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DeSantis Defends Musk Over Ukraine as Expert Delivers Warning Over Putin: ‘Transmitting a Message’

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Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis appears to be aligning with the increasingly powerful Elon Musk, as the richest man in the world is accused “transmitting a message” for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Monday DeSantis blasted Musk’s critics, including Ukraine, who were angered the billionaire had threatened to pull his SpaceX Starlink satellites away from Ukraine. The low earth orbit (LEO) satellites provide internet access to Ukraine and especially its military forces.

Despite the U.S. government having paid Musk $3 million for equipment and to keep the satellites over the war-torn country, Musk threatened to pull the hardware critical to the war effort.

He was quickly excoriated, and recently agreed to keep the satellites in place, at least for now.

READ MORE: ‘Premeditated, Fraudulent, and Illegal’: Asylum Seekers Sue DeSantis After Being Sent to Martha’s Vineyard

DeSantis has generally avoided international issues, leading some to question where he stands. Many were surprised when the ultra-outspoken Florida governor not only was silent when Putin invaded Ukraine, but appeared to dodge questions about the illegal war. Politico at the time called his refusal to speak “eerie.” DeSantis has invested what were at the time about $300 million of his state’s pension funds in Russia, and refused to pull out.

Monday was different.

“When Russia invaded Ukraine, Elon Musk positioned his satellites over Ukraine and gave them these things. So they’ve actually been using his devices to be able to defend their country, and I guess some of the people in the government [of Ukraine] were attacking Musk,” DeSantis said Monday, as Florida Politics reported.

“And I’m just thinking to myself, ‘He’s doing this for free,’ ” DeSantis said. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Good Lord!”

“He’s provided that for them for free,” DeSantis continued. “And if you think about it, in a country that big, given what’s going on, that’s tens of millions of dollars that he’s effectively donated.”

READ MORE: America’s Conservatives Adore​ Vladimir Putin’s Far Right Christian Nationalism – More Than Freedom and Democracy

Musk, again, has not been doing it “for free,” and aside from the U.S. government payments, the free advertising and public relations are worth great deal as well.

“The mutual admiration society between Musk and DeSantis has existed for some time,” Florida Politics observes. “Musk has mused that DeSantis may be a good choice for President. DeSantis has agreed with Musk’s contentions that ‘whoever controls the teleprompter’ controls President Joe Biden.”

Republican former U.S. Congressman Joe Walsh criticized DeSantis.

“Yet another leading Republican voice ‘admonishing’ Ukrainian officials. Republicans never admonish Putin. But they never hesitate to admonish Ukraine,” he said.

More Perfect Union reporter Jordan Zakarin observed: “Ron DeSantis choosing Elon Musk and Putin over the Ukraine is pretty on brand for a wannabe dictator who caters to billionaires.”

Musk reportedly had spoken to Putin before tweeting what many saw as pro-Putin remarks, but Musk denied the claim.

READ MORE: Ron DeSantis Pounded by WaPo Editorial Board for Latest Attempt to ‘Poison Democracy’

“Last week, Musk tweeted out his proposals for ending the war in Ukraine ― and they were very similar to what [Ian Bremmer] said Musk told him Putin wanted,” HuffPost reported.

Bremmer is a political scientist with an expert focus on Russia and the founder of a political risk research consulting firm. He has a PhD from Stanford where he wrote, “The politics of ethnicity: Russians in the Ukraine.”

Meanwhile, earlier on Monday Politico reported on “Fiona Hill, one of America’s most clear-eyed observers of Russia and Putin, who served as an adviser to former President Donald Trump and gained fame for her testimony in his first impeachment trial.”

“In the early days of Russia’s war on Ukraine, Hill warned in an interview with POLITICO that what Putin was trying to do was not only seize Ukraine but destroy the current world order. And she recognized from the start that Putin would use the threat of nuclear conflict to try to get his way.”

Politico adds that “despite the setbacks Russia has suffered on the battlefield, Hill thinks Putin is undaunted. She sees him adapting to new conditions, not giving up. And she sees him trying to get the West to accede to his aims by using messengers like billionaire Elon Musk to propose arrangements that would end the conflict on his terms.”

“Putin plays the egos of big men, gives them a sense that they can play a role. But in reality, they’re just direct transmitters of messages from Vladimir Putin,” Hill told Politico.

“It’s very clear that Elon Musk is transmitting a message for Putin,” she says.

Watch DeSantis’ remarks above or at this link.

 

 

 

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‘Wildly Lawless’: Judge Cannon’s Removal Predicted by Top Legal Scholar

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U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon will be removed from overseeing the trial in Special Counsel Jack Smith’s Espionage Act case against Donald Trump, predicts a top constitutional scholar who is calling her rejection of an urgent request from federal prosecutors to place additional restrictions on the ex-president “wildly lawless,” and a “smoking gun.”

