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marmar

marmar's Journal
marmar's Journal
December 9, 2023

In the Wake of a Sex Scandal, a Moms for Liberty Co-Founder's Career Is Crumbling


(Mother Jones) It’s been just a week since Christian Ziegler, chair of the Florida GOP, was accused of raping a woman who was involved in a sexual encounter with him and his wife, Moms for Liberty co-founder and Sarasota school board member Bridget Ziegler. Prominent Florida Republicans wasted no time in calling for Christan Ziegler to resign, which he has so far refused to do. Now, his wife is suffering from the consequences as well.

On Wednesday, the Daily Beast reported that the Leadership Institute, the conservative political training group where Bridget Ziegler works as a vice president, had removed her profile from its website; the group later confirmed that she had stepped down. Later that day, Sarasota school board chair Karen Rose, a conservative, said in a statement that she planned to ask Bridget to resign from the board. “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the conduct and deplore the salacious news coverage,” she wrote. “I personally care about Bridget and her family and deeply regret the necessity for this course of action, but given the intense media scrutiny locally and nationally, her continued presence on the Board would cause irreparably harmful distractions to our critical mission.”

Rose said she planned to officially call for Ziegler’s resignation at the school board meeting scheduled for December 12. If she does resign, this will mark the end of Ziegler’s notoriously influential tenure, during which she pushed through an agenda that sought to rid schools of books and curricula that were inclusive of LGBTQ people. In a Facebook post last week, the day before news of the scandal broke, she boasted that she had “terminated gender diverse guidelines,” “eliminated equity committee,” and “eliminated equity policy & position.” ..............(more)

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2023/12/bridget-ziegler-in-the-wake-of-a-sex-scandal-a-moms-for-liberty-cofounders-career-is-crumbling/




December 9, 2023

The insurrection clause has waited 150 years for the Trump test

The insurrection clause has waited 150 years for the Trump test
Can the Constitution be used to block Donald Trump from re-taking office?

By SABRINA HAAKE
Contributing Writer
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 9, 2023 6:00AM (EST)


(Salon) Lawyers who represent the government in federal court face a never-ending supply of 1st and 14th Amendment cases from creative plaintiffs. Most such Constitutional claims don’t stick. They hit a well-oiled wall of federal case law and slid right off.

Applying the insurrection clause of the 14th Amendment to bar Trump’s 2024 candidacy presents the opposite scenario. There exists virtually no prior cases to follow. In fact, critics who reject Trump’s disqualification under this clause lean almost entirely on the lack of legal precedent.

Other than Trump, in the history of the United States, a defeated president has never tried to stop the peaceful transfer of power. In over 150 years following the 14th Amendment’s adoption, there was never a set of similar facts that could have triggered the insurrectionist clause.

Lack of precedent is irrelevant

Lack of prior similar cases doesn’t render Section 3 of the 14th Amendment any less potent, or its historical imperative any less compelling. If anything, its application is even more urgent as the same violent insurrectionist forces that tore the nation apart in the Civil War are back at it today. ................(more)

https://www.salon.com/2023/12/09/the-insurrection-clause-has-waited-150-years-for-the-test/



December 9, 2023

Donald Trump's dream team looks like an American nightmare

Donald Trump's dream team looks like an American nightmare
Trump sycophants would have no compunction about pushing whatever buttons they have at their disposal

By HEATHER DIGBY PARTON
Columnist
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 8, 2023 9:24AM (EST)
UPDATED DECEMBER 8, 2023 6:01PM (EST)


(Salon) Many breathless headlines have appeared in the mainstream media over the past couple of weeks about the impending dictatorship of Donald Trump if he were to win the election next fall. All the major newspapers and magazines have finally begun to delve into exactly what Trump and his henchmen have in store to exact his revenge and enact the white nationalist agenda of the MAGA far right. It's about time. Let's hope they keep it up.

