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Benny

Thanks Orl for opening the Nest. Here’s a story to lead off, from Yahoo News:

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will hear an appeal that could upend hundreds of charges stemming from the Capitol riot, including against former President Donald Trump.

The justices will review an appellate ruling that revived a charge against three defendants accused of obstruction of an official proceeding. The charge refers to the disruption of Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory over Trump.

That’s among four counts brought against Trump in special counsel Jack Smith’s case that accuses the 2024 Republican presidential primary front-runner of conspiring to overturn the results of his election loss. Trump is also charged with conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.

The court’s decision to weigh in on the obstruction charge could threaten the start of Trump’s trial, currently scheduled for March 4. The justices separately are considering whether to rule quickly on Trump’s claim that he can’t be prosecuted for actions taken within his role as president. A federal judge already has rejected that argument.

The obstruction charge has been brought against more than 300 defendants in the massive federal prosecution following the deadly insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a bid to keep Biden, a Democrat, from taking the White House.

A lower court judge had dismissed the charge against three defendants, ruling it didn’t cover their conduct.

U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols found that prosecutors stretched the law beyond its scope to inappropriately apply it in these cases. Nichols ruled that a defendant must have taken “some action with respect to a document, record or other object” to obstruct an official proceeding under the law.

The Justice Department challenged that ruling, and the appeals court in Washington agreed with prosecutors in April that Nichols’ interpretation of the law was too limited.

Other defendants, including Trump, are separately challenging the use of the charge.

One defendant, Garret Miller, has since pleaded guilty to other charges and was sentenced to 38 months in prison. Miller, who’s from the Dallas area, could still face prosecution on the obstruction charge. The other defendants are Joseph Fischer, who’s from Boston, and Edward Jacob Lang, of New York’s Hudson Valley.

More than 1,200 people have been charged with federal crimes stemming from the riot, and more than 650 defendants have pleaded guilty.

Benny

Israeli Human Rights Groups to Biden: Push Israel to ‘Change Its Policy Now’

A coalition of Israeli human rights and civil society organizations urged U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday to exert pressure on the Netanyahu government to change course as its bombing campaign, ground invasion, and blockade drive the Gaza Strip “to the point of catastrophe.”

The groups, including B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence, argued in a letter to Biden that the Israeli government has clearly “chosen to ignore” calls from U.S. officials—including the president—to protect civilians, adhere to international law, and allow the delivery of humanitarian aid to Gazans struggling to survive in appalling conditions.

“It is crucial that Hamas release the hostages back into Israel,” the groups wrote. “However, allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza is not a gesture of goodwill on Israel’s part but one of its obligations… This obligation applies even when the aid is needed for civilians of the other party, and binds countries whose location is vital for facilitating the passage of aid or even only easing it. Failure to fulfill this obligation constitutes a war crime.”

Israel has allowed some humanitarian aid to enter the strip in recent weeks, but nowhere near as much as the United Nations and other organizations on the ground say is needed to relieve mass hunger, stop the spread of infectious diseases, and reverse the total collapse of Gaza’s healthcare system.

The Israeli groups wrote in their letter to Biden that he has the “power to influence our government to change its policy and allow humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

“We are in the final throes of an emergency,” they added. “Many deaths can still be prevented. Israel must change its policy now.”

The letter comes after Biden acknowledged during a campaign event on Tuesday that Israel has engaged in “indiscriminate bombing” in Gaza and said the Israeli government is beginning to lose support because of it. Indiscriminate attacks are war crimes under international law.

But Biden’s remarks did not appear to signal any meaningful change in U.S. support for the Israeli government, which has included the transfer of thousands of bombs and other American-made weapons—some of which have been used by Israel’s military to commit atrocities in Gaza.

Citing unnamed officials, CNNreported Wednesday that the Biden administration “currently has no plans to place conditions on the military aid it is providing to Israel,” whose assault on Gaza has killed more than 18,000 people in just over two months and displaced nearly 85% of the territory’s population.

Members of Congress are currently working on a supplemental foreign aid package that includes more than $10 billion in no-strings-attached military assistance for Israel.

“U.S. officials told CNN that the U.S. has no plans to shift its position and draw any red lines around the transfer of weapons and munitions to Israel,” the outlet reported. “Rather than independently assess each Israeli strike that the U.S. deems concerning or disproportionate, the U.S. leans on Israel to justify strikes after the fact, a U.S. official said.”

