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After Republicans Rebuke Elizabeth Warren Four Other Senators Read Same Letter Uninterrupted

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‘She Was Warned. She Was Given an Explanation. Nevertheless, She Persisted.’

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren attempted to read a letter written by civil rights icon Coretta Scott King on the Senate floor Tuesday evening, and received an official rebuke, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). The Senate Majority Leader claimed by reading the letter, which none other than Sen. Ted Kennedy did on the Senate floor decades ago, she violated an arcane and rarely-invoked rule against “impugning” a fellow senator.

Warren received an official rebuke and was banned from discussing the matter at hand going forward: the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to become Donald Trump’s attorney general.

Senator McConnell uttered this now infamous phrase: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” It’s now become a rallying cry.

So many are angered and wondering why Senate Republicans allowed four other senators to read the exact same letter on the floor after Warren was rebuked.

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Senator Tom Udall (D-NM), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), all read the same King letter on the senate floor and received no rebuke:

So, why?

On Twitter many are accusing Republicans and McConnell of sexism:

 

 

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OPINION

Alito Tells Fox News Story Behind His Home’s ‘Stop the Steal’ Flag but Critics Unconvinced

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Editor’s note: The spelling of Fox News host Shannon Bream’s last name has been corrected.

Justice Samuel Alito on Friday appeared to compound concerns over the bombshell New York Times report revealing a flag associated with the January 6 insurrection and the “Stop the Steal” movement was flying at his house just before Joe Biden was inaugurated and while the Supreme Court was reviewing a 2020 election case.

Alito, whose far-right positions including writing the majority opinion in the Supreme Court case overturning Roe v. Wade, have infuriated and frustrated the left, once again has found himself the subject of apprehension over his impartiality and grasp of ethical norms.

In a rare move, the embattled justice, who now faces strong calls for his ouster, spoke immediately to the news media to address those issues, and revealed the story behind the decision to fly the “Stop the Steal” flag at his home.

Confirming again it was his wife who put the flag up, Alito seemed neither remorseful nor cognizant of the great ethical and credibility violation that act represented.

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

“I spoke directly with Justice #Alito about the flag story in the NYT,” Fox News host Shannon Bream reported late Friday morning via social media. “In addition to what’s in the story, he told me a neighbor on their street had a ‘F— Trump’ sign that was within 50 feet of where children await the school bus in Jan 21. Mrs. Alito brought this up with the neighbor.”

“According to Justice Alito, things escalated and the neighbor put up a sign personally addressing Mrs. Alito and blaming her for the Jan 6th attacks,” Bream continued.

“Justice Alito says he and his wife were walking in the neighborhood and there were words between Mrs. Alito and a male at the home with the sign. Alito says the man engaged in vulgar language, ‘including the c-word’,” she wrote. “Following that exchange, Mrs. Alito was distraught and hung the flag upside down ‘for a short time’. Justice Alito says some neighbors on his street are ‘very political’ and acknowledges it was a very heated time in January 2021.”

The Bulwark’s Bill Kristol chastised Bream, noting she got Alito’s side of the story without “trying to see how it compares with the accounts and recollections of others involved. If only the anchor had the resources of a ‘news’ channel to seek out the truth!”

Some critics responding to Bream’s report say Alito’s explanation doesn’t make their perception of his actions — or his wife’s – any more reasonable.

Former George W. Bush administration official Christian Vanderbrouk commented, “Sam Alito is unapologetic for desecrating an American symbol as part of a neighborhood feud.”

READ MORE: Why Are One in Five GOP Voters Still Voting for Nikki Haley Over Donald Trump?

“Interesting claims by Alito,” attorney Robert J. DeNault remarked. “Not sure it’s reasonable to think any person would react to a neighbor disagreeing — even crassly or rudely — over Trump by hanging an American flag upside down. Does not feel credible to contend Alito’s upside flag was divorced from MAGA symbolism.”

“Alito speaks to Fox about New York Times report, continues to attribute it to his wife, but does not explain why his wife’s reaction to a ‘fuck Trump’ sign and being insulted was to hang an American flag upside down in the days after Jan. 6.” observed CNN’s Edward-Isaac Dovere. “Suburban neighborhood disputes happen all the time – over lawn care, noisy children, Christmas lights… all sorts of things. Not many instances of an escalated response being a now very politicized symbol of military distress.”

“Friendly reminder the entire GOP and Fox News is screaming on practically a daily basis that Judge Merchan needs to recuse because of the work his adult daughter separately does,” national security attorney Brad Moss offered. “But yeah, this is no biggie.”

READ MORE: ‘Long History of Playing Games’: Biden Campaign Shuts Down Trump’s Tantrum

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OPINION

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

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A symbol of Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” movement, which culminated in his January 6, 2021 rally and the insurrection that followed, was flown over the home of Justice Samuel Alito just days before Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, and as the U.S. Supreme Court was reviewing a 2020 election case. Now, calls are mounting for Justice Alito’s ouster.

The “Stop the Steal” movement, created in 2016 by far-right activist Roger Stone, was put into action by Trump acolytes during the 2020 election cycle. It is based on the “Big Lie,” promoted by Donald Trump and the majority of his followers, the false claim that Joe Biden did not win the 2020 presidential election, that it was “stolen.”

A symbol of “Stop the Steal” is an upside down American flag, which is technically used only “as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property.” Trump’s MAGA followers co-opted the symbol, and it was widely seen during the violence of the January 6 insurrection.

It was also, as The New York Times reported in its bombshell story Thursday night, flown at “the residence of Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in Alexandria, Va., according to photographs and interviews with neighbors.”