Here are just a few of the proposals that we know about. He plans to gut the Environmental Protection Agency and drill in Alaska under the illusion that somehow the "profits" will pay for Social Security and Medicare. (It's a totally absurd proposal.) He's going to use the Insurrection Act to deploy the military to quell domestic dissent and he'll ban homeless camps in cities and put the unhoused in "tent cities." And there are very detailed plans to round up millions of migrants and put them in detention camps before mass deportation. (We're going to have a whole lot of "camps" in America under Donald Trump.) He plans to pardon "a large portion" of the Jan. 6 insurrectionists and "go after" Joe Biden and other political enemies using the Department of Justice as well as the media. And he's going to pull out of NATO, abandon Ukraine and back the right-wingers in the Israeli government. He will essentially declare war on blue states, particularly the cities where he plans to send in what amounts to an occupying federal force.

....(snip)....

But what about the big jobs that everyone will see — Cabinet members and department heads? Or powerful White House positions? It's highly unlikely anyone who isn't already in the Trump inner circle will stick his or her neck out "for the sake of the country" after what happened to those who did that in the first term, nor would Trump want anyone like a General Mattis or even a Bill Barr in the Cabinet this time. He will put his closest cronies into "acting" positions wherever he can, just as he did in the last year, and if the Republicans take the Senate, I expect they'll be happy to change the filibuster to give him anyone he wants.

....(snip)....

But what about the big jobs that everyone will see — Cabinet members and department heads? Or powerful White House positions? It's highly unlikely anyone who isn't already in the Trump inner circle will stick his or her neck out "for the sake of the country" after what happened to those who did that in the first term, nor would Trump want anyone like a General Mattis or even a Bill Barr in the Cabinet this time. He will put his closest cronies into "acting" positions wherever he can, just as he did in the last year, and if the Republicans take the Senate, I expect they'll be happy to change the filibuster to give him anyone he wants. .....................(more)

https://www.salon.com/2023/12/08/donald-dream-team-looks-like-an-american-nightmare/




December 8, 2023

Historic Ruling: A Texas Judge Just Granted a Woman's Petition to Abort for Medical Reasons


(Mother Jones) In a historic ruling today, a Texas judge granted a woman’s request for an emergency abortion. Kate Cox asked a Texas court earlier this week to halt enforcement of the state’s near total abortion ban. Judge Maya Guerra Gamble said yes.

Her petition to the court was the first time since abortion was legalized in 1973 that an adult pregnant person asked a court for permission to get an abortion.

The decision comes after Cox learned in late November that her fetus was diagnosed with full trisomy 18, ​​a chromosomal disorder that causes fetuses to die before or soon after birth. With each day that passed, her doctor’s explained, the pregnancy was a risk to her health. But because of Texas’ abortion ban, Cox’s doctors said their “hands are tied.” She’s about 20 weeks pregnant now.

“Continuing the pregnancy,” the petition read, “puts her at high risk for severe complications threatening her life and future fertility, including uterine rupture and hysterectomy.” .........................(more)

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2023/12/abortion-texas-ban-exceptions-medical-fetal-death/




December 8, 2023

Kevin McCarthy Is Fleeing the Dumpster Fire. And He's Not the Only One.


(Slate) Congress is shedding members at a near-record rate. As Axios reported, 13 senators and representatives announced in November—before Thanksgiving!—that they won’t seek reelection next year. That’s the highest number of defections in one month in over a decade, per Ballotpedia.

....(snip)....

Oftentimes, congressional defections are an indication of how a party expects to fare in an upcoming election. Ahead of the 2018 elections, 37 Republicans retired, anticipating a “blue wave” in which Democrats picked up 41 seats. Ahead of the 2022 midterms, 32 Democrats bailed, assuming that the country was headed for a red wave, which never materialized.

This time, though, members of both parties seem to be leaving not because of electoral expectation, but because working in Congress sucks.

