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The Serious Side - part 8

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Donnamarie
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Post by LizzyNY Tue 14 Jun 2022, 22:58

PAN - Again the links don't work for me. Sad Frustrating, but I'll go to YT and check it out. The Ginny Thomas thing is doubly troubling:a) because of her interference in the election and b) how her politics influence her husband.

Both issues are unethical, if not illegal. She should probably be in jail, and he should have recused himself from any cases dealing with election fraud and Donald Trump. He didn't. I don't know what, if any, steps can be taken to censure him or remove him from the court. IMO something else that will never happen.
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Post by annemarie Wed 15 Jun 2022, 10:46

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipGKZ1yx4vE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuvS36vTiVc

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Post by annemarie Wed 15 Jun 2022, 10:52

[size=52]Ginni Thomas Texts Show Why the Supreme Court Needs a Code of Conduct
[/size]


Supreme Court justices are the only judges in the country without a binding ethics code.



LAST UPDATED: April 13, 2022
PUBLISHED: March 30, 2022


Bill Chizek/Getty





The facts are simple yet jaw-drop­ping: Between the Novem­ber 2020 elec­tion and the Janu­ary 6 insur­rec­tion, Ginni Thomas texted White House Chief of Staff Mark Mead­ows 29 times, urging him to stop “the greatest Heist of our History.” One year later, Justice Clar­ence Thomas, Ginni’s husband, voted to block the release of White House records regard­ing the insur­rec­tion — records that likely include commu­nic­a­tions by his wife.
The imme­di­ate response should be clear: at a minimum, Justice Thomas should publicly explain what he knew about his wife’s commu­nic­a­tions with the White House, when he knew it, and why he parti­cip­ated in cases related to the insur­rec­tion and the results of the 2020 elec­tion. He should also pledge to step aside from any such cases going forward.
But a prom­ise to recuse is not enough. The Supreme Court is facing a crisis of public confid­ence, and the justices have shown again and again that they cannot be trus­ted to police them­selves. It’s long past time for a Supreme Court code of conduct — one that anti­cip­ates the poten­tial for lawless­ness by the justices them­selves.
Indeed, the law already requires recusal in Justice Thomas’s case, stat­ing that justices must step aside from “any proceed­ing in which [their] impar­ti­al­ity might reas­on­ably be ques­tioned.” The stat­ute also requires justices to step aside if they know their spouse or family member has an “interest that could be substan­tially affected by the outcome of the proceed­ing.” Thomas himself clearly knows this law, having recused six times from cases involving Wachovia while his son worked for the bank.
So why didn’t this law prevent Justice Thomas from hear­ing a case that could reveal his wife’s private commu­nic­a­tions with the White House? Partic­u­larly since ethics experts say the law requires Thomas to ask about his wife’s activ­it­ies, not inten­tion­ally avoid know­ledge so he can claim ignor­ance? As Chief Justice John Roberts has explained, the Supreme Court lets justices decide for them­selves whether they are conflic­ted. “I have complete confid­ence in the capab­il­ity of my colleagues to determ­ine when recusal is warran­ted,” said Roberts in his 2011 report on the state of the federal judi­ciary.
It is clear today that the chief justice’s trust is misplaced. First, the law does not ask whether justices consider them­selves conflic­ted, but whether an outsider might reas­on­ably think they are. Would anyone begrudge a member of the public ques­tion­ing Justice Thomas’s alle­gi­ances in this case?
Second, a series of contro­ver­sies beyond this one make clear that there is a long and troub­ling record of justices enga­ging in conduct that has eroded the public’s trust. This includes partisan speeches, lavish gifts, and recusal fail­ures by members of the Supreme Court, includ­ing a recent New York Times story detail­ing Justice Thomas’s parti­cip­a­tion in events hosted by conser­vat­ive activ­ists. As the advocacy group Fix the Court has docu­mented, in recent years every one of the sitting justices has faced scru­tiny for purpor­ted ethical lapses.
A code of conduct isn’t a cure-all, but having one could allow for more detailed guid­ance on when justices’ recusal is required. This could include better defin­ing when a spouse has an “interest” in a case and clari­fy­ing that poten­tial conflicts should be viewed not from the justice’s perspect­ive but from the public’s. A code could also set up other guard­rails to help restore public confid­ence in the Court, includ­ing address­ing when and how justices can parti­cip­ate in events with prom­in­ent politi­cians or other polit­ical figures — a common prac­tice, and one that research suggests the public views as inap­pro­pri­ate. The justices are the only nine judges in the United States who do not currently have to follow an ethics code.
A number of bills, sponsored by both Demo­crats and Repub­lic­ans, have sought to require a code of conduct for the Supreme Court. Crit­ic­ally, however, the Court does­n’t have to wait for Congress to act. The justices can — and should — adopt a code of conduct on their own to provide guid­ance, trans­par­ency, and account­ab­il­ity regard­ing ethical bound­ar­ies.
The Court must also require justices to explain their recusal decisions in writ­ing, allow­ing the public to assess for them­selves a justice’s explan­a­tion of why they are sitting on a case in which they have a seem­ingly obvi­ous conflict of interest.
Public trust in the Supreme Court is at an all-time low. Only 16 percent of adults say that the justices do a good or excel­lent job of keep­ing their own polit­ical views out of their decisions, accord­ing to a Janu­ary survey by the Pew Research Center. Yet this trust — and the public’s expect­a­tion that the Supreme Court’s decisions be followed — are the Court’s primary sources of author­ity.
Justice Thomas’s fail­ure to recuse reflects less a gap in the law than a lack of tools for hold­ing justices to it. A code of conduct and public explan­a­tions won’t solve the Court’s legit­im­acy crisis, but they would set expect­a­tions for the justices’ beha­vior. Clear stand­ards — and the accom­pa­ny­ing added public scru­tiny — would provide an incent­ive for judges to live up to them. It is urgent that either the Court or Congress put those tools in place.
UPDATE 4/13/22: On April 6, Congres­sional Demo­crats intro­duced [url=https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/21CA Bill Text (117th) EMBARGOED to 1130 4-6.pdf]legis­la­tion[/url] in the House and Senate that would impose new ethics and recusal rules on the federal judi­ciary and the Supreme Court. The bill would, among other things, require the Supreme Court to adopt a code of conduct within 180 days of enact­ment or be subject to the exist­ing code that applies to other federal judges. It would also codify new recusal stand­ards and require requests for a justice’s recusal to be reviewed by the full Court, a change from the current prac­tice of justices making indi­vidual decisions on recusal.



