“If this … is the final decision and this reporting is accurate, it would be completely inconsistent with what Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh said in their hearings and in our meetings in my office,” said the statement the senator released after the story broke. “Obviously, we won’t know each Justice’s decision and reasoning until the Supreme Court officially announces its opinion in this case.”. . .
She explained that the judge — in their two-hour face-to-face session followed by a one-hour telephone conversation — had assured her of his belief “that precedent provides stability, predictability, reliance and fairness.” The Supreme Court would overturn a precedent only in “rare and extraordinary times” — including, and here she borrowed Kavanaugh’s language, when a decision is “grievously wrong.”
Admittedly, Kavanaugh said plenty in his public hearings about the limits of precedent, and plenty more in his past that set off alarms for pro-choice activists. For Collins, these bells never tolled. The nominee’s “views on honoring precedent,” she proclaimed, “would preclude attempts to do by stealth that which one has committed not to do overtly.”
The year after Kavanaugh ascended to the high court, he dissented in a case setting aside a law that required abortion providers in Louisiana to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital. This was ominous. The chief justice gave the liberals his vote — and a majority — because the law in question was almost identical to another struck down in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
Roberts had objected to that outcome, but precedent was precedent. Not so for Kavanaugh. How did Collins respond? “He said under oath many times, as well as to me personally many times, that he considers Roe to be ‘precedent upon precedent,’ because it had been reaffirmed in the Casey v. Planned Parenthood case.” She added, “To say that this case … tells you that he’s going to repeal Roe v. Wade, I think, is absurd.”
She believed him, because trusting in each other is how government always used to get things done. Susan Collins might soon have a different worry: After this, who’s going to trust her?
And if money, rather than love, is All You Need (as spake, or crooned, the legendary Beatles), Democrats & their worried (“terrified” is more accurate) and beleaguered progressives ought to be breathing easier today, despite the fate of Roe.
The morning papers bring news that, busting through the encircling hordes of vote suppressors, election stealers and insurrectionists, the cavalry is coming. They’ve been sent by a pentagon of the biggest Dem billionaire campaign donors, and bear saddlebags stuffed with cash (and bitcoin?) to help the Dems fend off the MAGA assault:
LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, one of the nation’s top political donors, gathered more than a dozen billionaires or their representatives over Zoom Friday to sound an alarm about the coming elections.
“MAGA leaders intend to use 2022 midterm wins to install Trump in 2024 regardless of the vote,” read a slide of the PowerPoint Hoffman presented to the group, which was obtained by The Washington Post.
He was pitching some of the nation’s wealthiest people on a doomsday idea that has become a growing obsession among the liberal donor community. Another slide, titled “How MAGA midterms can install Trump,” laid out a step-by-step hypothetical scenario: Republicans win statewide offices in key battleground states in 2022 and then change state laws in 2023 to give legislatures control over presidential electors. After the next presidential election, they declare votes from urban centers “tainted” and overrule the popular vote by sending their own slate of electors to Washington.
The goal [here] . . . was to raise tens of millions of dollars for groups that the PowerPoint described as being able to increase Democratic turnout, persuade swing voters to vote Democratic and “dissuade” Republican voters from going to the polls.
You get the idea. The plot to use 2022 as the stepping stone to a Trump or successor MAGA coronation will be familiar to most of us who can read, listen, or remember their nightmares. I for one am not a doubter. The MAGA-orange drive is as real as Covid; and stopping it, if that can be done, will cost beaucoup bucks.
AP News: Drag queen blasts GOP candidate for Arizona governor
BY JONATHAN J. COOPER — June 20, 2022
PHOENIX (AP) — Kari Lake, the frontrunner in the Republican primary for Arizona governor, condemned the growing cultural clout of drag queens, jumping into the latest social grievance taking hold on the right.
But her comments were quickly criticized over the weekend by one of the most popular drag performers in Phoenix, who says Lake is a hypocrite who frequented his performances.
Richard Stevens, who performs as Barbra Seville, said Lake, a former television news anchor, regularly attended drag shows and even hired him to dress as Marilyn Monroe at a private party and brought her young daughter. He posted photos on his social media accounts of Lake posing with drag queens and screenshots of his conversations with her.
The dispute between the gubernatorial frontrunner and the prominent drag queen drew national attention and put Lake on the defensive two weeks before early voting begins ahead of Arizona’s Aug. 2 primary. It also fuels a persistent criticism of Lake’s conversion from Barack Obama donor to Donald Trump conservative.
“They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens,” Lake tweeted on Friday night. “They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow. They seek to disarm Americans and militarize our Enemies. Let’s bring back the basics: God, Guns & Glory.”
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Stevens responded on social media the next morning: “I’ve performed for her. I’ve performed for her family. I’ve met her kids. I’ve been in her home, and I have her private phone number and her private Facebook account.”
He told The Associated Press on Monday that he stayed in touch with Lake and privately defended her even as she ran a far–right campaign that he disagreed with. But when she came after drag queens, he said, “this hypocrisy really bothered me.”
“I was just personally offended by that tweet,” Stevens said.
Stevens said he first met Lake in the late 1990s, when he performed regularly at a gay bar near the KSAZ studios, where Lake was an evening anchor. He said Lake and her coworkers would sometimes stop by the bar’s weekly drag show after the broadcast, and he recognized her from watching the news. They eventually struck up a friendship, he said. She would ask him for sources to discuss issues affecting the LGBTQ community, and he occasionally appeared on Fox 10 broadcasts.
Lake once hired him to perform as Marilyn Monroe at a coworker’s baby shower about a decade ago, and there he met her daughter, whom he remembers being around 9 or 10 years old.