Matt Duss, executive vice president of the Center for International Policy and a former foreign policy adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), wrote in response to the president’s remarks Tuesday that “Biden knows Israel is ruled by authoritarian racists because he’s told us.”

“He knows they’re indiscriminately bombing civilians because he’s told us,” Duss added. “But he won’t stop arming them to the teeth so he’s told us how much he really cares about human rights.”

This is not good for Biden to have Matt Duss to relay to the world that Biden doesn’t care about Palestinian rights.

Benny

wi65

Why should they unless a company has a profit sharing program.

Benny

SCOTUS Agrees to Hear Case That Could Limit Abortion Pill Access

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear consolidated cases about expanded access to the abortion medication mifepristone, setting the stage for a potentially devastating ruling in the midst of next year’s critical national elections.

The development has some reproductive rights advocates worried. This is the same conservative court that, in its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organizationruling last year, reversed a half-century of nationwide abortion rights affirmed by Roe v. Wade, paving the way for GOP bans in over a dozen states.

“Since the Court overturned Roe, it has been increasingly difficult for people to get an abortion if they need one, and the court’s decision in this case could make it even more difficult for people to access abortion and could force some people to remain pregnant against their will,” warned Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

“Let’s be clear: This case is the next step in the extremists’ plan to prevent anyone in the country from being able to get an abortion no matter where they live,” she added. “In addition to its devastating effect on people’s ability to get an abortion, a decision siding with anti-abortion groups would severely undermine drug innovation and threaten the development and approval of lifesaving medicines, jeopardizing patients’ access to other critical medications they rely on today.”

The Supreme Court on Wednesday accepted requests from the Biden administration and Danco Laboratories—which makes mifepristone as the brand name Mifiprex—to weigh in on a legal battle over 2016 policies that increased access to the medication. The justices also denied a request from the right-wing Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine to consider a challenge to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 2000 approval of the drug.

Legal writer Chris Geidner called the high court’s decisions about which cases to take “the best-case scenario for abortion rights supporters.”

Supporters of reproductive freedom stressed on Wednesday that mifepristone—often taken in tandem with misoprostol for medication abortions—is safe and effective.

“People have safely used mifepristone for early abortion care for more than 20 years—opposition to this essential medication is rooted in politics and taking away people’s freedom over their lives and futures,” noted All* Above All president Morgan Hopkins in response to the court’s announcement on Wednesday.

“As the Supreme Court considers this case, know this—the majority of Americans, including people of color and young people, support abortion access and do not want judges, politicians, or the courts interfering with our fundamental rights,” she continued. “Abortion justice can’t wait.”

The decision to hear the mifepristone case comes after the all-Republican Texas Supreme Court ruled Monday that Kate Cox could not get an abortion as an exception to a strict ban despite a lethal fetal diagnosis. While the 31-year-old mother of two had already decided to flee the state for abortion care, Mini Timmaraju, president and CEO of Reproductive Freedom for All, said that the ruling represents “the America the GOP wants.”

“MAGA Republicans—led by Donald Trump—are marching this country toward a full-on national abortion ban.”

The 2024 campaign of Democratic President Joe Biden made a similar argument on Wednesday, taking aim at former President Donald Trump, who appointed three current justices and is the Republican front-runner despite his legal trouble.

“MAGA Republicans—led by Donald Trump—are marching this country toward a full-on national abortion ban, and if the Supreme Court strips away access to safe and effective medication abortion next year, it will be the latest step towards achieving that goal,” said Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez-Rodriguez.

Chavez-Rodriguez pointed out that “in the year and a half since Trump’s Supreme Court overturned Roe, we’ve seen MAGA Republicans across the country rip away access to reproductive healthcare with devastating effects: women and girls forced to carry life-threatening pregnancies, doctors threatened with prosecution for doing their jobs, and bans enacted with no exceptions for rape or incest.”

“Look no further than the case we just saw play out in Texas for evidence of what Trump’s America looks like,” she added. “Restricting access to safe and effective medication abortion would expand this reality nationwide, even in states where abortion remains legal. Voters won’t stand for Republicans attacking their personal freedoms, and that’s exactly what’s at stake in this election.”

Sarah Lipton-Lubet, president of Take Back the Court—which advocates for adding more justices—said Wednesday that “I don’t call my OB-GYN for legal advice, and I don’t need a bunch of activist lawyers making my medical decisions for me.”

