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Democrats Have One Way to Correct Corruption of Justices Thomas and Alito: Expert

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Calls are mounting for U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Dick Durbin to hold hearings on Supreme Court ethics and corruption, subpoena right-wing Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and have them explain why, as some, including Democratic Jewish Senators, believe they are promoting Christian nationalism rather than properly interpreting the Constitution and U.S. law, while accepting lavish gifts.

Chief Justice John Roberts has already refused to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Justice Alito has said Congress has no power over him or the Court.

“In the summer of 2023, Justice Samuel Alito told the Wall Street Journal that Congress has no authority to regulate the Supreme Court, despite the ethical regulations Congress already imposes on the justices,” the Brennan Center for Justice reported last month. “Around the time he made this erroneous statement, the justice saw fit to fly a flag in his yard that had been carried by January 6 rioters and associated with the ‘Stop the Steal’ insurrection movement, marking the second time since January 6 that such a flag had flown outside of the justice’s residence.”

READ MORE: Buttigieg on Martha-Ann Alito: Flags Symbolizing Love vs. Insurrection Are Different

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee revealed Justice Thomas took even more trips paid for by billionaire Harlan Crow than he had disclosed and that had never before been reported. Thomas has received an estimated $5.8 million in gifts over the past two decades, a large portion from Crow, the government watchdog Fix the Court revealed two weeks ago.

Justice Alito’s recent remarks revealing he believes the Supreme Court has to move the nation to one of “godliness,” on top of the symbols of insurrection flying at his homes, has some Americans deeply concerned about his Christian nationalism and the effect it has on his ability to deliver impartial rulings.

Chairman Durbin has steadfastly refused to issue subpoenas to anyone on the Supreme Court. Last summer he defended not even inviting Justice Thomas to a committee hearing on ethics, saying the invitation would have been ignored.

Should Democrats be relying on the Senate to fix the Supreme Court?

No, says Vox’s Ian Millhiser, author of two books on the Supreme Court: Injustices: The Supreme Court’s History of Comforting the Comfortable and Afflicting the Afflicted (2016), and The Agenda: How a Republican Supreme Court Is Reshaping America (2021).

“What can Democrats actually do about Thomas’s and Alito’s corruption?” Millhiser, who writes about the Supreme Court and the Constitution, asks in his latest piece at Vox. “Nothing, unless they win the election,” he answers.

“At the end of the day, the future of the Supreme Court will be decided by the November election. If President Joe Biden prevails, he is likely to appoint more judges like his Supreme Court appointee Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, a mainstream liberal. If Donald Trump prevails, he is likely to fill the bench with Alitos.”

Millhiser says, “what, exactly, could Durbin — or any other Democrat, for that matter — actually do about Thomas’s and Alito’s dubious relationship with judicial ethics? The honest answer is ‘not much.’ ”

“Congress, certainly could do a great deal to check these two men’s power. Congress, after all, has the power to impeach and remove justices,” he writes.

But there’s more.

READ MORE: Rick Scott’s IVF Pledge Using His Own Grandkids Slammed as ‘Lie’ by Democrats

“It also could add seats to the Court, which would quickly be filled by Biden appointees who would effectively neutralize Thomas and Alito’s votes. It could potentially strip the Court of much of its jurisdiction. It could take away some of the Court’s budget — perhaps the parts that pay for Thomas’s and Alito’s law clerks and staff. It could even evict the Court from its marble palace and move the justices’ office space to a shack in Nome, Alaska,” he notes.

“But no legislation reforming the Supreme Court, no matter how ambitious or how modest, is likely to pass so long as Republicans control the House of Representatives,” Millhiser notes.

Of course, there has to be a Democrat in the White House and at minimum a Democratic majority in the Senate to actually get progress.

Millhiser also cautions those seeking to paint Democrats as the problem.

“There’s no reason to doubt the good faith of advocates who want the Senate to pressure out-of-control justices to behave ethically and professionally. Far too many of these advocates, however, have allowed a tactical disagreement with Durbin to make Democrats the villain in this narrative and undermine the party in November.”

Or, as he puts it on social media, “I’m worried that some Democratic activists need a reality check. If two Republican justices are behaving horribly, the right thing to say about this scandal is not ‘Democrats are feckless.’ Attack your enemies, not your friends!”

READ MORE: ‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

 

 

 

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RFK Jr. and Trump Explored Endorsement Deal in Exchange for Administration Post: Report

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Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., seen by some as a spoiler whose candidacy could help Donald Trump, held talks with the ex-president after the assassination attempt, reportedly discussing an endorsement in exchange for a position in a second Trump administration.