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Post by LizzyNY Wed 15 Jun 2022, 13:56

Annemarie - Thanks for re-posting the links. I had already tracked down the Sheldon Whitehouse clip, but not the Ginny Thomas one. The article on the need for a Supreme Court code of conduct omits one important factor: the need to appoint justices whose character and ethics are above reproach. Considering who's on the Court now, I think we'll see pigs fly before that happens.
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Post by party animal - not! Wed 15 Jun 2022, 15:30

Yep, according to John Cornyn, Republic senator from Texas, you should leave family members 'out of this' (when they are definitely 'in this'!?). Hard to take him seriously when he's had $10 million of NRA backing.........

Do you have a system of representativesand senators declaring publicly and legally their private interests before seeking office? I would love to know who owns shares in all the tv stations........

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 15 Jun 2022, 16:18

PAN - I can't speak to the laws in the various states and cities, but on the national level we do have disclosure regulations. I was going to post them, but they're too extensive. Here are the sites, if you want to check them out:

https://ethics.house.gov/financial-disclosure/specific-requirements

https://www.ethics.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/financial.disclosure

I'm not sure if specific politicians' filings are easily available to the
public.
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Post by annemarie Wed 15 Jun 2022, 19:32

https://people.com/crime/police-kill-gunman-attacked-texas-sports-complex-250-kids-attending-summer-camp/

[size=48]Police Kill Gunman Who Attacked Texas Sports Complex Where 250 Kids Were Attending Summer Camp
Police say that 42-year-old Brandon Keith Ned opened fire inside the crowded building and was killed by officers who responded to the shooting. No one else was harmed in the incident
By Steve HellingJune 14, 2022 04:04 PM
FB[url=https://www.twitter.com/intent/tweet?text=Police Kill Gunman Who Attacked Texas Sports Complex Where 250 Kids Were Attending Summer Camp https://people.com/crime/police-kill-gunman-attacked-texas-sports-complex-250-kids-attending-summer-camp/%3futm_source=twitter.com%26utm_medium=social%26utm_campaign=social-share-article]Tweet[/url]
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The Serious Side - part 8 - Page 2 Image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.onecms.io%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F20%2F2022%2F05%2F20%2Fpolice-stock

CREDIT: GETTY
A gunman is dead after authorities say he opened fire inside a crowded summer camp facility in Duncanville, Texas.
According to NBC-5, the man, later identified as 42-year-old Brandon Keith Ned, entered the Duncanville Field House on Monday morning around 8:45 a.m. He was carrying a handgun.
Approximately 250 children between the ages of 4 and 14 were attending a summer camp at the sports complex when Ned allegedly fired at least two shots inside the building.
Multiple people called 911, and police say they arrived approximately two minutes later. Several officers immediately entered the field house.
During their search of the building, officers found Ned in the gymnasium and exchanged gunfire. The gunman was wounded and transported to a local hospital, where he later died.

Authorities have not released a motive in the attack, but tell the Ft Worth Star Telegram that the shooting began after the gunman exchanged words with a camp employee.
Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE's free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.
"Due to the ongoing investigation being conducted by the Texas Department of Public Safety, Duncanville Police Department will not be releasing any additional information about the suspect or the shooting incident at this time," Duncanville Police said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
Counselors quickly corralled students out of the building or locked them in darkened classrooms.
No one other than the gunman was injured in the attack.
PEOPLE confirms that Ned had a lengthy rap sheet, with previous convictions for drug possession, unlawfully carrying a gun and intoxication manslaughter.
[/size]

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Post by Ida Wed 15 Jun 2022, 22:18

Sad. I have to wonder, with his prior record, why was he out of jail. How did he get a gun?

