Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Last Call For Israeli A Problem, Con't

As Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's legal prospects grow dimmer by the day in his corruption trial, he's walked away from the day-to-day management of Israel is order to save his own skin, and the neglect and dereliction means the worst possible instincts are being used to try to control the latest situation in Gaza with brutal force that threatens to create a much bigger problem for the entire Middle East.
Airstrikes left neighborhoods in Gaza trembling, killing at least two dozen people, and rockets rained on cities in Israel, including Tel Aviv, as some of the worst fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in years showed no signs of abating on Tuesday.

The immediate trigger was a police raid on an Islamic holy site in Jerusalem the day before, but by Tuesday the conflict had grown far broader, with civilians on both sides of the border paying a heavy cost.

In Gaza, at least 26 Palestinians, including nine children, were killed in at least 130 Israeli strikes on Monday and Tuesday, and 122 others were wounded, according to health officials.

In Israel, two people were killed in strikes on the seaside city of Ashkelon on Tuesday, and at least 56 Israelis have received hospital treatment, according to medical officials. As multiple salvos of rockets streaked out of Gaza in rapid succession, one hit a school in the city, just 13 miles up the coast from Gaza. And a giant fire raged on the outskirts of Ashkelon where an oil facility was hit.

The school was empty at the time because the Israeli authorities had ordered all schools within a 25-mile radius of Gaza closed in anticipation of rockets.

Several more slammed into the port city of Ashdod, a little farther up the coast, where at least one hit a house. The emergency services reported several people wounded slightly.

Shortly after 9 p.m., militants fired another barrage toward Tel Aviv, Israel’s second-largest city, with one rocket hitting an empty bus south of the city, wounding at least three people, including a 5-year-old girl. One person was killed by the barrage, the authorities said, and 11 people were injured, according to early media reports.

Palestinian militants said the barrage was revenge for an airstrike that toppled a tower that houses the offices of several Hamas officials.

In a late-night address to Israelis, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Hamas and Islamic Jihad have paid, and will pay, a very heavy price for their aggression.” But he warned, that “this campaign will take time.”

The Israeli military, prepared for the latest eruption of cross-border fighting with militant groups in Gaza, designated a code name for its operation just hours after the deadly violence began: Guardians of the Walls, a reference to the ancient ramparts of the Old City of Jerusalem. The militant groups had their own code name for their campaign: Sword of Jerusalem.

By early Tuesday morning, barely 12 hours after Hamas, the Islamist militant group that holds sway in Gaza, had launched a surprise volley of rockets toward Jerusalem, Israel had carried out at least 130 retaliatory airstrikes in the Palestinian coastal territory, according to an Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. Militant groups had fired nearly 500 rockets into Israel by the afternoon, according to military officials.

Things are rapidly spiraling out of control in Gaza, and while I don't think Netanyahu wants a third Intifada, he's going to take advantage of it if it comes to stay in power with a breathtakingly horrid crackdown where thousands may die. 

Like Trump, Netanyahu has set the stage for being rid of these troublesome Palestinians, and it looks like Israel's hardliners in the military are going to push this as far as they can.

I'm hoping President Biden can step in and calm things down, but I'm not holding out hope.

The Big Lie, Con't

Conspiracy theorists in Arizona, seeing the recount nonsense crumbling to dust before their eyes, are now petitioning the state's Supreme Court to throw out all 2020 election results and to remove the entirely of the state's elected officials immediately, where they would be replaced by a list of "ordinary Arizona citizens" that just happens to consist of the plaintiffs.

A group of Arizona citizens, including one Republican Congressional candidate, is asking the state’s Supreme Court to invalidate all election results since 2018 and remove all elected officials from their offices immediately.

And who should replace the ousted election officials? Well, the citizens who filed the lawsuit, of course.

The legal petition claims all officials elected in Arizona since 2018 are “inadvertent usurpers” because the elections they won were conducted by vote-counting equipment that was not properly certified.

The plaintiffs claim the evidence to back up this staggering claim will be provided in the lawsuit’s appendix, which unfortunately they had not submitted at the time of writing.

The plaintiffs claim that the court has the authority to void the terms of the named officials—which include Gov. Doug Ducey and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs—and install themselves as appropriate replacements.

“When in the past citizens have been appointed by the Governor to finish out a Senate term due to unusual circumstances, the Governor has typically chosen pedigreed, well-known politicians, but this is not necessary. Any Arizona resident meeting the minimum qualifications is entitled to and has the right be appointed to a seat in unusual situations,” the lawsuit claims.