Late Saturday evening on July 13, hours after a 20-year old man shot at Trump, apparently causing a bloody ear while killing a Trump supporter and wounding two others at a Pennsylvania rally, Trump and Kennedy spoke by phone. During that call, The Washington Post reports, the two presidential candidates agreed to meet the following week in Milwaukee, on the first day of the Republican National Convention.

Audio and video of that Saturday night call was “leaked” by Kennedy’s own son, prompting the anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theorist to publicly apologize to Trump, as NCRM reported last week.

In that video, Donald Trump could be heard telling Kennedy, “I would love you to do stuff and I think it’d be so good for your and so big for you. And we’re gonna win. We’re way ahead of the guy.” It was not clear in what context Trump meant “do stuff,” although he could have possibly meant endorse Trump, or hand Kennedy a post in his administration.

READ MORE: Where Kamala Harris Stands on Securing Dem Endorsements and Cash After Biden Announcement

The two candidates’ discussions on Monday, “included possible jobs that Kennedy could be given in a second Trump administration, either at the Cabinet level or posts that do not require Senate confirmation. The discussion also included the prospect of Kennedy leaving the race and endorsing Trump, the people said,” The Post reported.

“The discussions surprised Trump and his aides. But there were concerns among some Trump advisers that Kennedy — a fervent critic of vaccines — would not be appropriate in such a job and that such an agreement could be problematic, the people said. Two of these people did not rule out the campaign eventually wanting Kennedy in the fold or potentially giving him a job in the administration if Trump wins.”

They also “did not result in an agreement amid concerns in Trump’s orbit about the complications of promising a job in exchange for a political endorsement, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations.”

“Whoa,” remarked Democratic strategist Lis Smith, responding to The Post’s reporting. Kennedy “offered to endorse Trump in exchange for a job…the Trump people declined b/c RFK Jr was pushing too explicitly for a quid pro quo.”

Kennedy, who is an environmental law attorney, has focused on his anti-vaxx activism in recent years. The Post reports the discussion between Kennedy and Trump included him possibly “overseeing a portfolio of health and medical issues.”

“All I will say to you is I am willing to talk to anybody from either political party who wants to talk about children’s health and how to end the chronic disease epidemic,” Kennedy also told The Post in an interview. “I have a lot of respect for President Trump for reaching out to me. Nobody from the DNC, high or low, has ever reached out to me in 18 months. Instead they have allocated millions to try to disrupt my campaign.”

READ MORE: Anti-Harris Propaganda Begins, Expert Cites Kellyanne Conway as Example

 

 

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Where Kamala Harris Stands on Securing Dem Endorsements and Cash After Biden Announcement

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Vice President Kamala Harris, now the Democratic Party’s leading presidential candidate, said Sunday she will work to “earn and win” the nomination after President Joe Biden’s historic decision to pull out of his re-election race. In under twenty-four hours she has managed to secure the almost unanimous endorsement of House and Senate Democrats, Democratic governors, and a cash haul reportedly of over $75 million.

In the weeks after Biden’s damaging debate performance, critics demanded he prove he had the mental and physical capacity at 81 to continue the race and win the election. But even after numerous speeches and interviews, the goalposts changed, and critics pointed to his poll numbers. On Sunday afternoon in a letter he announced he would not continue his campaign. Shortly thereafter, he endorsed Vice President Harris.

Some Democrats had pushed for an open convention, with many rank and file members engaging in a kind of “fantasy football,” matchups promoting their favorite candidates for the top of the ticket and their running mates.

Fox News late Monday morning reported, “Democrats thrown into chaos as they face tight deadline to replace Biden,” but there has been little chaos.

READ MORE: Anti-Harris Propaganda Begins, Expert Cites Kellyanne Conway as Example

All of the major potential candidates who might have opposed Harris have now declared they would not run against her, making her path to the nomination, while not certain, extremely likely. Delegates will still have to choose.

Most of those major top-of-the-ticket potential candidates who have now endorsed Harris are believed to be under consideration to be her vice presidential running mate (links to endorsements): Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, U.S. Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Governor Wes Moore of Maryland, and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Late Monday morning Gov. Whitmer declined to be considered for the vice presidential slot, according to Crain’s Detroit reporter David Eggert.

California Governor Gavin Newsom, considered one of the top potential contenders for the nomination but not a potential running mate, quickly announced he would not oppose Harris and endorsed her: “Tough. Fearless. Tenacious. With our democracy at stake and our future on the line, no one is better to prosecute the case against Donald Trump’s dark vision and guide our country in a healthier direction than America’s Vice President.”

Harris also earned the endorsement of Governor JB Pritzker of Illinois, also considered one of the top candidates who might want the nomination.

