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Why Is No One Asking The Obvious Question: Is Allen West Fit To Be A Congressman?

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Mental illness is a serious and challenging subject not to be taken lightly. No one should be embarrassed if they suffer from a metal disorder, just as no one should be embarrassed if they suffer from cancer or diabetes. In fact, the more awareness about mental disorders and mental health, the more people would seek treatment. I’m a firm believer that mental health should be treated equally as physical health, including by our insurance companies.

Service in the U.S. Congress is also a serious and challenging subject not to be taken lightly. At some point, a person’s actions, statements, and overall behavior have to be examined if they consistently fall into what can easily be perceived as, well, possibly irrational.

If a Congressman is making decisions and voting on issues that affect the country, shouldn’t we be concerned if their comments and actions are seemingly not rational? Shouldn’t at least the question be raised, in a respectful and supportive manner, by that public servant’s loved ones and colleagues?

It’s entirely possible the mental health of Congressman Allen West (R-FL) is excellent, that he is totally sane and not suffering from any mental disorder that would make him unable to serve as a Congressman.

And there are certainly plenty of psychological disorders that do not preclude service. In fact:

“According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), over a third of people in most countries report problems at some time in their life which meet criteria for diagnosis of one or more of the common types of mental disorder.”

The U.S. govenrment’s own National Institutes of Mental Health note:

An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

So, let’s be clear, there should be no stigma or loss of respect for anyone suffering from mental health disorders.

But it’s time to ask the question, isn’t it entirely possible, given his comments, not only yesterday, but over the past few years as a U.S. Congressman, that Rep. West is suffering from some form of mental illness? Again, I’m not a mental health professional, I’m just posing the question. Ultimately, it is up to the Congressman, his colleagues, his family, and voters to decide if he is fit to serve.

Yesterday, however, Rep. Allen West posted this statement on his Facebook page:

In his speech today to the United Nations, President Obama stated six times that the attacks across the Islamic world are attributed to a silly video. Furthermore, he refused to use the words terrorist attack in referring to what occurred in Benghazi Libya at our US Consulate on the 11th anniversary of 9-11. He continues to offer up apologies instead of defending our hard earned First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression. There is no message to this silly video trailer, and it is beneath the dignity and esteem of the Office of the President of the United States to mention it at all. When tolerance becomes a one way street it leads to cultural suicide. I shall not be tolerant of the intolerant. I know about the UN Resolution 1618 which would make any statement deemed by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) “offensive’ to Islam a crime…..NOT ON MY WATCH FELLAS!

My statement to the United Nations would have been, “The future does not belong to those who attack our Embassies and Consulates and kill our Ambassadors. The Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle will visit you and wreak havoc and destruction upon your existence”

West, a Tea Party Republican, serves on the House Committee on Armed Services in the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. Surely a U.S. Congressman threatening to “wreak havoc and destruction upon your existence,” and threatening to unleash the “Angel of Death in the form of an American Bald Eagle” could be viewed by foreign nations, as an elected member of Congress, as the making of a legitimate threat?

Irresponsible, but also, frankly, embarrassingly ludicrous and, as Noah Rothman, an editor at Mediaite put it, “cartoonish, juvenile and amateurish.”

There is little credulity to [Congressman West’s] threats – not because anyone does not believe he would carry through with them. I would imagine few doubt West’s sincerity. But his pronouncements take on the tone of amateurish chest-thumping. They detract from the Congressman’s credibility and show that he is unclear on the complexities of foreign relations. They lack the sobriety and conviction that a statesman sending young men and women into war is possessed with. They reek of insecurity and rage, not confidence.

By the way, since no other news outlet has bothered to explain West’s comment, “I know about the UN Resolution 1618 which would make any statement deemed by the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) “offensive’ to Islam a crime…..NOT ON MY WATCH FELLAS!,” allow me.

West wrongly referred to “UN Resolution 1618,” which is actually a 2005 UN Security Council Resolution that “condemned terrorist attacks that had taken place in Iraq, particularly those that had taken place in recent weeks, and the kidnapping and attacks on foreign diplomats.” (Wikipedia)

What West most likely is talking about is UN Resolution 16/18, which, according to the non-partisan Human Rights First NGO, “urges states to train government officials to address religious tensions, to harmonize actions at local and national level, to raise awareness of negative stereotyping of persons, to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue, to foster religious freedom and to speak out against intolerance (among other recommendations. The only limitation on speech that is in the operative part of the resolution is incitement to ‘imminent violence’, which is in accordance with US law.”