In their own words:

“It seems like the norms are gone. Any kind of respect for the institution is gone. Any kind of obligation to be truthful is the exception,” said Michigan Democrat Dan Kildee, who is calling it quits. Congress “is not the optimal place to do good and make change.” ...........(more)

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2023/12/kevin-mccarthy-resigns-congress-members-fleeing-record-pace.html




December 8, 2023

"Trump's fantasy of infallibility" has been destroyed: "Narcissistic injury" made him more dangerous


"Trump's fantasy of infallibility" has been destroyed: "Narcissistic injury" made him more dangerous
Dr. Justin Frank: "Trump does believe that God is on his side and that he is the Chosen One or some such figure"

By CHAUNCEY DEVEGA
Senior Writer
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 8, 2023 5:45AM (EST)


(Salon) Donald Trump has finally stated the obvious. In a Tuesday “townhall” hosted by Fox News personality Sean Hannity, Trump declared that he will be a dictator on day one of his “presidency” – but then will stop.

Of course, Trump, the master propagandist and fascist, mixed truth with lies. In reality, Trump is going to be America’s first dictator and ruler for life. By definition, Trump will not surrender such power once he invokes it. A permanent “state of emergency” is a textbook way that dictators and totalitarians get and keep power as they end democracy. The most notable example being Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler.

....(snip)....

In an attempt to make sense of Trump’s megalomania and God complex and what it further reveals about his mind, behavior and overall dangerousness, and what may come next in America’s democracy crisis, I asked a range of experts for their thoughts and suggestions.

....(snip)....

Dr. Lance Dodes is a former clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a training and supervising analyst emeritus at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute:

Recently some media outlets have finally begun to be concerned that Donald Trump is planning to become a dictator and end democracy in America. It’s good that the media are finally recognizing this, but they are very, very late. An enormous number of observers, including tens of thousands of mental health experts, have been warning about this since 2016. Mr. Trump is an obvious and severe sociopath, an antisocial person lacking the capacity for honesty, empathy or respect for the rule of law. His endless self-centered drive for power at any cost makes him an extreme risk of discarding democracy in favor of his personal rule. His recent comments about attacking judges, pardoning the traitorous attackers from January 6, and eliminating his “enemies” are not new ideas, but rather a sign that his façade of decency and normality is falling away under the stress of having to be accountable for his actions, for the first time in his life. ..............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2023/12/08/trumps-fantasy-of-infallibility-has-been-destroyed-narcissistic-injury-made-him-more/




December 7, 2023

How Michigan became the progressive powerhouse of the Midwest


Susan J. Demas: How Michigan became the progressive powerhouse of the Midwest
LGBTQ+ equality, abortion rights, climate change policy, voting rights, education investment, gun reforms, unions on the march — the Mitten State has it all

SUSAN J. DEMAS
DECEMBER 4, 2023 3:06 AM


(Michigan Advance) For years, Michigan was a national laughingstock, as bad news stalked the state like the villain in a bad ‘80s horror film.

....(snip)....

And then there was the Flint water crisis, the crown jewel of GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder’s dismal, eight-year tenure, as the state’s effort to save a few bucks in a city the administration didn’t care about resulted in Flint residents, particularly children, paying the ultimate price with their health.

....(snip)....

But today, Michigan is known as the anti-Florida (thanks to some savvy marketing from Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer), a veritable liberaltopia in the Midwest, which is expected to play a vital role, yet again, in picking the president next year.

....(snip)....

“But … turns out they were waiting for us. They were waiting for a Legislature with the courage to stand up to hate and stand up for equality. They were waiting for members of our own community to tell our story in the chambers of the State Capitol. And they were waiting for a governor like Gretchen Whitmer to sign [this bill].” .................(more)

https://michiganadvance.com/2023/12/04/susan-j-demas-how-michigan-became-the-progressive-powerhouse-of-the-midwest/






December 7, 2023

Why voters aren't more worried about Trump's return: It sure doesn't look like he's running