READ MORE: ‘Wake Up People’: Trump ‘Elevating Criminals’ as MAGA Wants to ‘Wreck America’ Says Expert

Colorado Governor Jared Polis appeared to endorse Harris in a self-deprecating social media post.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (I-WV), 76, endorsed Harris on Monday, after reports suggested he had called former acting DNC chair Donna Brazile to learn the process for entering the nomination race. ABC News reported Brazile told Manchin, “I had to remind him that to put his name in nomination he has to sign a form that he’s a Democrat.”

Writer and former Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Charlotte Clymer has been tracking the Harris endorsements since Sunday. Late Monday morning she writes they include: President Joe Biden, Former Secretary of State and 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton, and former U.S. Secretary of State and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, along with current Cabinet Secretaries Pete Buttigieg, Miguel Cardona, Jennifer Granholm, and Gina Raimondo.

And, “at least 33 of 47 Democratic senators,” “at least 159 of 212 House Democratic members,” “at least 18 of the 26 Democratic state and territorial governors,” “all 57 state and territory party chairs,” “all DNC delegates for Louisiana, Maryland, Tennessee, North Carolina, New Hampshire, and South Carolina,” “SEIU, American Federation of Teachers, and too many other organizations to list here.”

“I don’t think folks appreciate what we’re seeing from the Ds right now,” observes political scientist and strategist Rachel Bitcofer. “Newsom, Whitmer, Shapiro- every top tier Democrat- has put personal ambitions aside to come out and help the party coalesce around Kamala Harris.”

Political commentator Bob Cesca adds, “And they’re putting their ambitions aside for what could end up being 8 more years.”

CNN’s Haley Talbot, known for her spreadsheets, early Monday afternoon reports former President and First Lady Barack and Michelle Obama have yet to endorse Harris. She adds the “holdout” list includes seven Democratic and one independent U.S. Senators, just 18 Democratic U.S. Representatives, and four Democratic governors.

But key among the Democratic holdouts are Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Political commentator and writer Keith Boykin at 10:05 AM Monday, citing data from ActBlue says, “Democrats have now raised $75 million since Vice President Kamala Harris announced her campaign for president yesterday.” Clymer commented, “Vice President Kamala Harris may very well raise $100M in a 24-hour period. Flat-out bonkers sum.”

ActBlue declared Sunday, “the biggest fundraising day of the 2024 cycle.”

See the social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

 

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Anti-Harris Propaganda Begins, Expert Cites Kellyanne Conway as Example

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The attacks against Vice President Kamala Harris, now the leading candidate to become the Democratic Party’s 2024 presidential nominee after President Joe Biden’s historic decision to exit his race for re-election, have begun, as one expert on authoritarianism and fascism points to former top Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway’s remarks Sunday as an example of the racism and propaganda voters can expect to see.

“Pay attention to propaganda narratives that will consolidate in next days. Propagandists know you should build on existing prejudices when introducing a new hate object or theme,” writes Dr. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a professor of history and scholar on fascism and authoritarian leaders.

“Here Conway invokes racist stereotypes already familiar to many in MAGA,” she adds, pointing to remarks Conway made (video below) just hours after President Biden’s announcement Sunday afternoon.

READ MORE: ‘Wake Up People’: Trump ‘Elevating Criminals’ as MAGA Wants to ‘Wreck America’ Says Expert

“She had disastrous staff turnover as vice president,” Conway told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “I check it on the daily. Her public schedule, gentlemen, rarely has anything on it or one or two things on it. She does not speak well. She does not work hard, and she should not be the standard bearer for the party.”

Conway was the first woman campaign manager to land a presidential candidate, Donald Trump, in the White House, and later served as Senior Counselor to the President. Her record includes coining the terms “alternative facts,” and the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre.” Statista looked at presidential turnover from President Ronald Reagan to Trump and found Trump’s record is higher than any president in modern history, including at the cabinet level.

“Kellyanne Conway is parroting the racist stereotypes,” responded Adam Cohen, Vice Chair, Lawyers for Good Government, “[that] Black people are stupid and lazy.”

READ MORE: ‘Unmitigated Disaster’: Conservatives Stunned by ‘Clinically-Insane Trump Speech’

“Of course, she will vociferously deny it,” he added. “But too late-we already know exactly who Conway is.”

“After all, she spent years promoting Trump.”

Ben-Ghiat on Sunday night also responded to a New York Times headline, “Some Black Voters Say They Wonder if a Black Woman Can Win.” She warned: “It’s starting.”

George Conway (Kellyanne’s ex-husband) last week created an anti-Trump political action committee, the Anti-Psychopath PAC. He commented on her Fox News remarks late Sunday night: “Not everyone can express themselves as eloquently and with such exquisite turns of phrase as Donald J. Trump.”

Watch Conway’s remarks below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Stop the Attacks’: 1400 Black Women Leaders Demand DNC Support Biden and Harris

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