But, perhaps yesterday was just a bad day for West?

There is a rather lengthy list of strange comments and outright lies Congressman West has made, including, infamously “China is in control of the Panama Canal,” and:

“There is a huge threat coming up out of South America through Central America, through Mexico, and into the United States. Iran is in South America. Hezbollah is in South America. I already talked about how China is in control of the Panama Canal. And even about 50 miles away from here in the Bahamas, building a port there.”

A few other examples.

On Monday, Catholic Online reported that West believes “abortion threatens the future of the black Americans.”

Two weeks ago, Congressman West blamed President Obama for the attacks in Libya. Two days before that, the Huffington Post reported “West claimed President Barack Obama’s ‘Forward’ campaign slogan was designed to push a ‘Soviet Union, Marxist-Socialist theme’,” and noted:

In 2011, West called Obama a “low-level socialist agitator” well-versed in “Marxist” rhetoric.

In April, West said “I believe there’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democrat Party who are members of the Communist Party.”

In February, West suggested the Obama Administration was lying about positive unemployment numbers.

In January, West claimed he did not tell President Obama and others to “get the hell out of the United States,” even though there’s video of him saying just that. Also in January, Rep. West told military generals they should defy their Commander-In-Chief, and, they should consider quitting the armed forces because of Obama.

This past December, Rep. Allen West told reporters, “If Joseph Goebbels was around, he’d be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine.”

Last August, West described himself as a “modern-day Harriet Tubman,” who will guide Democrats via an underground railroad to the promised land of the Republican Party.

Of course, we already know West thinks “sexuality is a behavior,” and that gay marriage is an “oxymoron,” and it, along with abortion and debt will destroy our society.

Last year West will hosted a screening of an anti-Islam film about 9/11 and the efforts of the anti-Muslim community to stop the building of the “Ground Zero Mosque.”

Lat year in July, West, on the Tea Party blog Red State, wrote “when I see anyone with an Obama 2012 bumper sticker, I recognize them as a threat to the gene pool.”

Then there were his strange attacks on Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Also last year, Rep. West said of homosexuality and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, “Unless I’m Michael Jackson I can’t change my color. But people can change behavior.”

Finally, last year, The New Civil Rights Movement posted a litany of West’s lies, fibs, falsehoods, and utter nuttiness. Here’s an excerpt:

“West is certainly no stranger to outlandish statements. He made a name for himself over the past year with comments like endorsing the censorship of news agencies that “enabled” Wikileaks, arguing that nobody is getting laid off in Washington D.C., saying that liberal women are “neutering American men,” and calling President Obama a “low level Socialist agitator,” writes Scott Keyes at Think Progress.

“I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye,” said West on April 27 at the same Florida town hall.

Last month, West, who recently accused President Obama of acting with ‘”third world dictator-like arrogance,” made a statement that earned him the ire of a great many groups. He began to talk about America through the lens of Ancient Sparta, the much-heralded Greek city-state that inspired the bloody movie, “300.”

“We need you to come in and lock shields, and strengthen up the men who are going to fight for you. To let these other women know on the other side — these planned Parenthood women, the Code Pink women, and all of these women that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness — to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient.”

That statement prompted a local Florida paper to write, “Congressman Allen West Not Getting Any Less Crazy,” asking, “Be more like Sparta, eh, Mr. West?”

“Do you know who else praised Sparta and told his people to be more like them?
“Yes, of course it was Adolf Hitler, who likened his Nazi soldiers to Spartans and the Russians as the Helots. But then, what warmonger wouldn’t look to the Spartans as a shining example of what a society should look like?
“Hitler also admired the Spartans’ ‘racial superiority’ and another practice of strong Spartan women — the systematic murder of its weak and deformed children.”

West, 50, has some other disturbing events in his past. In 2004 he retired from the military after violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including the article on assault, and was fined $5,000.

