Monitoring Biden and other Contemporary Events

Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 09:49 am
I apologise if it came off that way, but Lash has a habit of delibrrately grabbing the wrong end of the stick.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 10:16 am
Absolutely nothing to be overly sorry for!
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 10:29 am
Lash wrote:

I don’t know what fools here allow some nasty racist to spew ad homs at will and never respond, but I’m not one of them.

I don't know what you teach or to whom, but I do not believe it is English composition. You aren't one of which - nasty racists, fools, ad hom spewers?

Personally, I think you are a triple threat.

Please, prattle on more about what you personally consider an 'ad hom'.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 10:44 am
It is offensive, if one doesn't realize how racist the education districts in the US can be. A lot of black kids parents were conned by charter schools that promised a better education than public schools. And given an education that based all subjects on religion. Qualified for a bible collage, but not even a community college. This was and is a planned result.

We aren't so far from the plantation system as we'd like to think we are.
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 12:54 pm
Ron DeSantis Is an Optical Illusion

Frank Bruni wrote:
Elon Musk is a geyser of gibberish, so it’s important not to make too much of anything he says. But a recent Twitter thread of his deserved the attention it got, if not for the specific detail on which most journalists focused.

They led with Musk’s statement that he would support a Ron DeSantis candidacy for the presidency in 2024. That obviously disses one Donald Trump, though it should come as no surprise: Magnates like Musk typically cling to the moment’s shiniest toys, and DeSantis, fresh off his re-election, is a curiously gleaming action figure.

But how Musk framed his attraction to the Florida governor was revealing — and troubling. He expressed a desire for a candidate who’s “sensible and centrist,” implying that DeSantis is both.

In what universe? He’s “sensible and centrist” only by the warped yardsticks of Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Kari Lake and the like. But those yardsticks will be used frequently as various Republicans join the 2024 fray. And therein lies real danger.

Trump’s challengers will be defined in relation to him, casting them in a deceptively flattering light. They’ll be deemed steady because he’s not, on the ball because he’s out to lunch, enlightened because they don’t sup with Holocaust deniers. They’ll be realists to his fantasist, institutionalists to his nihilist, preservationists to his arsonist.

None of those descriptions will be true. Some will be persuasive nonetheless.

That dynamic is already doing wonders for DeSantis as he flies high over a very low bar. “Look!” say Republicans eager to take back the White House. “It’s Superman!” Hardly. But his promoters are hoping that the shadow of Trump produces such an optical illusion.

“Plenty of Americans across the partisan divide would have good reason to root for him,” Jim Geraghty, the senior political correspondent for the conservative journal National Review, wrote in a recent essay in The Washington Post that praised DeSantis. Parts of it made DeSantis sound consensus-minded, conciliatory. That’s some trick.

Geraghty added: “Given the bizarre state of American politics during the Trump era, DeSantis would represent a return to normality.” The “given” in that sentence is working overtime, and “normality” fits DeSantis about as well as “sensible” and “centrist” do.

It is not normal to release a campaign ad, as DeSantis did last month, that explicitly identifies you as someone created and commanded by God to pursue the precise political agenda that you’re pursuing. Better words for that include “messianic,” “megalomaniacal” and “delusional.”

It is not sensible to open a new state office devoted to election crimes when there is scant evidence of any need for it. That is called “pandering.” It is also known as a “stunt.”

It is not centrist to have a key aide who tweeted that anyone who opposed the “Don’t Say Gay” education law in Florida was “probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4-8 year old children.” Those were the words of Christina Pushaw, who was then DeSantis’s press secretary and “transformed the governor’s state messaging office into a hyperpartisan extension of his political efforts,” as Matt Dixon noted in Politico, adding that she “used the position to regularly pick public fights with reporters on social media, amplify right-wing media outlets and conservative personalities and attack individuals who oppose or challenge DeSantis.”

DeSantis’s response to her derisive and divisive antics? He made her the “rapid response director” for his re-election campaign. Because that’s the normal, sensible, centrist thing to do.

DeSantis used his power as governor to punish Disney for daring to dissent from his political views. He used migrants as political pawns and sent two planes full of them to Martha’s Vineyard. He pushed for an extreme gerrymander in Florida that marginalized minority voters. He’s a darling of the National Rifle Association.

And the signature line from his stump speech is that Florida is “where woke goes to die.” I’m with him on the destructiveness of peak wokeness, but base-camp wokeness has some lessons and virtues, which a sensible centrist might acknowledge and reflect on. Can’t Florida be where woke goes to decompress in the sun and surf and re-emerge in more relaxed form?