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 15 Jun 2022, 22:45

Ida - Are you kidding??? This is America. Nothing here makes sense anymore.
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Post by party animal - not! Thu 16 Jun 2022, 00:43

So here's  a headline about Donald Trump Jr in all of today's papers. 

   At a rally he told the crowd that they could send a happy birthday card to his father - but only if they put money in the card....

   https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/jun/15/trump-jr-birthday-card-donation-fundraising.

   And the New York Times headline reads like this:

   https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/15/opinion/jan6-companies-donate.html

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Post by LizzyNY Thu 16 Jun 2022, 00:52

And this is news because.....??????????? It's just more of the same. Anyone stupid enough to fall for their grift at this point deserves to be fleeced. If the money goes through Trump Jr.'s hands it's more likely to go for drugs than go to Daddy.
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Post by annemarie Thu 16 Jun 2022, 10:26

Lizzy these people are idiots and will never learn good for them.

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Post by party animal - not! Thu 16 Jun 2022, 10:41

Well according to the NYT, loads of big companies don't care becos they're backing him to the tune of millions for the next election - I can only assume it's because it's in their own interest to make even more money and has nothing to do with looking after the US population. One example is Perdue Pharma who fleeced millions and started the opioid crisis (see Congress a month ago).

What a shame that most Americans will not bother to read the story today of how the US are going to build silos in Ukraine near the Polish border to help them harvest all their wheat and export it. As you know they are known as the breadbasket of the world but Putin has blocked all  their export routes

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Post by LizzyNY Thu 16 Jun 2022, 14:43

PAN - I'm beginning to believe that most Americans are either idiots or fascists. I saw an MSN poll yesterday where 72% said they were not watching the Congressional hearings. Apparently they don't care - it wasn't a successful coup so it's old news - move on.

I don't know what it would take to turn things around. Even if Trump dropped dead tomorrow (please, God!) it wouldn't change things much. Right-wing extremists have infiltrated all levels of government all across the country - especially the courts. Their influence will be felt for years.

I'm waiting to see how the Republicans are going to defend Lauren Boebert - the gun-loving, anti-abortion nut case who was just outed for having been a paid escort who had two abortions and got funding to run for Congress from Sen.Ted Cruz.- who she met through one of her clients (a member of the Koch family who are big Trump donors). If these allegations prove true the Republicans' excuses for her should be really creative.
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Post by party animal - not! Fri 17 Jun 2022, 02:27

Well, given the devastating evidence laid out today by Congress on what happened on January and Trump's clear instructions to illegally overturn the election he knew he'd lost, it would be nice to think that the likes of Boebert and the Koch brothers  would be seen through by a discerning public... 

.
.

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Post by LizzyNY Fri 17 Jun 2022, 03:40

PAN - If we had a discerning public we wouldn't be in this spot to begin with.
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Post by annemarie Fri 17 Jun 2022, 10:48

Pan the people who voted for trump don't know what that word means.

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Post by party animal - not! Fri 17 Jun 2022, 11:38

No, I know. It's very sad to see this in the most powerful democracy in the world.

   Wonder how many of them know where Ukraine is on a map?

Also see that backed-by-the-NRA John Cornyn has walked out of talks about the very mild newly proposed gun rules. No surprise. Money speaks louder.

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Post by LizzyNY Fri 17 Jun 2022, 14:09

PAN - If the Republicans take control of Congress in the next election this won't be the most powerful democracy - we'll be a neo-fascist idiocracy. It's becoming apparent that the Republican party and its ultra-conservative base are promoting ignorance in our educational system. Anything that promotes critical thinking or empathy is demonized. After all, an educated constituency can't be led around by the nose. 

Between Drumpf's cohorts, Fox news, greedy corporations and the cowards already in Congress they have paved the way for stupidity to rule. If trailer trash like Boebert, Greene, Cawthorne, et al are the new face of Congress - and it looks like they are - this country's democracy is lost.

You asked how many of them could find Ukraine on a map. Most of them can't even find the US on a map, and they live here!
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Post by Ida Fri 17 Jun 2022, 14:20

Oh my. Such vitriol against Republicans. I thought this was a friendly GC site?

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Post by LizzyNY Fri 17 Jun 2022, 14:25

Ida - Not against all Republicans - just against those ultra-right wingers who hijacked the party and are tearing our country apart.
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Post by Ida Fri 17 Jun 2022, 15:07

There are extremists in the Democratic party who are just as guilty of pushing their left wing agendas. I'm not a fan of radicals on either side. Unfortunately the internet gives the uneducated a platform where they can attract more idiots.