“Whatever the court decides in this case, we shouldn’t be in a situation where we are constantly waiting with bated breath to learn what rights we have today,” she argued. “We wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for the Supreme Court. And we won’t get out of it until we reform the court.”

wi65

I dont have much faith that the USSC will do the right thing. Paxson Tx has no soul or empathy for the people of his state.

jcitybone

Article by Pakalolo, one of DK’s foremost environmental posters about how Israel may make Gaza uninhabitable by flooding tunnels with sea water.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2023/12/13/2211437/-Hamas-tunnels-flooded-with-seawater-a-tactic-that-may-make-Gaza-uninhabitable?pm_campaign=front_page&pm_source=trending&pm_medium=web

Benny

Benny

Benny

Benny

It’s important to watch the video clip to gain a better understanding of why this happened. It’s Katy Tur, but she’s backed up by a legal expert.

Benny

jcitybone

jcitybone

jcitybone

Benny

My congress critter is on the 84 list. Looks like someone already needs to take her on for her re-election.

jcitybone

So is mine. He also voted to censure Tlaib. On the hood side he voted against the Zionism equals antisemitism resolution.

Paul ADK

That would be this district. Because it’s Little Siberia, with incarceration as a major industry, Stefanik is dug in like a tick.

I don’t even think she lives here. It doesn’t seem to matter. Trump says and they do. No questions asked, of course.

jcitybone

There is no doubt that widespread atrocities and war crimes were committed during the Hamas-led attacks on October 7 and that children were killed. Yet in many narratives, the burned or beheaded babies story still forms one of the most harrowing details of the October 7 massacres. According to major Israeli media outlets that have worked diligently to identify all of the victims of the October 7 attacks, there was one infant killed that day: a 9-month-old named Mila Cohen who was shot dead at Kibbutz Be’eri as her mother held her in her arms. Cohen’s mom, who was shot in the arm, survived.

None of these facts have altered Biden’s commitment to making the debunked beheading claim a key detail in his impassioned defense of the legitimacy of Israel’s mass killing campaign, during which more than 18,000 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 7,000 children. On December 12, at a reelection campaign event at the Salamander hotel in Washington, D.C., Biden said, “I saw some of the photographs when I was there — tying a mother and her daughter together on a rope and then pouring kerosene on them and then burning them, beheading infants, doing things that are just inhuman — totally, completely inhuman.”

Biden is the president of the most powerful nation on Earth, not a random poster on social media. He supposedly has access to the best intelligence in the world. If he actually has evidence to support this beheading claim — apparently evidence that his closest advisers have not seen — then he should produce it.

This allegation is one of the most gut-wrenching and horrifying charges to be made about the events of October 7. It is not some insignificant detail that can be explained away by Biden’s age or his tendency to exaggerate or stumble into gaffes. It was a detail that fueled the rage and quest for revenge, and was cited when Biden declared that Israel is fighting subhumans in Gaza. “They’re animals. They’re animals,” Biden said on December 12 when he repeated the beheading claims. “They exceeded anything that any other terrorist group has done of late that I — in memory.”

The verified facts, as we currently understand them, are horrifying enough. So why does Biden feel the need to bolster his defense of Israel’s indiscriminate war against Gaza by spreading debunked allegations? The latest estimations of the death toll on October 7 are as follows: Israel has officially identified approximately 1,200 Israelis or Israeli residents killed. Of these, 274 were soldiers, 764 were civilians, 57 were Israeli police, and 38 were local security guards. Among the civilians killed, in addition to 9-month-old Mila Cohen, 12 of them were between the ages of 1 and 9 years, and 36 were between the ages of 10 and 19. There are reportedly still bodies that have not been officially identified.

It also must be noted that multiple Israeli media outlets have reported on “friendly fire” incidents in which Israeli military forces responding to the attacks killed Israeli citizens, though there has been no definitive calculation of the number of such deaths and may never be one.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has done extensive work trying to confirm the actual events of October 7 and published an important story debunking some of the most shocking false claims made in the aftermath of the Hamas attacks. Biden should read it.

jcitybone

Benny

And Biden is befuddled as to why his “Bidenomics” isn’t being praised.

phatkhat
phatkhat

Is that a week? A month? I struggle to keep ours under $200 a week, and it’s just two of us. Admittedly, what I have to eat ain’t cheap, but still…

Bidenomics is great for the stock market, but most working schmucks don’t have any stock. We’re lucky to pay the bills.

Paul ADK

Gougeflaton is more about a lack of corporate cooperation, I think. They’d love to see us take a permanent turn to fascist predictability. And stripping out regulations and enforcement allows them to avoid accountability, while maximizing profits. That’s a bonus.