Last week Donald Trump, his campaign, and almost immediately his supporters, falsely claimed President Joe Biden had tried to assassinate the ex-president in 2022 when FBI agents executed a legal and lawful search warrant on Mar-a-Lago. Trump had been storing well over 1000 White House items he had taken, including hundreds of classified documents, at his Florida residence and resort. Among those were some of the nation’s top nuclear secrets.

In a fundraising email one week ago Trump’s campaign claimed, “Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.” Trump was out of state when the FBI entered Mar-a-Lago. Federal agents had conferred with Secret Service, and had planned for the search warrant to be executed when the ex-president was not at the club.

READ MORE: ‘The State is Not God’: DeSantis Paid Educators to Teach ‘Christian Nationalism’ Report Says

“Cannon’s wildly lawless rejection of Special Counsel Smith’s clearly correct request for a gag order against fake and dangerous claims that the FBI was ordered to assassinate him is good news,” declared University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Laurence Tribe, a professor of law and top constitutional scholar who wrote a major textbook on the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s the smoking gun that will finally lead to her removal from the stolen secrets case,” Professor Tribe added.

Not responding to the substance of the Special Counsel’s request to order the ex-president to not make any statements that could be dangerous to law enforcement, Judge Cannon instead rejected the motion on the grounds Smith’s attorneys should have conferred with Trump’s attorneys before making the request, as ABC News reports.

“The Government moves to modify defendant Donald J. Trump’s conditions of release, to make clear that he may not make statements that pose a significant, imminent, and foreseeable danger to law enforcement agents participating in the investigation and prosecution of this case,” federal prosecutors wrote in the filing that Judge Cannon rejected.

READ MORE: Supreme Court ‘Puppetmaster’ Slammed Over Report He’s Flying Alito’s ‘Theocratic’ Flag Again

While the Special Counsel’s prosecutors did confer with Trump’s attorney, Judge Cannon claimed their efforts were “wholly lacking in substance and professional courtesy,” according to ABC News. “Trump’s lawyers argued that the special counsel violated Local Rule 88.9, which says both parties must ‘meet and confer’ before flings motions so the court and the parties’ time is used efficiently. In a filing Monday, Trump’s lawyers asked Cannon to strike the special counsel’s request and impose sanctions on any prosecutors involved in filing their motion.”

Trump’s attorney had wanted to delay any meeting to confer over the issue until Monday, but federal prosecutors, concerned about Trump’s recent remarks, said they could not wait.

“As we also tried to explain earlier, our judgment was that the situation your client has created necessitated a prompt request for relief that could not wait the weekend to file,” Special Counsel prosecutor David Harbach told Trump’s lawyers via email, according to ABC News. “We understand your position and represented to the court that you do not believe the government has engaged in adequate conferral here.”

READ MORE: Trump’s Scheme for Absolute Immunity From State Prosecutions Forever: Report

 

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‘The State is Not God’: DeSantis Paid Educators to Teach ‘Christian Nationalism’ Report Says

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Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis last year recruited thousands of public school teachers and paid them thousands of dollars out of taxpayer funds to attend training on teaching what he called “civics,” but a report states the program focused on “the tenets of Christian nationalism,” and included at least one quote from the Christian bible.

“Training materials produced by the Florida Department of Education direct middle and high school teachers to indoctrinate students in the tenets of Christian nationalism, a right-wing effort to merge Christian and American identities,” Popular Information founder Judd Legum revealed in his exclusive report Tuesday.

“A three-day training course on civic education, conducted throughout Florida in the summer of 2023, included a presentation on the ‘Influences of the Judeo-Christian Tradition’ on the founding of the United States,” Legum writes. “According to speaker notes accompanying one slide, teachers were told that ‘Christianity challenged the notion that religion should be subservient to the goals of the state,’ and the same hierarchy is reflected in America’s founding documents. That slide quotes the Bible to assert that ‘[c]ivil government must be respected, but the state is not God.’ Teachers were told the same principle is embedded in the Declaration of Independence.”

Legum included a screenshot from the training that bears the logos of the Florida Department of Education and DeSantis’ “Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative.”

READ MORE: Supreme Court ‘Puppetmaster’ Slammed Over Report He’s Flying Alito’s ‘Theocratic’ Flag Again

It reads in part: “‘Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.’ Matthew 22:21.”

“The next slide in the deck,” Legum continues, “quotes an article by Peter Lillback, the president of Westminster Theological Seminary and the founder of The Providence Forum, an organization that promotes and defends Christian nationalism. The group’s executive director, Jerry Newcombe, writes a weekly column for World Net Daily— a far-right site known for publishing hundreds of stories falsely suggesting Obama was a Muslim born in Africa.”