DeSantis himself might currently reject the labels that Musk gave him: It’s the right-wing-warrior side that promises to propel him most forcefully through the primaries, should he enter them. But he or any nominee not named Trump would likely segue to the general election by flashing shades of moderation.

In DeSantis’s case, there’d be chatter galore about his 19-point re-election victory as proof of his appeal’s breadth. But another Republican, Senator Marco Rubio, won re-election in Florida by sixteen points, suggesting that forces beyond DeSantis’s dubiously pan-partisan magnetism were in play. And Florida is redder than it used to be.

The extremists and conspiracists so prevalent in today’s Republican Party have distorted the frame for everyone else, permitting the peddling of DeSantis as some paragon of reason. Be savvier than Musk. Don’t buy it.

0 Replies
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 12:59 pm
Just Wait Until You Get to Know Ron DeSantis

People who haven’t met him think he’s a hot commodity. People who have met him aren’t so sure.

Mark Leibovich wrote:
Governor Ron DeSantis has a growing store of admirers. This includes many who have watched the cantankerous Floridian only from afar. They have heard glowing things. He was the biggest winner of an otherwise dark election cycle for Republicans. He has impeccable bona fides as a Donald Trump disciple—without being Trump himself, whom many see as the biggest loser of said dark election cycle.

This has made DeSantis the GOP’s hottest molecule. He is full MAGA without the high drama. He is terrorizing all the right targets while Trump keeps blowing himself up in new and creative ways. “He is Trump with a brain,” goes the whispered refrain among DeSantis aides (this clearly drives Trump nuts—always a noble goal).

While essentially working from home, DeSantis has managed to build an impressive cachet as a favored Fox News funambulist, a flypaper for big donors, and an owner of libs. He has fashioned a kind of GOP utopia in the Sunshine State—where the boss himself chooses to reside, but is safely cordoned off in Palm Beach. DeSantis, meanwhile, clearly runs the empire. “Florida is where woke goes to die,” he said in his chest-thumping victory speech on Election Night.

The question is whether DeSantis’s presidential hopes will perish as he starts getting out more on the Iowa–New Hampshire dating apps. People who know him better and have watched him longer are skeptical of his ability to take on the former president. DeSantis, they say, is no thoroughbred political athlete. He can be awkward and plodding. And Trump tends to eviscerate guys like that.

“He was standoffish in general,” the Virginia Republican Barbara Comstock, a former House colleague of DeSantis’s, told me.

“A strange no-eye-contact oddball,” Rick Wilson, a Republican media consultant, wrote on Resolute Square.

“I’d rather have teeth pulled without anesthetic than be on a boat with Ron DeSantis,” says Mac Stipanovich, a Tallahassee lobbyist who set sail from the GOP over his revulsion for Trump and his knockoffs. To sum up: DeSantis is not a fun and convivial dude. He prefers to keep his earbuds in. His “Step away from the vehicle” vibes are strong.

To stipulate: None of this is necessarily disqualifying.

On the contrary, it could lend DeSantis credibility as an outsider irritant. He is not just another smoothie politician, not part of the “establishment.” Since Trump descended his escalator and dragged the GOP down with him, the party has shown a persistent tolerance, even inclination, for churlish bastards—just as long as they are churlish toward the right rascals, reprobates, and agents of wokeness. DeSantis has a Trumpian proficiency for identifying these. If that leads to cruel treatment of vulnerable populations (refugees, gay and transgender teens), even better.

But no shortage of alleged heavyweights have entered previous primary races only to reveal themselves as decidedly not ready for prime time, or even late-night C-SPAN. Political handicappers and fundraisers overhype them. Expectations create a cryptolike bubble. Then they finally show up and fail to dazzle. The gloss fades fast. You can ask President Beto O’Rourke about this.

“I think he is going to run into some challenges,” Carlos Curbelo, a former Republican congressman from Florida who served with DeSantis in the House, told me. “It’s that question that often comes up in politics—the question of ‘Would you want to have a beer with him?’’’ This is a big-time cliché, of course, but it does feel pertinent. Will he grow on voters like a catchy song, or like mold? DeSantis “has this robotic quality that he has to shed,” Curbelo said. “Everything else checks the box. He is smart and competent and committed to his ideology. He just has to humanize himself.”

All while Trump will be running DeSantis through his patented dehumanizer machine, which made such mashed mush of his rivals in 2016. Trump’s efficient cartooning of “Low-Energy Jeb,” “Liddle Marco,” and “Lyin’ Ted” left them flailing pathetically.