“And if ballots don’t work, bullets will,” is the statement made in 2010 by Joyce Kaufman, a controversial Florida radio host who had advocated for the hanging of illegal immigrants who have committed crimes. West hired Kaufman to be his chief of staff, but she was essentially forced to resign after public outrage became too great. West reportedly blamed the Left of racism and misogyny as reasons for Kaufman’s resignation.

West, 50, despite being on the House Committee on Armed Services, last year said of gay men and lesbians in the military, “unfortunately, they are serving.” He delivered the keynote speech at this year’s CPAC.

West, who had said, “[t]he truth is not subjective,” as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a candidate forum, ”I had a Top Secret/Security Compartmented Information classification, that is the highest you can have in the United States Army. You don’t get a security classification like that if you have financial issues like that. I still retain a Secret security clearance. And I tell you, if you look at the application for a security clearance, I have a clearance that even the president of the United States cannot obtain because of my background.”

Who knows the true condition of Congressman Allen West’s mind? What we do know are his comments.

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News

Trump Witness Turns ‘Strawberry Red’ After Judge’s Scalding Scolding

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New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan, after becoming visibly angered by Trump defense witness Robert Costello, cleared the courtroom of the jury and the press before admonishing the “MAGA-friendly lawyer” Monday afternoon in the ex-president’s criminal “hush money” trial.

Calling it a “brawl,” The Daily Beast set the scene: “After Costello, a former prosecutor, was reprimanded for delivering outbursts in the court whenever he was interrupted or told not to answer a question that had been objected to and sustained, Costello began to stare down the judge.”

Before the reprimand, CNN’s Kaitlan Collins reported: “Twice now the judge has sustained an objection and Costello answered regardless. Judge Merchan addresses him directly to not answer if he’s sustained the objection. ‘Jesus,’ Costello mutters after it happens again. ‘I’m sorry,’ the judge, visibly annoyed, says to him. ‘I’m sorry?'”

And then, the admonition.

READ MORE: ‘Wack Pack’: Questions Swirl Over ‘Trump Uniforms’ and Who’s Funding ‘Weird’ Trial Surrogates

“I’d like to discuss proper decorum in the courtroom,” Judge Merchan said, according to Collins. “If you don’t like my ruling, you don’t give me side eye and you don’t roll your eyes.”

Collins added: “Then in a raised voice, Merchan asks, ‘Are you staring me down right now?!'”

“The jury was NOT in the room for this,” Collins added. “Merchan sent them out, then admonished Costello, then when he was staring him down, Merchan became furious and cleared the courtroom. So the jury witnesses none of this. (And the press missed whatever was said in the interim.)”

Here’s how it went down, according to MSNBC host and legal contributor Katie Phang.

“Judge Merchan is ANGRY,” she observed, before reporting the dialogue:

“MERCHAN: ‘I’d like to discuss proper decorum in my courtroom’
MERCHAN: ‘If you don’t like my ruling, you don’t say ‘Jeez’ ‘
MERCHAN: You don’t say ‘strike it’ because I’m the only one who can strike it.
MERCHAN: ‘You don’t give me side eye and you don’t roll your eyes’
COSTELLO: I understand.”

Phang added, “When the media were allowed back in, Costello is seated at the witness stand looking decidedly chastened. Merchan looks calm.”

The Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports the judge didn’t calmly just clear the courtroom:

MSNBC legal contributor Lisa Rubin called it, “one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen in court.”

READ MORE: Law ‘Requires’ Alito and Thomas to Recuse Says Former Federal Prosecutor

And while CNN’s Collins noted the jury was not in the courtroom for exchange, Phang reports: “Although the dressing down of Costello took place outside of earshot of the jury, they witnessed firsthand Costello’s demeanor and petulance and heard firsthand his quips and remarks from the witness stand. Perhaps Costello just reinforced to the jury why Cohen didn’t want to keep Costello as his lawyer…Costello is pandering for an audience of one: Trump.”

MSNBC legal analyst Kristy Greenberg noted, “Michael Cohen was respectful. Bob Costello is acting like a clown. Jurors will notice and this will hurt Trump. Any concerns that jurors may have had about Cohen have now been overshadowed by Costello’s disrespect to the judge right in front of their faces.”