That slide “argues that there would be no freedom, no republic, and no constitution without religion. The speaker notes accompanying the slide emphasize that ‘the separation of Church and State did not mean the separation of God and government,’ and all the founders were ‘steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition.'”

In a March of 2023 press release, DeSantis’s office trumpeted: “Today, Governor Ron DeSantis highlighted Florida’s continued commitment to expanding civics education in Florida schools and announced that the first 4,500 teachers have completed the Civics Seal of Excellence endorsement course and will receive a $3,000 bonus.”

The statement claimed the course was “at capacity with 20,000 teachers making their commitment to civics education, and there are additional 14,000 teachers on the waiting list for this first of a kind civics teacher professional development program.”

READ MORE: Trump’s Bronx Rally Attendance Claim Fuels Mockery as Aerial Images Show a Different Story

It also pointed to a 2022 program, saying “Florida’s Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative also included a three-day Civics Excellence teacher training course in the summer of 2022 for teachers to increase their knowledge of civics in addition to the creation of supplemental materials for civics lessons including the Civics Reading List and the Portraits of Patriotism video series to further student interaction with civics.”

Some teachers called that 2022 program’s teachings “cherry-picked,” NBC News (video below) reported at the time. Others were “shocked to learn what they were expected to teach their students.”

“They told us what to think and what our opinions were,” one teacher told NBC News, calling it “very unsettling.”

One slide in that program NBC News reported claimed it is a “misconception” that “The Founders desired strict separation of church and state and the Founders only wanted to protect freedom of worship.”

In 2022 The Washington Post reported, “New civics training for Florida public school teachers comes with a dose of Christian dogma, some teachers say, and they worry that it also sanitizes history and promotes inaccuracies.”

Watch that NBC News video below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘You Just Don’t Do It’: Federal Judge Denounces Alito’s Flags as ‘Stop the Steal’ Stickers

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Supreme Court ‘Puppetmaster’ Slammed Over Report He’s Flying Alito’s ‘Theocratic’ Flag Again

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The bombshells over the past few weeks revealing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito flew flags associated with the January 6, 2021 insurrection and Christian nationalism over two of his homes were followed by a report that Leonard Leo, the right-wing legal activist behind Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, also flew one of those flags.

The “Appeal to Heaven” flag has a “close association with both far-right Christian nationalists and the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6,” Rolling Stone reported last week, adding it “raises serious questions about Alito’s ability to rule impartially.”

“The conservative court on which Alito sits is largely the product of right-wing dark-money overlord Leonard Leo, and — wouldn’t you know it — Leo flew the same ‘Appeal to Heaven‘ flag outside of his house in Maine,” Rolling Stone also reported.

On social media Rolling Stone noted: “Justice Samuel Alito is under fire for flying the far-right ‘Appeal to Heaven’ flag outside his home. Turns out Supreme Court puppetmaster Leonard Leo has flown it too, according to an image provided to Rolling Stone.”

READ MORE: Pence Defense of Alito’s Insurrectionist Flag Highlights Its Ties to Violent Government Overthrow

Rolling Stone editor Andrew Perez on Memorial Day via social media added: “Some of Leo’s neighbors send pics from his house today — he is back to flying this flag.”

Alex Aronson is the former Chief Counsel, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) who now serves as Executive Director of the non-profit organization Court Accountability.

“Leo’s decision to re-hoist this theocrat flag is two things at once,” Aronson wrote on Monday. “1) an arrogant Alito-esque display of impunity, and 2) recognition of a strategic misstep in ever removing it, as he and his goons now lean into the gaslighting claim that it’s an innocent revolutionary banner.”

READ MORE: ‘You Just Don’t Do It’: Federal Judge Denounces Alito’s Flags as ‘Stop the Steal’ Stickers

In 2019, even before Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett to the nation’s highest court, The Washington Post reported, “few people outside government have more influence over judicial appointments now than Leo.”

Leo has served on the Board of Governors of the Council for National Policy (CNP), a highly-secretive right-wing organization that has been described as a “pluto-theocracy.” In 2021 Americans United for Separation of Church and State called CNP “The Scariest Christian Nationalist Group You’ve Never Heard Of.”

CNP’s members have included far-right activist Charlie Kirk and the heads of at least a half-dozen groups that appear on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of hate or extremist groups.

Last year ProPublica branded Leo as “The Man Behind the Right’s Supreme Court Supermajority” who “built a machine that remade the American legal system.”

Leo also served as a vice president for the Federalist Society for many years, and has worked to support the nominations of every right wing justice on today’s Supreme Court, including Clarence Thomas, John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

See the social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: Trump’s Bronx Rally Attendance Claim Fuels Mockery as Aerial Images Show a Different Story

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