Why voters aren't more worried about Trump's return: It sure doesn't look like he's running
One reason voters may not be alarmed by Trump's return? They've been fooled into thinking Nikki Haley is winning

By AMANDA MARCOTTE
Senior Writer
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 7, 2023 6:00AM (EST)


(Salon) For those understandably worried about the United States sliding towards a fascist dictatorship under Donald Trump, the current debate about the polls is an all-consuming obsession. There's Team Freak Out, who point to polls showing Trump is pulling ahead of President Joe Biden in the 2024 presidential election and start panicking and demanding that Democrats reverse course somehow. Then there's Team Chill Out, with members such as Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post, who argue to ignore "meaningless, premature polling" when "we are a year away from the race," long before most people are paying much attention.

These two teams are in constant argument with each other on social media, but in truth, both sides have a point.

....(snip)....

Crucially, a huge number of voters, especially swing voters, simply don't believe that Trump is going to be the Republican nominee in 2024. This is a point that never-Trump pollster Sarah Longwell has hit upon repeatedly in her focus group testing of undecided voters of all ages. She and Amy Walter of the Cook Report discussed this aspect of the race on a recent podcast.

....(snip)....

So why on Earth are so many voters not getting this? The reason is what political scientist Brian Klaas deems the "Ignorance Bias," which is where "political elites assume most other people think about politics often and have a basic working knowledge of it that is rooted in facts and reality." This, as he points out, is a false assumption, as most people barely pay attention to politics. For example, more than half of Americans cannot name a single Supreme Court justice. ...............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2023/12/07/why-arent-more-worried-about-return-it-sure-doesnt-look-like-hes-running/




December 7, 2023

America's sick and tired of politics

America’s sick and tired of politics
The country needs an infusion of John F. Kennedy-style hope

By BRIAN KAREM
Columnist
PUBLISHED DECEMBER 7, 2023 9:00AM (EST)


(Salon) It is all a matter of perspective.

....(snip)....

Don’t take my word for it. Get out of the D.C. bubble. Visit America. For the first time, Time Magazine has named someone who is primarily an entertainer as their “Person of the Year”: Taylor Swift. Even Time is done with politicians. Better yet, if you need more evidence, go to a comedy club, a PTA meeting, a church gathering; any place where people gather and just listen. No matter the issue, the political tastes or the venue, after more than two decades of growing divisiveness, people are tired of politics and most politicians.

Granted, we’ve elected them and that’s a different issue, but neither the Democrats, who mean well, nor the strange MAGA Republicans, who only worship greed, get it. America has had enough – and incidentally so have some of the politicians. Just Ask Kevin McCarthy, who threw in the towel Wednesday, or any other member of Congress who has recently retired. American politics has all the appeal of dog vomit on hot asphalt in the steamiest part of August.

....(snip)....

Still, Biden can’t get a break. At an appearance in Boston this week, he tried to outline his successes at a fundraiser. “The biggest investment of rebuilding America's infrastructure since President Eisenhower's rebuilding of the roads and highways and bridges and with the interstate highway system. And we've done the same now delivering clean water, high-speed Internet to every American, and cheaply,” Biden explained. There is no doubt Biden has done a lot in four years. There’s also no doubt he’s having trouble getting people to listen and agree with him – even though he’s helped them. ...............(more)

https://www.salon.com/2023/12/07/americas-sick-and-tired-of/




December 7, 2023

Florida man hurls sausages at older brother during disagreement: police




A 60-year-old ‘brat’ in Florida is facing charges after he hurled sausages at his older brother, police said.

According to the arrest affidavit from the Pinneles County Police Department, 60-year-old Ray Allen got into a heated argument with his older brother in the backyard of their St. Petersburg's home on Saturday, December 2.

....(snip)....

Police noted in the affidavit that Allen may have been under the influence of alcohol.

....(snip)....

The weapon in question was not seized by officers, the affidavit stated. Officers did not say what type of sausage was used. ................(more)

https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-man-hurls-sausages-older-brother-during-disagreement-police




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