Lowell also reported after that the reprimand, “Costello is so red in the face he resembles a strawberry.”

See the social media post above or at this link.

 

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OPINION

‘Wack Pack’: Questions Swirl Over ‘Trump Uniforms’ and Who’s Funding ‘Weird’ Trial Surrogates

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Trump trial watchers are raising questions over the increasingly large number of elected Republicans and big-name allies showing up at the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building to show support for the indicted ex-president, often giving angry and factually inaccurate speeches before the cameras, or standing behind the defendant in the background as he delivers his rants to reporters.

They are usually all men, and usually all dressed just as Donald Trump does: blue suit, white shirt, red tie.

Public Notice founder Aaron Rupar on Monday, observed, “they’re all in Trump costumes again. how cute.”

Questions about their “uniforms,” and more importantly, who is funding and organizing their travel, are being raised.

Media critic Jennifer Schulze, a former Chicago Sun-Times executive producer, WGN news director, and adjunct college professor of journalism, commented: “The trump uniforms angle is flying way too low beneath the mainstream news radar. The same is true for how this weird courtroom guest star show is being organized & financed.”

READ MORE: Why Alito’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Flag Story Just Fell Apart

And they are being called “uniforms.”

Filmmaker and podcaster Andy Ostroy declared, “I’m sorry, but all these #Trump capos showing up each day at the trial dressed exactly the same as The Godfather in blue suit and red tie is not only creepy AF but is a chilling foreshadowing of the fascist uniform-wearing government they’re jonesin’ to be a part of…”

Talk radio host Joan Esposito also asked who’s paying for these appearances: “Is the trump campaign paying for these surrogates to fly to & from nyc? If not, who is?”

Political commentator Bob Cesca remarked, “Trump’s fanboys are like the Wack Pack from the Stern show circa 1990.”

Monday’s star surrogates included South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, an election denier who had supported overturning the 2020 presidential election and signed onto what has been called a “false and frivolous” lawsuit attempting to overturn the results.

Also, Republican U.S. Reps. Eric Burlison, Andrew Clyde, Mary Miller, and Keith Self. And John Coale from the Trump-aligned America First Policy Institute, attorney Alan Dershowitz, Trump attorney and GOP attorney general candidate Will Scharf, convicted felon and Trump pardon recipient Bernie Kerik, Trump loyalist and former Trump administration official Kash Patel, and others.

READ MORE: Law ‘Requires’ Alito and Thomas to Recuse Says Former Federal Prosecutor

Op-ed columnist Terry Cowgill last week called them “manservants…standing at attention like automatons.”

“Scary and very very strange” was actress and activist Mia Farrow’s observation last week.

Vanity Fair’s Molly Jong-Fast, an MSNBC political analyst, last week asked, “Why did they all wear the same outfit?”

The Biden campaign was only too happy to post this video last week:

See the social media posts and videos above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Partisan Insurrectionist’: Calls Mount for Alito’s Ouster After ‘Stop the Steal’ Scandal

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News

Law ‘Requires’ Alito and Thomas to Recuse Says Former Federal Prosecutor

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U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas have no choice but to observe federal law and recuse themselves from cases involving the 2020 presidential election, according to an attorney who served as a federal prosecutor for 30 years, while a noted constitutional law expert is warning Justice Alito “may be responsible for delaying” the Court’s decision on Donald Trump’s claims of absolute immunity.

Their remarks come as Americans are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue its decision on Donald Trump’s claim of absolute and total immunity from prosecution.

“The Supreme Court, as led by insurrection advocates Alito & Thomas, has caught & killed Trump’s prosecution for trying to overturn the 2020 election. The impartiality of Thomas & Alito ‘might reasonably be questioned’ so the federal law REQUIRES their recusal. Period. Full stop,” wrote Glenn Kirschner, now an NBC News/MSNBC legal analyst.

Kirschner posted text from federal law, 28 U.S.C. Sec. 455, which reads: “Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.”

