trump’s Candidate for Special Master

The Department of Justice has agreed to accept one of former President Donald Trump’s nominees for a special master to review documents sized from his home by the FBI last month.

The former president and the DOJ had each submitted two candidates for a third-party to review documents Trump claims are protected by attorney-client privilege.

U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon will now decide whether to approve senior Judge Raymond Dearie of New York to act as a neutral third party to review the materials.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Biden touts next steps on ‘Cancer Moonshot’ in speech at JFK library

Biden Kamala Harris Pelosi
Biden Kamala Harris Pelosi

President Joe Biden announced new steps to expand on his administration’s “Cancer Moonshot” initiative to prevent deaths from cancer by trying to speed the discovery of new treatments and improve prevention, detection and treatment to those suffering from the disease.

“Cancer doesn’t discriminate between red or blue, it doesn’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat,” Biden said in a speech Monday afternoon at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. “Beating cancer is something we can do together and that’s why I’m here today.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Justice Department has issued dozens of subpoenas in the last week related to Trump and the Capitol riot

justice court lawyer
justice court lawyer

The Justice Department has issued about 40 subpoenas in the last week related to the actions of former President Donald Trump, his allies and efforts to overturn the 2020 election, according to sources familiar with the matter.

It also seized two telephones, the sources said.

The subpoenas and phone seizures, first reported by The New York Times, are the latest developments in the sprawling investigation into the former president.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast M 9-12-22

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The Rude Pundit: Abortion Rights and the Lie of “Reaching Across the Aisle”

Democrats make ads all the time about how they are willing to work across the aisle with the opposing party. (I know some Republicans do, too, but it’s not as prominent a thing on the right.) The notion is worn like a badge of honor, as if Democrats need to show how not Democratic they are.  For instance, in this election cycle, we have Elissa Slotkin in Michigan saying, “I refuse to let partisan politics hold this country back.” Senator Maggie Hassan goes even further, bragging, “I took on members of my own party” on a gas tax holiday. President Biden campaigned in 2020 on his supposed ability to work with Republicans (even if he’s learned how ludicrous a notion that is). 

And while the realities of getting legislation passed sometimes forces cooperation, to insist that you as a Democrat need buy-in from the other side in order to justify your position makes it seem like you’re apologizing for being a Democrat. The whole idea is a comforting lie, affirming a fictional tale of the two parties who can put aside differences for the good of the country. Mostly, it forces Democrats to agree to negotiate with people who are insane extremists and pretend like their positions aren’t so. 

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

Ex-Trump Aide Stephen Miller Subpoenaed In DOJ’s Jan. 6 Probe: Report

The Department of Justice has reportedly subpoenaed former President Donald Trump’s senior White House advisor Stephen Miller in a probe looking at a super PAC from the former president, The New York Times reported.

Miller, along with ex-White House political director Brian Jack, is reportedly among a group of more than a dozen people linked to Trump that received federal grand jury subpoenas this week.

Several “junior and mid-level” aides who worked for Trump in the White House and for his presidential bid also received subpoenas, The Times reported earlier this week.

Read the rest of the story at HuffPost

Kamala Harris warns domestic threats to democracy are harming America at home and abroad

Vice President Kamala Harris said anti-democratic forces that have emerged in the mainstream of American politics have made the nation weaker at home and undermined our legitimacy overseas, joining President Joe Biden in describing it as a major threat.

Asked in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” whether the threats from within the U.S. pose a risk equal to or greater than what the nation faced 21 years ago on 9/11, Harris drew upon the oaths of office she had taken as a prosecutor, California’s attorney general, a senator and vice president to uphold the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic — and we don’t compare the two.”

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Biden honors 9/11 victims, vows commitment to thwart terrorism

President Joe Biden Flags Speech
President Joe Biden Flags Speech

President Joe Biden marked the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, laying a wreath at the Pentagon in a somber commemoration held under a steady rain and paying tribute to “extraordinary Americans” who gave their lives on one of the nation’s darkest days.

Sunday’s ceremony occurred a little more than a year after Biden ended the long and0 costly war in Afghanistan that the U.S. and allies launched in response to the terror attacks.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Ukrainian forces made “significant gains” against Russian positions in the past 24 hours.

Kiev Kyiv Ukraine Flag
Kiev Kyiv Ukraine Flag

Ukraine’s armed forces have recaptured large swaths of territory and are making “significant gains” against Russia’s occupation of the northwest region of Kharkiv, the U.K.’s defense ministry said in an intelligence briefing Sunday.