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Post by LizzyNY Fri 17 Jun 2022, 15:57

Ida - Yes, there are extremists on both sides. The difference is that the extremists in the Democratic party are on the fringes and have little actual power while the extremists in the Republican party have taken control.
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Post by annemarie Fri 17 Jun 2022, 17:55

[size=48]Justice Sonia Sotomayor Admits Potential for SCOTUS to Make 'Mistakes' but Explains Why She Still Has 'Faith'
"There are days I get discouraged. There are moments where I am deeply, deeply disappointed," the liberal justice said. "Sometimes I cry, and then I say, 'OK, let's fight'"
By Aaron ParsleyJune 17, 2022 11:34 AM


The Serious Side - part 8 - Page 2 Image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.onecms.io%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F20%2F2021%2F10%2F05%2Fsonia-sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor
 
| CREDIT: ERIN SCHAFF/POOL/AFP VIA GETTY
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor shared an optimistic point of view during an appearance Thursday as the country braces for a flurry of decisions — including on abortion rights — expected in the coming weeks.
"If it doesn't kill me, it makes me stronger," Sotomayor, 67, told the audience at the American Constitution Society conference in Washington, according to ABC News. "That is what adversity does to you."
Following a leak of a draft opinion in May that indicated the court appears likely to overturn two landmark cases guaranteeing nationwide abortion access, Sotomayor didn't reveal any hints about when — or what — the court will officially rule on the white-hot issue, nor on others such as gun rights, immigration, religion and climate change.
RELATED: Sonia Sotomayor on Wise Words That Helped When 'People Said I Wasn't Smart Enough' for Supreme Court

Whatever the eventual outcomes, Sotomayor pointed to history as evidence that "mistakes" can be corrected by other branches of the government or when "the people have worked to make change."
"Dred Scott lost his 11-year battle for freedom in the courts ... Yet he won the war," Sotomayor said, according to Reuters, referring to an 1857 decision that denied rights of enslaved and free Black people in the pre-Civil War United States.
"So that's why I think we have to have continuing faith in the court system, in our system of government, in our ability — I hope not through war — but through constitutional amendment, to change in legislation, towards lobbying, towards continuing the battle each day to regain the public's confidence that we as a court, as an institution have not lost our way," she continued.

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[/size]
The Serious Side - part 8 - Page 2 Image?url=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.onecms.io%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2Fsites%2F20%2F2021%2F10%2F05%2Fsupreme-court-justices

Supreme Court justices
 
| CREDIT: ERIN SCHAFF-POOL/GETTY

The justice, who was appointed by President Barack Obama and has served on the Supreme Court since 2009, admitted that she does not always feel upbeat.
"There are days I get discouraged. There are moments where I am deeply, deeply disappointed," she said, according to The New York Times. "And yes, there have been moments when I've stopped and said, 'Is this worth it anymore?' And every time when I do that, I lick my wounds for a while, sometimes I cry, and then I say, 'OK, let's fight.'"
RELATED: Sonia Sotomayor's New Book Inspired by Her Late Mother: 'She Danced 'Til the Last Days of Her Life'
Sotomayor urged people who believe the country is heading in the wrong direction to "continue to battle to do justice" and repeated an adage used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to encourage persistence through time.
 "I truly believe in the magical words, 'The arc of the universe bends towards justice,'" she said, according to HuffPost.

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Post by party animal - not! Fri 17 Jun 2022, 18:06

And to Lizzy's point, when Republicans are in power they give tax breaks to Republican companies....

     Or another example - when George Bush was President,  a guy called Dick Cheney decided to convince people that the war in Iraq was a good idea. Turns out that his company, Haliburton
owned all the oilfields there...unfortunately having reclaimed those with the rest of the worlds' help, the Generals in charge did not deal with the resulting little problem called ISIS. before they left...The film 'Vice' tells the whole story. It's brilliant.

Thanks for posting the Sonia Sotomeyer piece., Annemarie.

What do you think of Ginny Thomas's behaviour, Ida?

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Post by Ida Fri 17 Jun 2022, 18:48

I know very little about Ginni Thomas so I can't comment about her.

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Post by LizzyNY Fri 17 Jun 2022, 19:56

Ida -Ginny Thomas is an attorney and conservative Trump supporter who happens to be married to a Supreme Court justice. She actively advocated for Trump to be kept in office even though he lost the election. Her interactions with the Trump team around the election and insurrection are legitimate concerns for the J6 Committee, not just because she may have violated the law, but because her politics may have influenced her husband's decisions on issues before the Court. He could have recused himself from opinions on any case that would have called his impartiality into question, but he didn't. Now, not only do people question his impartiality, but that of the entire Court.
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Post by Ida Sat 18 Jun 2022, 00:29

Thanks for the explanation. I knew she was married to Clarence Thomas and that she was an attorney but I didn't know the other info. I thought it was very poor sportsmanship on Trumps part when he didn't accept the election results. As far as her influencing her husband's decisions, I suppose it's possible but you can say that about any married couple I suppose.