“On a debate stage, all of Trump’s strengths go straight to DeSantis’s weaknesses,” Stipanovich told me. Trump has energy and presence; DeSantis “is dour and doesn’t improvise particularly well.” People who are appropriately sycophantic to Trump swear he possesses a certain charm and charisma. Even those who are eager to vouch for DeSantis don’t say this about him. He would launch any charm offensive unarmed.

“My sense is that Trump would gut DeSantis with a dull deer antler,” said Stipanovich, who has a taste for violent animal metaphors. He also predicted that “Trump would club DeSantis like a baby seal.”

In fairness, DeSantis is not completely defenseless. So far, Trump has whined that DeSantis has not been sufficiently loyal or “classy” toward him. He called DeSantis an “average REPUBLICAN governor.” He’s given him a mean nickname, “Ron DeSanctimonious,” which to be honest is kind of meh—not midseason Trump by any means. DeSantis brushed it off as “just noise.”

Like Trump, DeSantis has a feral, shameless quality. As an underdog candidate for governor in 2018, DeSantis showed a remarkable willingness to prostrate himself before the then-president, even by the cringey standards of Trump-era toadyism. The apex—or nadir—of this effort involved an ad in which the candidate is shown reading a bedtime story to his baby son, the latter clad in a red Make America great again onesie.

“Then Mr. Trump said, ‘You’re fired,’” the doting dad reads. This gambit proved wildly effective for DeSantis, propelling the backbencher congressman to an upset victory in the Republican primary. There might be no better example of a candidate allowing his political identity—and self-respect—to be totally devoured by his allegiance to Trump, at least for as long as it suited him. For the sake of the child, hopefully this scene will never be spoken of again.

The pure nerve that allowed DeSantis to so debase himself before Trump and then promptly turn against his former kingmaker could serve him well. DeSantis understands intuitively that loyalty in politics can be a loser’s proposition. “Ron’s strength as a politician is that he doesn’t give a ****,” a Republican consultant told The New Yorker. “Ron’s weakness as a politician is that he doesn’t give a ****.”

“I don’t think Ron hangs out with anybody, from what I can tell,” former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said during an appearance on the Ruthless podcast. Christie, who encountered DeSantis at Republican Governors Association meetings, said his Florida counterpart tended to remain cocooned inside his entourage. “I don’t see him hanging with the other governors,” Christie said.

DeSantis works harder than Trump does, and is more disciplined and capable of adapting. He attended Yale and Harvard Law School and clearly took some classes in populism. He could conceivably grow more adept at carrying on conversations in diners and pretending to care about the pet issues of self-important state reps in the North Country.

But certain political skills are more innate, and require an ability to ad-lib that DeSantis lacks. He can appear needlessly snappish and reactive (earlier this year, he scolded a group of high-school students for wearing masks onstage behind him). One particular interlude during DeSantis’s 2022 campaign bears revisiting. It occurred during a debate with his Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist, who attempted to pin down the governor on whether he would commit to serving out his four-year term if reelected. In other words, was DeSantis running for president in 2024 or not? “Yes or no, Ron?” Crist pressed him. DeSantis froze. “It’s a fair question and he won’t tell you,” Crist said, filling the silence.

Finally, a moderator jumped in and reminded the candidates that they were not permitted to ask each other direct questions, allowing DeSantis to regroup. “Well, I know that Charlie is interested in talking about 2024 and Joe Biden,” DeSantis said, delivering what was clearly a rehearsed line. “But I just want to make this very, very clear. The only worn-out old donkey I’m looking to put out to pasture is Charlie Crist.” Cute recovery. But still awkward.

DeSantis probably figured—rightly—that he was in no danger of losing to Crist and might as well suffer through the silence rather than complicate things when he decides to bolt from Florida to run for president. But a fluid politician could have better finessed that exchange. And Trump likely took note and filed this away. “He knew and assessed the weaknesses of DeSantis on the debate stage and in the media space,” Wilson wrote in his Resolute Square essay, concluding that Trump will tear him to pieces. “He smelled blood.”

Republicans who want to save the party from Trump are investing great hope in a blank slate. The New York Post has dubbed him “DeFuture.” I would dub that DeBatable.

0 Replies
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 01:00 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
You have a good point.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 01:00 pm
Mar-a-Lago Clearinghouse: Key Documents in the Special Counsel Investigation

This repository contains a collection of information for researchers, journalists, educators, scholars, and the public at large.