Russian forces have likely “withdrawn units from the area,” but fighting continues around the strategically important cities of Kupiansk and Izyum, it said in its daily update on the war in Ukraine, posted to Twitter.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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King Charles III to address a nation in mourning after queen’s death

UK Britain Flag Union Jack
UK Britain Flag Union Jack

Britain’s new monarch, King Charles III, will address the nation Friday as it mourns the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

On his first full day of duties, the king is expected to return to London for a meeting with the U.K.’s new prime minister, Liz Truss, herself new to the job after being appointed earlier this week.

As Britain begins a 10-day mourning period, the country and the world are paying tribute to the queen as huge crowds flock to Buckingham Palace.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

DOJ to appeal special master ruling, arguing classified documents aren’t Trump’s ‘personal records’

Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago
Trump Mar-A-Lago Maralago

The hundreds of pages of classified government records seized from Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last month aren’t the former president’s “personal records,” and he has no right to possess them, the Justice Department said in a court filing Thursday as it said the government would appeal a judge’s ruling on the matter.

The Justice Department will appeal U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling for a special master to look at the documents seized during the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home, according to the notification filed Thursday. The Justice Department said it will file its appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Steve Bannon charged with money laundering, conspiracy in ‘We Build the Wall’ fundraising fraud case

Steve Bannon
Steve bannon

Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was charged Thursday in New York with defrauding donors who were giving money to build a wall at the southern U.S. border.

Bannon, 68, was indicted on charges including money laundering, scheming to defraud, and conspiracy in what prosecutors described as a yearlong scheme. He pleaded not guilty in a brief arraignment before acting Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan and agreed to surrender his passports as a condition of his bail. Supreme Court is the name of New York’s principal criminal court.

“He’s not going anywhere. He intends to fight these charges all the way,” Bannon’s attorney David Schoen told the judge.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

Queen Elizabeth II, Britain’s longest serving monarch, has died

Queen Elizabeth Royal UK
Queen Elizabeth Royal UK

Queen Elizabeth II, whose 70-year reign spanned wars, a pandemic, 14 U.S. presidents and the winding down of Britain’s vast empire, has died. Her eldest son, Charles, is now king. 

“The queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,” the royal family said in a statement. “The king and the queen consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The longest-serving British monarch was 96.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

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Trump Told Advisers He Needed to Save ‘Russiagate’ Docs so Biden Wouldn’t ‘Shred’ Them: Report

Documents Papers Stack
Documents Papers Stack

Former President Donald Trump reportedly told those close to him he intended to preserve documents related to the Russian collusion investigation, as he feared his White House successor would destroy them.

The investigation dated back to 2016 and centered on allegations people in Trump’s orbit worked with Russians to help him win the election.

According to Rolling Stone, Trump worried the investigation would return to haunt him, and documents about it would not be preserved by then-President-elect Joe Biden in January of 2020.

Read the rest of the story at Mediaite

Judge nixes Oath Keepers leader’s bid to delay Jan. 6 trial

gavel courtroom trial
gavel courtroom trial

The high-profile seditious conspiracy trial for the leader of the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group will begin this month after a judge on Wednesday rejected a last-minute bid by Stewart Rhodes to replace his lawyers and delay his Capitol riot case.

Rhodes said in court papers this week there had been a “breakdown” in communication between him and his two lawyers, who he claimed weren’t defending him forcefully enough. Rhodes’ new lawyer argued that the Oath Keepers founder has not been given enough time to adequately prepare for trial and urged the judge to delay his trial at least 90 days.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Trump aide subpoenaed, FBI seeks interview related to Jan. 6 investigations: Sources

capitol riot insurrection
capitol riot insurrection

The FBI sought to interview a current top adviser to former President Donald Trump who has also been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury, both in relation to investigations into the events leading up to and on Jan. 6, 2021, sources familiar with the matter told ABC News.

William Russell wasn’t home when the two FBI agents came to his house Wednesday morning, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Russell served in the Trump White House as a special assistant to the president and the deputy director of advance before moving down to Florida to work as an aide to Trump after he left the White House.

Read the rest of the story at ABC News

Obamas return to the White House for the unveiling of their official portraits

Barack Michelle Obama Obamas
Barack Michelle Obama Obamas

Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama returned to the White House on Wednesday for the unveiling of their official portraits, reviving the bipartisan tradition that stalled under the Trump administration.

“Barack and Michelle, welcome home,” President Joe Biden said at a ceremony in the East Room celebrating the former first couple.

The White House Historical Association has facilitated acquiring portraits of presidents and first ladies since 1965. Most presidents and first ladies select artists before they leave office, according to the association. Once completed, the portraits are displayed in the White House.

Read the rest of the story at NBC News

StephCast W 9-7-22

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