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Post by LizzyNY Sat 18 Jun 2022, 00:48

Ida - That's the problem. A Supreme Court justice is supposed to be impartial. Their concern has to be about the law, as the Constitution defines it, independent of their personal feelings. If they, or someone close to them, are involved in an issue that comes before the Court they are expected to recuse themselves so they don't appear to be taking sides. Obviously this iteration of the Court seems to have forgotten that they're supposed to be above politics.
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Post by annemarie Sat 18 Jun 2022, 10:41

The fact that the Supreme Court judges need a code of conduct to  me is crazy. These are the highest judges in the country
and they have no idea what or how they should conduct them selves. 

As for Clarence Thomas like wife like husband is all I will say about that.

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Post by LizzyNY Sat 18 Jun 2022, 14:21

Ida - I know we're all busy getting back to living our lives, but everyone  please make the time to watch the J6 hearings if you can. It's so important! It doesn't matter what party you belong to or what you believe happened. Seeing these people live gives a new understanding of who they are and what they believe in - and what some of them are willing to do to retain power. It might also give you a better idea of what the committee is trying to do and why it is so important. I know it did for me.

I'm a lifelong Democrat, but these hearings have given me a new respect for Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, the Republican attorneys who have done some of the questioning and even for Mike Pence. I still don't agree with their policies, but I have a new respect for their personal integrity. The hearings are worth watching if only to learn which of the people in our government are worthy of respect. Reading about them in the papers or watching them on the news isn't the same as seeing their behavior in real time. Their body language, facial expressions, tone of voice tell a lot you can't learn anywhere else, so please watch if you can.
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Post by Ida Sat 18 Jun 2022, 16:14

Where do you guys find the time to watch these hearings? I work full time and exercise an hour a day. I also help to care for my 90 year old mom and learning disabled/mentally ill older sister so watching the boob tube is kind of low on my list of priorities right now. I'm on vacation for the next week so I hope to have some downtime but we'll see!

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Post by party animal - not! Sat 18 Jun 2022, 17:27

Well, if this helps, there are several UK newspapers I think that you could get online free of charge in the US which cover the events live. A good one is The Guardian -perhaps possible during a lunch hour? 

It is also widely available on Youtube to view however much or little you have time for - and obviously you can go back to either of them.

I quite agree with you, Lizzy. If you are hoping to remain a democracy and not run by the likes of an authoritarian figure (eg Bolsonaro) then it's crucial to be engaged or at least grab a copy of the NYT or similar newspaper to grab a look at at the end of the day or when travelling....more than ever a decent news outlet (and not Fox!) could work. They are all covering it.

Very sad to hear that Kinzinger may have had enough. He's brilliant at speaking out - and has had a brilliant career behind him....

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Post by LizzyNY Sat 18 Jun 2022, 18:35

PAN - As far as I know Kinzinger will not run gain. I can only imagine the backlash he's gotten for doing what he felt was right. Sad. We need people like him in Congress.

Ida - It sounds like you really have a lot to deal with. No wonder watching tv isn't at the top of your list. The thing is, the hearings have only lasted a couple of hours each time and there are only supposed to be three more, as far as I know.

Maybe instead of watching them live you could watch the coverage on YT. Most sites that are covering the hearings are airing clips and analysis. I would stay away from Fox only because they aren't discussing the issues, they're just calling it a witch hunt - which isn't accurate since most of the testimony about Trump trying to overturn the election is coming from people who were in his administration and worked for his re-election.

Also, if you'd rather read about it, I'd suggest the Washington Post (it's online) as they seem to try hard to be accurate in their reporting. (Also, if I might suggest a voice of sanity in a a crazy world: "Beau of the Fifth Column" - an intelligent, rational, calming commentator has a YT channel that puts many things in perspective.)
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Post by LizzyNY Mon 20 Jun 2022, 22:09

Just for anyone interested, the 4th J6 Congressional hearing is tomorrow at 12PM Eastern Time. It will probably be carried on all three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) and several cable channels and YT channels as well.

I know people are busy, but these hearings are too important to miss.
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Post by LizzyNY Tue 21 Jun 2022, 22:59

I know most people don/t have the time to watch the whole J6 hearing, but please - if nothing else - watch the testimony of Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers. His testimony is riveting - especially the diary entry Mr. Schiff has him read aloud. Stunning. If everyone in the Republican party had his innate dignity and integrity I'd consider switching parties!

Also, heartbreaking testimony from poll-worker, Ms. Shaye Moss and her mother. What Trump and his cronies did to them is despicable. That piece of ---- really needs to be held to account. No one should be allowed to rampage through the world causing so much pain!
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Post by party animal - not! Wed 22 Jun 2022, 11:05

Colbert with Adam Schiff talking commonsense. Worth watching, despite the ad breaks where the images change every three seconds which diminishes our brains' concentration abilities with every single flash........  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmaps4rH4a4

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 22 Jun 2022, 13:45

PAN - Thanks for the link. (It actually worked for me! Very Happy) I didn't make it to Colbert last night.