If you think the Clearinghouse is missing something, please send recommendations for additional content by email to [email protected].

In terms of Just Security’s own analytic content, readers may be interested in the “Mar-a-Lago Model Prosecution Memo,” and an interview with some of the model prosecution memo’s co-authors, Andrew Weissmann, Joyce Vance, and Ryan Goodman, on the Just Security podcast.
0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 01:08 pm
Congress Is Trying to Avert a Rail Strike. Here’s How and Why.
President Biden called on Congress to pass legislation to head off a holiday-season rail strike, warning that a disruption to service could cause dire economic damage.

WASHINGTON — The House took the first step on Wednesday to prevent a nationwide rail strike by approving legislation that would impose a labor agreement between rail companies and their workers, one day after congressional leaders met with President Biden on the matter.

The measure now moves to the Senate, where it is facing a rocky path. Mr. Biden has urged congressional leaders to move fast as railway workers have threatened to stop working if they fail to reach an agreement by a Dec. 9. deadline, a disruption that could cost the economy an estimated $2 billion a day and hurt consumers.

The Biden administration intervened in the dispute earlier this year and negotiated a tentative agreement to increase worker pay and set more flexible schedules, but four out of 12 unions voted it down, leaving the freight railroads and the unions at an impasse.

Here’s how and why Congress is getting involved.

What does Congress have to do with a labor dispute?
Congress has the power under Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution to regulate interstate commerce, and the Supreme Court has ruled that that includes the authority to intervene in railway labor disputes that threaten trade across state lines.

The Railway Labor Act, enacted in 1926, allows the president to insert himself into disputes that “threaten substantially to interrupt interstate commerce to a degree such as to deprive any section of the country of essential transportation service,” as Mr. Biden did in September. But since that statute was enacted, Congress has had to step in 18 times when the process failed to produce an agreement.

That is what lawmakers are trying to do this week.

What’s in the deal that Congress is trying to impose?
The Association of American Railroads, an industry group, said in September that new contracts would include a 24 percent increase in wages in the five years from 2020 through 2024. There would also be a payout of $11,000, on average, when the agreement is ratified, the association said.

In addition, the agreement gave workers one additional paid day off and an ability to attend medical appointments without penalty, labor unions said, measures that were intended to ease what workers said was a rigid scheduling system that did not allow them to take care of their health or take personal time they needed.

What happens if the bill doesn’t pass?
Freight rail carriers are the second-largest mode of freight transport in the United States. More than a quarter of U.S. freight before the pandemic was transported by railway, according to federal data. This includes important commodities like coal, lumber, ore and chemicals.

Should no agreement be reached, a strike could bring domestic transportation of these commodities to a grinding halt during one of the busiest times of the year for carriers, making it nearly impossible to transport products like oil and grain. It would also have a devastating effect on the nation’s economic recovery after the pandemic.

It would also leave railway workers, who have been working without a new contract since 2020, without improvements to pay and benefits that they have bargained for.

Why would Democrats, who are generally pro-labor, try to force an agreement on workers?
Mr. Biden and the Democrats who control Congress have said that they do not relish imposing an agreement, but that doing so is necessary to avert the dire economic damage that a rail strike could cause.

But many progressives balked at voting to force workers to accept an agreement that many of their unions had rejected because they believed it lacked sufficient paid leave. Bowing to pressure from those Democrats, some of whom had threatened to withhold their votes and block the agreement from being considered at all, House leaders also put forth a bill to add seven days of paid sick time to the contract.

It passed the House mostly along party lines, but its fate in the 50-50 Senate was uncertain.

Why can’t railroads reach an agreement with the unions?
Like many industries recovering from the adverse impact of the pandemic, employee shortfalls left rail carriers few options for maintaining business levels. Unions complained that, as a result of the labor shortage, carriers mandated that their employees work for long stretches — sometimes spanning weeks at a time — through strict attendance policies.

Industry analysts also say the conflict stems from the focus on lowering expenses like labor costs in the industry’s business model, which has left rail networks with a limited number of ways to work around disruptions like pandemics and natural disasters.

Why has sick leave emerged as a sticking point?
Workers say they were pushed to the limit of their mental and physical health because of grueling and unpredictable schedules, and they have demanded more flexible paid leave policies.

Rail carriers have resisted the demands, asserting that employees should use paid vacation time to tend to their personal lives and seek medical help. But employees have said the windows in which they can request paid leave have been narrowed, and their requests for time off rejected.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 05:33 pm
Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-aLago in major defeat for Trump

Last edited Thu Dec 1, 2022, 05:24 PM - Edit history (1)
Source: CNN Politics

CNN — In a major defeat for former President Donald Trump, a federal appeals court on Thursday halted a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate. The ruling removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.