As Stevens’ post quickly gained traction on social media Saturday, Lake’s campaign initially responded by drawing a distinction between a drag performer and a man impersonating a female celebrity.
The campaign published a statement Sunday condemning the media for covering the controversy and threatening to sue Stevens for defamation.
“Like most sane people, Kari Lake is very much opposed to grown men or women dancing provocatively for children, especially at the expense of the taxpayer,” the statement said. “Why would anyone be opposed to this?”
The statement called Stevens a “talented comedian and performer that Kari Lake covered during her TV career” and pointed to his support for Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.
A spokesman for Lake, Russ Trumble, declined to comment further Monday, saying “it’s a legal matter now.”
Lake jumped quickly into the frontrunner’s position after launching a campaign that energized the GOP base and earned Trump’s endorsement. She has aggressively promoted false claims that the 2020 election was marred by fraud. But she faces a challenge from businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson, who’s family fortune has allowed her to vastly outspend Lake on television ads, and from former U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon.
Drag shows feature men dressing in flamboyant women’s clothing while dancing and singing or lip–syncing. Once a relatively obscure subculture, they’ve have exploded into the mainstream with the popularity of the television hit “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Some performances, particularly light–night events at bars, can be risque. Others are promoted as family friendly affairs, such as drag queen story hour.
Lake’s drag queen tweet latched onto an issue that caught fire this month with conservatives around the country who say drag shows are sexualizing children.
Lawmakers in several states have introduced legislation attempting to ban children from drag shows, and GOP leaders of the Arizona Senate say they have plans for a similar bill.
“The fact is, drag has existed forever,” Stevens said. “I’ve been doing drag longer than Kari has been a Republican. But if you want to outlaw drag in front of kids, you better free up your calendar because it’s ingrained in our culture. The first drag queen I saw was Bugs Bunny.”
As abortion ruling nears, U.S. Supreme Court erects barricades to the public
By Lawrence Hurley – June 17, 2022
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Encircled by an ominous security fence and off-limits to the public since March 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised in the coming weeks to issue a major ruling that could dramatically curtail abortion rights from behind closed doors with not a single justice in sight.
No members of the public have been allowed in the courthouse since COVID-19 pandemic precautions were implemented in March 2020. The scene at the court has become more tense following protests and threats against some of the nine justices prompted by the May leak of a draft opinion indicating they are set to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The court has a 6-3 conservative majority.
The 8-foot (2.4 meters) tall fencing was erected in the days after the leak as the court ramped up security measures.
While the rest of official Washington, including other government buildings including the White House and Capitol, has reopened its doors to the public at least partially as the pandemic ebbs, the top U.S. judicial body remains in a form of lockdown with what appears to be siege mentality even as it wields huge influence over public policy.
For Guido Reichstadter, an abortion-rights protester camped out in front of the courthouse since the beginning of June, the fencing is a sign of how out of touch the justices – or at least the six conservative ones – are with public sentiment.
“They are trying to insulate themselves from the effects of their actions. Why else would you put a fence up?” Reichstadter asked.
Reichstadter was arrested on June 6 for locking himself to the fence by the neck and spent a night in jail.
“To me it sends a message that they are weak, they are afraid, they are isolated,” Reichstadter said of the fence.
#1- The owners of Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the rifle apparently used in the massacre of 21 people at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., are deep-pocketed Republican donors, giving to candidates and committees at the federal and state level aligned against limits on access to assault rifles and other semiautomatic weapons. . . . The spending by Marvin C. Daniel and his wife, Cindy D. Daniel, illustrates the financial clout of the gun industry, even as political spending by the flagship National Rifle Association has declined in recent years. . . .
The beneficiaries of the couple’s political contributions include at least one candidate who emerged victorious in Tuesday’s primary contests, Herschel Walker. The former football star is running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia with former president Donald Trump’s endorsement. Asked Tuesday night whether he would support new gun legislation, Walker said, “What I like to do is see it and everything and stuff.”
About Us: “Having worked in the firearms industry for over twenty years, I’ve learned that a lot of “anti-gunners” are largely misinformed. Most have never shot a gun nor see any reason why a typical citizen would ever want or need to. Most know very little about the history of the Second Amendment and wonder why it’s still part of our Constitution.
This is especially true among today’s youth. Unlike earlier times, most haven’t been exposed to the idea that guns can be a useful and enjoyable tool. Many have never held a real firearm, gone hunting, or tried to hit a target at a gun range. Perhaps the closest they’ve come to shooting a gun is virtually through an online video game.
What this also means is that they’ve never felt the surge of adrenaline that comes with that first real trigger pull. They’ve never smelled the gun powder. They’ve never experienced the power and confidence that come with understanding and practicing proper firearms safety. Not only are they missing out on enjoying the excitement of shooting sports, but by definition, they’re opting to let others be responsible for their personal safety.
At the Double D Foundation, we believe that shooting sports participation can have an extremely positive impact on young people and that the right to defend one’s self is a basic human right. That’s why the mission of the Double D Foundation is to protect the Second Amendment by growing the number of Americans involved in shooting sports, who understand the fundamentals of firearms safety, and who share in the core belief that the Second Amendment Defends the Rest.”
We are deeply saddened by the tragic events in Texas this week. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and community devastated by this evil act.
As reported in Governor Abbott’s press conference, it is our understanding that the firearm used in the attack was manufactured by Daniel Defense. We will cooperate with all federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities in their investigations.
We will keep the families of the victims and the entire Uvalde community in our thoughts and our prayers.