Adam Schiff is one of the few people in Congress I totally respect and trust. I hope he's right, and the DOJ throws the book at Bannon - and goes after everyone who could be found guilty of aiding and abetting Trump's illegal activities. The lack of consequences has done as much to damage our faith in the system as did the actual crimes.
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Post by party animal - not! Fri 24 Jun 2022, 10:36

If you have ten minutes, this is shocking:

     https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/trump-republicans-jan-6-hearing-millions-are-watching-rcna35003

     ......and on the back of the Supreme Court ruling yesterday....

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Post by annemarie Fri 24 Jun 2022, 11:44


[size=46]Supreme Court finds N.Y. law violates right to carry guns outside home


[/size]

The 6-to-3 ruling clears the way for legal challenges to similar restrictions in California, New Jersey, Maryland, Hawaii and Massachusetts

[size]



By Robert Barnes
 and 


Ann E. Marimow
 

Updated June 23, 2022 at 10:46 p.m. EDT|Published June 23, 2022 at 10:48 a.m. EDT
[/size]








The Supreme Court on June 23 said New York's gun law was too restrictive and violated the right to carry firearms outside the home for self-defense. (Video: The Washington Post, Photo: Erik S Lesser/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock/The Washington Post)



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The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that law-abiding Americans have a right to carry a handgun outside the home for self-defense, issuing a watershed constitutional ruling against firearm restrictions as the nation reels from a spate of mass shootings and its political leaders are divided over how to curb such violence.

The court’s conservatives prevailed in a 6-to-3 decision that struck a New York law requiring a special need for carrying a weapon and puts at risk similar laws in Maryland, California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Massachusetts. The ruling is likely to make it easier to carry guns in some of the nation’s biggest cities.
Justice Clarence Thomas, the court’s longest-serving justice and perhaps its most outspoken Second Amendment advocate, wrote a sweeping, 66-page opinion for the court’s conservatives that was specific to New York’s law, but also raises substantial obstacles at the high court for future gun-control measures.


“The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not ‘a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees,’ ” Thomas wrote, referring to a previous Supreme Court ruling. “We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need.”
The court’s dissenting liberals said the majority distorted history and ignored the court’s precedents. President Biden and Democratic officials called the ruling tone-deaf and ill-timed in the wake of recent mass killings in Buffalo and Uvalde, Tex., which have spurred Congress to advance bipartisan legislation strengthening federal gun laws.
“On a day when the U.S. Senate is about to pass historic, bipartisan gun safety legislation that will save lives, the current Supreme Court has issued a decision that will likely put more lives at risk,” said Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) “Today’s court is led by conservative judicial activists who twist constitutional analysis to substitute their own policy preferences for laws passed by Congress or the states.”
Senate makes key breakthrough on gun laws, advancing new restrictions
Tough words came from within the court as well.


In dissent, Justice Stephen G. Breyer pointed to the more than 275 mass shootings since January and to data showing that gun violence has surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of death among children and teens. The majority’s decision, he said, will make it more difficult for state lawmakers to take steps to limit the dangers of gun violence.
The Second Amendment allows states to “take account of the serious problems posed by gun violence,” wrote Breyer, who was joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. He added: “Many States have tried to address some of the dangers of gun violence … by passing laws that limit, in various ways, who may purchase, carry, or use firearms of different kinds. The Court today severely burdens States’ efforts to do so.”
Thomas’s opinion was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.


Writing separately in a concurring opinion, Alito criticized Breyer for leading his dissent with a recounting of the nation’s horrible mass shootings. “Does the dissent think that laws like New York’s prevent or deter such atrocities?” Alito wrote. “How does the dissent account for the fact that one of the mass shootings near the top of its list took place in Buffalo? The New York law at issue in this case obviously did not stop that perpetrator.”
In a statement, Biden said he is “deeply disappointed” with the court’s ruling that “contradicts both common sense and the Constitution, and should deeply trouble us all.”
“In the wake of the horrific attacks in Buffalo and Uvalde, as well as the daily acts of gun violence that do not make national headlines, we must do more as a society — not less — to protect our fellow Americans,” he said.


N.Y. Gov. Hochul calls SCOTUS gun ruling 'reprehensible'
2:01


New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) called the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on concealed handguns "reckless" and "reprehensible" on June 23. (Video: Reuters)
The National Rifle Association, which helped challenge the New York law and has longed for such a decision clarifying the constitutional right to “bear arms,” called the decision a “watershed win.”


“New Yorkers will soon be able to defend themselves outside of their homes without first having to prove that they have a sufficient ‘need’ to exercise their fundamental rights,” Jason Ouimet, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. The ruling, he said, “opens the door to rightly change the law” in the half dozen other states “that still don’t recognize the right to carry a firearm for personal protection.”
Supreme Court could soon make it easier to carry guns in six states
Enacted more than a century ago, New York’s law requires those who want to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense to show a specific need for doing so.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement Thursday that the court’s ruling “severely undermines public safety not just in New York City, but around the country” and will make it “more difficult to limit the number of guns in our communities.” In anticipation of the decision, his office has been crafting gun safety legislation that will “take the strongest steps possible to mitigate the damage done today,” he said.