READ MORE: ‘Partisan Insurrectionist’: Calls Mount for Alito’s Ouster After ‘Stop the Steal’ Scandal

The renewed interest in both far-right justices comes after Friday’s New York Times bombshell report that revealed a symbol of January 6 insurrectionists, the “Stop the Steal” flag, which is the U.S. Stars and Stripes flying upside down, was flown at Justice Alito’s home just days before President Joe Biden was inaugurated.

Justice Alito claimed his wife was responsible for flying the American flag in that manner, which is also used to indicate a situation of dire or extreme distress. He claimed she had done so after an altercation with a neighbor, who had a “F*** Trump” sign on their lawn that could be seen by children awaiting the school bus. But those claims seemed to fall apart after sleuths noted because of COVID schools were operating virtually, so there were no school buses running, and neighbors did not remember what allegedly was extreme neighborhood drama.

On Friday, Laurence Tribe, University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, a constitutional law scholar and professor who has argued three dozen times before the Supreme Court, told CNN (video below) he believes Justice Alito must recuse.

“I do. I don’t think there’s any question about it. It’s in many ways, more serious than what we’ve seen with Justice Thomas. At least Justice Thomas could say that, ‘my wife Ginny has her own separate career. We don’t talk about the cases.’ You may believe that or you may not, but that’s very different from what’s going on with Justice Alito. He’s not saying, ‘My wife has her own separate career.’ He’s throwing her under the bus and blaming her for what is on his house, his flagpole. It’s his flag malfunction. It’s his upside down flag and everyone knows that the upside down the flag, which the United States Code says should be flown that way only in cases of absolute emergency as a kind of SOS, was in this case, a symbol of the claim that the election was stolen from Donald Trump.”

“It was the banner of the insurrectionists,” Tribe continued. “And I’m reminded of something that the late Justice Scalia said in the opinion he wrote in 1987, he said, ‘you cannot expect to ride with the cops if you cheer for the robbers.’ In this case, Justice Alito expects to preside over a decision about whether there wasn’t it direction and who was responsible for it. And whether Donald Trump who has been charged with involvement in trying to obstruct the operations of government and the transfer of power is immune, or if cases before the court, he’s obviously not qualified to sit in this case.”

READ MORE: ‘Mouths of Sauron’: Critics Blast ‘Mobster Tactic’ of Trump Surrogates ‘Violating’ Gag Order

Like Kirschner, Tribe pointed to 28 U.S.C. Sec. 455, saying, “28 US Code section 455 says that any federal judge or justice must – not may, but must – recuse him or herself in any case where either that justice or the justice’s spouse has any skin in the game. There’s no distance here between Mr. Alito and Mrs. Alito. It’s clear that whatever offensive sign was involved, that dispute between neighbors trivializes what’s involved here.”

On the Supreme Court’s pending decision on Trump’s immunity claims, Tribe added, Justice Alito “may be responsible for delaying it.”

“After all, the protocol within the court is the different justices dissenting and Alito is probably writing a dissent from a rejection of the extreme claim of absolute immunity. That didn’t seem to gain traction with the court. If a justice is dissenting, you wait till the dissent is done before announcing the case. So by delaying this immunity decision so long that a trial can’t occur before the election, the effect may be to give de facto immunity to the former president, who if he wins the election will pick an attorney general who will dismiss the case. So ultimate accountability is very much on the line.”

As for Justice Thomas, back in March of 2022, The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer wrote: “Legal Scholars Are Shocked By Ginni Thomas’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Texts,” which also read: “Several experts say that Thomas’s husband, the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, must recuse himself from any case related to the 2020 election.”

And in June of 2022, former Bush 43 chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter, also posting that federal law, wrote: “Justice Thomas’s participation in Dobbs means Ginni Thomas was not receiving payment from persons seeking reverse of Roe. Right?”

He was referring to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, coincidentally written by Justice Alito, which overturned five decades of civil rights law and removed abortion as a constitutionally-protected right.

“We have no idea who’s paying Ginni Thomas,” he continued, referring to Clarence Thomas’s spouse, who also alleged worked to overturn the 2020 election. “Justice Thomas refuses to recuse from any cases because of her. This conflict of interest is unworkable.”

Watch Professor Tribe below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Not Weighing in on That’: Republicans Refuse to Pull Support for Trump as Trial Nears End

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