The legal filing is the latest harebrained effort by pro-Trump and QAnon supporters in Arizona to get the results of November’s election overturned. There is currently an audit of 2.1 million votes being conducted in Maricopa County. The GOP-sanctioned recount is being conducted by a Florida-based company called Cyber Ninjas, which has no experience conducting audits.

So far the group has used UV lights to look for watermarks that conspiracy theorists claim were placed on certain ballots by former President Donald Trump to prove election fraud. And last week they began examining the ballots for bamboo fibers, based on a false claim that 40,000 ballots were flown in from Asia to tip the election in President Joe Biden’s favor.

The new lawsuit was filed with the Arizona Supreme Court on Friday, and the plaintiffs in the case sought to have their names redacted. “Petitioners have chosen to redact their names and personal information and utilize initials due a reasonable concern for their safety,” the plaintiffs write in the lawsuit.

But the group does give some indication of who they are by calling themselves “We the People,” a widely used phrase in the QAnon community.

One of the people involved in the “We the People” group is Daniel Wood, a former Marine who was a Republican candidate for Congress in last November’s elections.

Wood, who was beaten by Democratic rival Rep. Raul Grijalva, is mentioned at the bottom of a press release about the lawsuit which was published by the right-wing website the Gateway Pundit.

Also listed on the press release is Josh Barnett, a businessman who says he is a Republican candidate for Congress in 2022.

“As average citizens of Arizona, from all walks of life, we have discovered that our past elections in 2018 thru 2020 are out of compliance per the U.S. Election Assistance Commission,” Wood and Barnett claim in the press release.

Wood and Barnett did not respond to a request for comment from VICE News.
This is absolute poppycock and the people behind this idiocy should be tossed into the clink for a few months, but it's going to be The Next Proof Thing™ of a massive conspiracy to not elect tinfoil crazies to run the state. They are literally asking a judge to hand the entire state over to some random assholes.
And eventually, these fools will turn to more violence. It's inevitable.

Ridin' With Biden, Con't

Joe Biden's latest Associated Press poll shows him in pretty good shape at 63% favorability, with seven out of ten Americans approving of his pandemic response.

President Joe Biden is plunging into the next phase of his administration with the steady approval of a majority of Americans, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows Biden is buoyed in particular by the public’s broad backing for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the fourth month of his presidency, Biden’s overall approval rating sits at 63%. When it comes to the new Democratic president’s handling of the pandemic, 71% of Americans approve, including 47% of Republicans.

The AP-NORC poll also shows an uptick in Americans’ overall optimism about the state of the country. Fifty-four percent say the country is on the right track, higher than at any point in AP-NORC polls conducted since 2017; 44% think the nation is on the wrong track.

Those positive marks have fueled the Biden White House’s confidence coming out of the president’s first 100 days in office, a stretch in which he secured passage of a sweeping $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package and surged COVID-19 vaccines across the country. The U.S., which has suffered the most virus deaths of any nation, is now viewed enviably by much of the rest of the world for its speedy vaccination program and robust supplies of the shots.

“We are turning a corner,” said Jeff Zients, the White House’s COVID-19 response coordinator.

The improvements have also impacted Americans’ concerns about the virus. The AP-NORC poll shows the public’s worries about the pandemic are at their lowest level since February 2020, when the virus was first reaching the U.S. About half of Americans say they are at least somewhat worried that they or a relative could be infected with the virus, down from about 7 in 10 just a month earlier.

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, there is a wide partisan gap in Americans’ views of pandemic risks. Among Democrats, 69% say they remain at least somewhat worried about being infected with the virus, compared with just 33% of Republicans.

Despite the overall positive assessments of Americans, Biden’s advisers are well aware that the next phase of his presidency is potentially trickier. Vaccination rates have slowed, and the administration is grappling with how to persuade those who are reluctant to get the shots about their safety and efficacy.

Biden’s legislative agenda for the rest of this year also faces obstacles on Capitol Hill. Republicans are resisting his calls for passing a sweeping infrastructure package, and there’s insufficient support among Democrats for overhauling Senate rules in a way that would allow the party to tackle changes to immigration policy, gun laws and voting rights on its own.
The first 100 days of the Biden administration was the easy part. Putting out Trump's forest fires took months, but there were clear goals and people broadly supported them.
It gets much, much harder from here for Biden, and for us as a nation.


Related Posts with Thumbnails