In the Senate this week, 20 lawmakers — 10 from each party — endorsed a framework agreement coupling modest new gun restrictions with about $15 billion in new federal funding for mental health programs and school security upgrades. Late Thursday the full Senate voted 65 to 33 to approve the measure, sending the legislation to the House, where it is expected to pass with bipartisan support on Friday.
If signed into law, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act would authorize the most significant new gun restrictions since the 1990s. But it falls far short of the broader gun-control measures for which Biden and other Democrats have called, such as a new assault-weapons ban or restrictions on high-capacity ammunition magazines.


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Protesters gather in the rain outside the Supreme Court on June 23. (Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post)
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The Supreme Court in 2008 ruled for the first time that the Second Amendment bestowed on an individual the right to keep a gun in the home for personal defense rather than related to military service.


Justice Antonin Scalia’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller struck a law that severely restricted gun ownership but answered only part of what it means to “keep and bear arms.”
Now the court has taken up the question of what it means to “bear” arms.
From 2008: Justices reject D.C.'s ban on handgun ownership
Thomas made clear the right was expansive: “To confine the right to ‘bear’ arms to the home would nullify half of the Second Amendment’s operative protections,” he wrote, adding that the court found in Heller that the amendment guarantees an individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation, “and confrontation can surely take place outside the home.”
Thomas expressed displeasure with judicial deference to states when considering gun restrictions. Judges should not weigh a law’s burden on the Second Amendment right and the strength of the state’s interest in imposing the challenge, as Breyer advised in his dissent.


Instead, “the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” he said.
His own historical analysis showed that will be a difficult obstacle.
In Heller, Scalia said the Second Amendment is not unlimited and that restrictions were permissible in “sensitive places,” such as schools and government buildings. At oral argument last fall, several justices expressed concern about guns on New York’s subway or in Yankee Stadium.
From arguments: Majority of Supreme Court appears to think N.Y. gun law is too restrictive
Thomas said it was uncontroversial that schools, government buildings, polling places and courthouses are long-recognized “sensitive places” where weapons could be prohibited. But he said that did not give government officials leeway to define, for instance, the entire island of Manhattan as a “sensitive place.”


“Expanding the category of ‘sensitive places’ simply to all places of public congregation that are not isolated from law enforcement defines the category of ‘sensitive places’ far too broadly,” Thomas wrote.
But Breyer noted that the court’s opinion provides no detailed direction for how officials in New York — or in the five other states with large cities such as Baltimore and San Francisco — could prohibit firearms in public places where large groups of people gather and instead left those decisions to lower court judges to be answered another day.
“What about subways, nightclubs, movie theaters, and sports stadiums? The Court does not say,” Breyer wrote, later concluding his dissent by accusing the majority of having failed to consider “the potentially deadly consequences of its decision.”
Even though Thomas had made the point, Kavanaugh and Roberts wrote separately to emphasize that the opinion did not call into question the restrictions that sometimes accompany “shall-issue” laws in 43 states.
“Those shall-issue regimes may require a license applicant to undergo fingerprinting, a background check, a mental health records check, and training in firearms handling and in laws regarding the use of force, among other possible requirements,” Kavanaugh wrote.
Thomas agreed generally but said that “we do not rule out constitutional challenges to shall-issue regimes where, for example, lengthy wait times in processing license applications or exorbitant fees deny ordinary citizens their right to public carry.”
The two people challenging the New York law — Robert Nash and Brandon Koch — have licenses to carry handguns for hunting and target practice. But New York authorities denied their requests for “unrestricted” licenses for self-defense because officials said they could not show a “special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community.”
During 2018 and 2019, at least 65 percent of applicants in New York were approved for an “unrestricted” license, according to a state analysis of records submitted to the court.
Since the 2008 decision, lower courts have generally sided with states that restrict the right when determining how the Second Amendment applies beyond people’s homes. The justices have turned down numerous requests from gun rights advocates to review those decisions, prompting Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to complain about their colleagues’ apparent reluctance to reenter the gun debate.
Twenty-five states do not require a permit to carry a firearm in public, while several others do but refrain from asking applicants to justify their need for a weapon.
The public debate now will turn to which kinds of restrictions could survive the Supreme Court’s new standards. Jonathan Lowy, chief counsel at the gun control group Brady, said the court “has invented a right that never existed in the history of the United States.” Even so, he said states can continue to prevent dangerous people from carrying handguns in public by expanding training requirements and strengthening standards for revoking licenses when necessary.
But there was a stark reminder Thursday that the nation’s divide over guns remains, in some circumstances, insurmountable.
Just hours after the opinion was published, the lead lawyers on the winning side — former solicitor general Paul D. Clement and attorney Erin Murphy — parted ways with their law firm, Kirkland & Ellis.
The firm announced that it would no longer represent clients in Second Amendment cases and said Clement and Murphy would be leaving “in order to continue their full range of existing representations.”
The pair said they would form their own appellate firm.
“We do not take this step lightly,” Clement said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we were given a stark choice: either withdraw from ongoing representations or withdraw from the firm. … We could not abandon ongoing representations just because a client’s position is unpopular in some circles.”[/size]

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Post by party animal - not! Fri 24 Jun 2022, 11:57

One can only assume that the judges who voted for this have shares in gun companies.......and handouts from the NRA.........