The three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed US District Judge Aileen Cannon’s order appointing a so-called special master to sort through thousands of documents found at Trump’s home to determine what should be off limits to investigators. The court said the judge should not have intervened in the first place.

“The law is clear,” the appeals court wrote. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so.” The 11th Circuit said that either approach would be a “radical reordering of our caselaw limiting the federal courts’ involvement in criminal investigations” and that “both would violate bedrock separation-of-powers limitations.”

The Justice Department is investigating obstruction of justice, criminal mishandling of government records and violations of the Espionage Act, according to court filings. The probe exploded into public view with the August search, which came after investigators obtained evidence they said led them to believe that Trump had not complied with a subpoena for all documents marked as classified being stored at his Florida home.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/01/politics/mar-a-lago-special-master/index.html

Article updated.

Original article -

CNN — In a major defeat for former President Donald Trump, a federal appeals court on Thursday halted a third-party review of documents seized from his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The ruling removes a major obstacle to the Justice Department’s investigation into the mishandling of government records from Trump’s time in the White House.

In a ruling on Thursday, the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court’s order appointing a so-called special master to sort through thousands of documents found at Trump’s home to determine what should be off limits to investigators.

“The law is clear,” the appeals court wrote. “We cannot write a rule that allows any subject of a search warrant to block government investigations after the execution of the warrant. Nor can we write a rule that allows only former presidents to do so.”
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 07:51 pm
@bobsal u1553115,
Well, it was a delay. More would not surprise me.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Thu 1 Dec, 2022 08:21 pm
It's a process of methodically closing off every single gate. It is a net zero effort. In the end, he will face the music. We need to keep remembering: this is the former President of the US. Florida Man has put us in a situation where he has every single defense you or I do, plus some like 'executive privilege', you and I don't; as well as the money to pay for all the justice he can afford. But the rope is only so long, it is playing out.

But so far he's lost every ruling he's tried to get. There's no reason to believe his lawyers will magically start gaining traction.
0 Replies
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2022 01:08 am
Rural Arizona county certifies midterm election results after judge’s order


Officials in rural Cochise County, Arizona, on Thursday certified the results of the county’s midterm elections – ending a high-stakes confrontation with state officials over the county’s failure to sign off on election results by the legal deadline.

0 Replies
Walter Hinteler
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2022 06:21 am
Trump expresses solidarity with Jan. 6 rioters who stormed the Capitol
Former president Donald Trump expressed solidarity with the mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, sending a video of support to a fundraising event Thursday night hosted by a group called the Patriot Freedom Project that is supporting families of those being prosecuted by the government.

“People have been treated unconstitutionally, in my opinion, and very, very unfairly, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it,” he said in the video, which appeared to have been shot at his Mar-a-Lago estate. “It’s the weaponization of the Department of Justice, and we can’t let this happen in this country.”
0 Replies
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2022 07:30 am
I think this has huge potential. Biden proposes to make S.C. the first primary, instead of Iowa
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2022 08:39 am
I love it!
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2022 01:08 pm

Matt Gaetz's "wingman" sentenced to 11 years for sex trafficking, corruption, fraud, etc.
Hope he turns state evidence against vile House Rep. Gaetz.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2022 03:22 pm
Supposedly that was what he was doing while they delayed sentencing him for over a year. He did not deliver then. He will not deliver now.
0 Replies
bobsal u1553115
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2022 03:24 pm
Democrats officially propose South Carolina as first primary state in drastic shake up

Source: CNN Politics

The rule-making arm of the Democratic National Committee on Friday voted to approve a proposal to drastically reshape the 2024 presidential nominating calendar and make South Carolina the first state to hold a primary, followed by Nevada and New Hampshire on the same day a few days later, and then Georgia and Michigan before Super Tuesday.

President Joe Biden this week asked DNC leaders to adopt this early state lineup, which strips Iowa of its first-in-the-nation status. The proposal by the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee needs to be approved at a full DNC meeting, which will take place early next year, and states will still need to set their own primary dates.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/02/politics/dnc-south-carolina-primary-calendar-2024/index.html

Full headline: Democrats officially propose South Carolina as first primary state in drastic shake up of presidential nominating calendar
Reply Fri 2 Dec, 2022 05:03 pm
Elon Musk to lift suppression order on Biden laptop story for twitter.

Should be interesting.

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