READ MORE: Will Trump Testify at Trial? ‘Absolutely’ Is Now a ‘No Decision’ Yet

A critical element of The Times’ report is the timing of Alito’s “Stop the Steal” flag.

“While the flag was up, the court was still contending with whether to hear a 2020 election case, with Justice Alito on the losing end of that decision,” the Times reported.

“In coming weeks,” The Times noted, “the justices will rule on two climactic cases involving the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6, including whether Mr. Trump has immunity for his actions. Their decisions will shape how accountable he can be held for trying to overturn the last presidential election and his chances for re-election in the upcoming one.”

Justice Alito is taking no responsibility for the flag at his house.

“I had no involvement whatsoever in the flying of the flag,” Alito told The Times. “It was briefly placed by Mrs. Alito in response to a neighbor’s use of objectionable and personally insulting language on yard signs.”

The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro, who did not write the Alito article, commented: “Crucially, Alito doesn’t deny the flag was flying upside down, doesn’t deny its meaning, doesn’t express any disapproval for it and doesn’t disavow it.”

The Times also reports there are ethics and impartiality issues surrounding the use of the Stop the Steal flag.

READ MORE: ‘Ready to Start Another Insurrection’: Gaetz Support for Trump Echoes Proud Boys Order

“Judicial experts said in interviews that the flag was a clear violation of ethics rules, which seek to avoid even the appearance of bias, and could sow doubt about Justice Alito’s impartiality in cases related to the election and the Capitol riot.”

Legal and political experts, not to mention many ordinary Americans, are expressing great concern, with some even calling for Alito’s ouster, and some even using the word “impeachment.”

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), responding to the news, blasted both Justices Alito and Clarence Thomas.

“A judge is supposed to act in a way that enables all parties and lawyers appearing before the Court to believe they will be treated fairly,” Sen. Kaine wrote. “Alito and Thomas have brazenly destroyed this bedrock principle.”

Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history and a scholar of authoritarians and fascism, also pointed to both for Alito and Thomas, and called for their ouster.

“Clean up the Court,” she urged. “Thomas and Alito must go. They are far-right activists masquerading as impartial justices, that is why so many anti-democratic forces (Federalist, billionaires) have invested in them.”

Political scientist Norman Ornstein, the highly-respected emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic, responded to the Alito scandal.

“Sam Alito is a partisan insurrectionist. He has no business being on the Supreme Court,” he wrote Thursday night.

“It is time for a House member to introduce an impeachment resolution against Sam Alito,” Ornstein added an hour later. “He has openly and blatantly violated every standard we expect for any judge, not to mention the Supreme Court. And time for Dick Durbin to suck it up and hold hearings on this abuse of power,” he said, referring to the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Richard Painter, a professor of law and a former chief White House ethics lawyer, cut to the chase, posting the U.S. Code requiring recusal:

” ‘Any justice, judge, or magistrate judge of the United States shall disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.’
28 USC Section 455″

“Justice Alito should be impeached and removed!!” declared SiriusXM host and attorney Dean Obeidallah. “If a liberal justice flew a flag in support of coup attempt waged by a Democratic President, the House GOP would immediately impeach him! We need Senate Dems to hold hearings!”

Veteran journalist John Harwood, responding to the Alito article, remarked, “bitter fanatic on the court.”

Laurence Tribe, University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, a constitutional law scholar who has argues three dozen times before the Supreme Court, commented: “More telling — and disqualifying — than the sheer antidemocratic sentiment this ‘Stop the Steal’ flag displayed is the hair-splitting sophistry of Justice Alito’s pathetic effort to shift blame from himself to his wife or someone else in his household.”

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, a conservative until 2020, also blasted Justice Alito. Watch the video of her remarks below or at this link.

RELATED: Justice Alito’s Secret Speech ‘Spiking the Ball’ on Revoking Abortion Seen as Worsening Court’s ‘Credibility Crisis’

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News

Will Trump Testify at Trial? ‘Absolutely’ Is Now a ‘No Decision’ Yet

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The State of New York’s prosecution of Donald Trump is nearing it end, as Judge Juan Merchan announced late Thursday afternoon final arguments could begin on Tuesday. But one question remains: Will the ex-president who is facing 34 felony charges in the election interference, falsification of business records, and hush money cover-up case, testify in his defense?

Just over one month ago Trump was asked that question. He quickly responded, “Yeah I would testify, absolutely.”

Trump appeared resolved.

READ MORE: Ex-Florida GOP Chair’s Efforts to Recruit 3-Way Partners for Anti-LGBTQ Wife Revealed: Report

“I’m testifying. I tell the truth. I mean, all I can do is tell the truth. And the truth is that there is no case,” he said, as NBC News reported.

NBC added last week that Trump “told Newsmax two weeks ago that he would testify ‘if necessary,’ and on Tuesday he said in an interview with Spectrum News 1 Wisconsin that he would ‘probably’ take the stand, adding that he ‘would like to.'”

But when Judge Merchan asked Todd Blanche, Trump’s attorney, on Thursday, the answer was very different.

“That’s another decision that we need to think through,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

But Politico’s Erica Orden reported, “Blanche says Trump hasn’t made a final decision about whether to testify.”

Last week, as the question of Trump’s testifying loomed large, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) insisted he would not.

“It’s over. Donald Trump has a right to not testify. Yet he PROMISED he would. Now it’s clear he won’t. The jury can’t consider this. But you can. He is chickenshit and you should conclude he’s guilty as hell.”

On Wednesday, attorney George Conway addressed the topic, saying, “If he doesn’t testify, it’s because he’s scared.”

He also said, “in a million years, I would never tell him to testify. I would tell him not to testify.”

Watch the video above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump Wails His Judge Was Appointed by ‘Democrat Politicians’ – That’s False

 

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