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Post by LizzyNY Fri 24 Jun 2022, 13:31

This is disgusting. A bunch of out-of-touch old men, bought and paid for by the NRA and drumpf, sit in their ivory tower protected with our tax money and crap all over the rest of us. (You'll notice nobody but their bodyguards can carry guns anywhere near them. Great example of "Do as I say, not as I do"! from a bunch of chickensh*ts.) And don't even get me started on Roe vs Wade!

Congress needs to act to impose nationwide regulations on requirements for gun ownership - ex: waiting periods, training, background checks, etc.. And, more importantly, Clarence Thomas needs to be removed from the Court, where he never should have been in the first place. His wife is an insurrectionist and he is an NRA puppet. He tells us that gun rights can be expanded ad infinitum by 5 old men, but tells us whole city or state governments don't have the right to expand the definition of "sensitive places" in their own communities. He needs to go!

(Sorry for the rant. Embarassed This makes me furious!)
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Post by party animal - not! Fri 24 Jun 2022, 19:45

Has to be seen! Jordan Klepper visited a Trump Rally the other day while the hearings have been going on. Watch - and get a drink before you sit down. You'll need it!


     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjoI85MoXjM

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Post by LizzyNY Fri 24 Jun 2022, 21:21

The Serious Side - part 8 - Page 2 1f625 And I was having such a lovely afternoon! PAN, there's nothing on earth that will penetrate the bubble of stupid these people live under. They've invested so much in drumpf's lies that admitting the truth would probably break what little is left of their brains.
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Post by party animal - not! Wed 29 Jun 2022, 03:11

Sorry, Lizzy, but truly shocking stuff again today from the January 6th Committee hearing and White House staff giving evidence....and an extremely brave member of staff at that!

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 29 Jun 2022, 14:33

PAN - I've been watching the hearings, and though there are many words I'd use to describe the revelations, "shocking" isn't one of them.That the media is "shocked!" is just laughable." This is pure and simple Trump as NY has known him for years, but maybe on steroids since he thinks having been president makes him untouchable.

Is it shocking that he has tantrums like a toddler and throws his food? Is it shocking that he bullies and threatens to get his way? Is it shocking that he thinks only of himself and his wallet and ignores the law? Not really.

What is shocking to me is how many supposedly intelligent people fell for his scam and even now will twist themselves into a pretzel to defend him. He is a traitor, a danger to democracy in this country and a danger to the stability of the world order if he gets re-elected.

I'd like to go back in time and offer him and all his cohorts and supporters a free ride on the Titanic!
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Post by party animal - not! Wed 29 Jun 2022, 14:44

Oh, totally agree, Lizzy. I was very aware of his antics long before he became President.

  What is truly shocking is the fact that he got elected - despite it all. Guarantee you that most people who go to rallies would never believe that he is just stoking his own coffers with their own donations - and no doubt some can ill-afford that anyway.........

Just a thought - why on earth would anyone want a pardon if they've done nothing wrong!?

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Post by LizzyNY Wed 29 Jun 2022, 14:56

PAN - That's the one question the talking heads are all asking. That, and commenting on how many Trump cronies are "taking the fifth" (refusing to testify because it might incriminate them). Even Trump has said that only guilty people take the fifth. So..........draw your own conclusions. Very Happy If this wasn't such a shit show for our country it would be really funny - like a clown car at the circus - or maybe the 3 Stooges, only there are a lot more than 3.
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Post by Way2Old4Dis Wed 29 Jun 2022, 23:13

Here's one of my constant questions: Why hasn't the military court-martialed Flynn? They'd have to un-retire him to do it, but that's a miniscule detail in the appropriate punishment for this scumbag traitor. What "general" in the US military takes the Fifth when asked if he believes in the peaceful transfer of power? He's a Q-Anon cultist and fascist dictator wannabe. A court-martial should be just the beginning of his end.

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Post by party animal - not! Thu 30 Jun 2022, 02:00

I have wondered about Flynn too, but I think Trump pardoned him. I've also wondered about someone called Christopher Mlller

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/kandyzabka_trump-administration-defense-secretary-christopher-activity-6797909551896121345-p6US)

   The Federalist Society is everywhere -
   and Merrick Garland seems to be part of it....

   https://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/speeches/the-third-federalist-society

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