Thursday, July 22, 2021

Last Call For The Black Hole Of Justice Kegstand

So, turns out the FBI passed along more than four thousand tips on Justice Brett Kavanaugh before his confirmation hearing to the Trump White House, and the Trump White House dumped the entire file into the garbage can.

Nearly three years after Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh’s tumultuous confirmation to the Supreme Court, the F.B.I. has disclosed more details about its efforts to review the justice’s background, leading a group of Senate Democrats to question the thoroughness of the vetting and conclude that it was shaped largely by the Trump White House.

In a letter dated June 30 to two Democratic senators, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Chris Coons of Delaware, an F.B.I. assistant director, Jill C. Tyson, said that the most “relevant” of the 4,500 tips the agency received during an investigation into Mr. Kavanaugh’s past were referred to White House lawyers in the Trump administration, whose handling of them remains unclear.

The letter left uncertain whether the F.B.I. itself followed up on the most compelling leads. The agency was conducting a background check rather than a criminal investigation, meaning that “the authorities, policies, and procedures used to investigate criminal matters did not apply,” the letter said.

Ms. Tyson’s letter was a response to a 2019 letter from Mr. Whitehouse and Mr. Coons to the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, posing questions about how the F.B.I.’s review of Mr. Kavanaugh was handled.

In an interview, Mr. Whitehouse said the F.B.I.’s response showed that the F.B.I.’s handling of the accusations into misconduct by Mr. Kavanaugh was a sham. Ms. Tyson’s letter, Mr. Whitehouse said, suggested that the F.B.I. ran a “fake tip line that never got properly reviewed, that was presumably not even conducted in good faith.”

Mr. Whitehouse and six of his Democratic colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee replied to the F.B.I.’s letter on Wednesday with demands for additional details on the agreement with the White House that governed the inquiry. They also pressed for more information on how incoming tips were handled.

“Your letter confirms that the F.B.I.’s tip line was a departure from past practice and that the F.B.I. was politically constrained by the Trump White House,” the senators wrote. Among those signing the letter were Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the committee’s chairman, Mr. Coons and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Donald F. McGahn, the White House’s general counsel at the time, and the F.B.I. did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
I could see this becoming the impetus for the removal of FBI Director Chris Wray down the road, but frankly that's going to be a wildly political move, something that not even Trump dared to do. It's certainly not going to get Kavanaugh to resign, so other than this being a rather stark reminder of Democrats' utter failure in the last ten years on Supreme Court issues, I don't see what the point of this is at all.

Move on.

Biden Fights The Viral, Con't

Here in Cincinnati last night, President Biden held a town hall meeting televised on CNN to talk to the American people, and the big topic was the resurgence of COVID-19's delta variant over the last several weeks that have tripled the number of new infections since the beginning of the month.

President Biden pleaded urgently Wednesday with anyone eligible for a vaccine shot to get one, asserting in an unusually direct way that the pandemic is now essentially a problem only for those who are still refusing to get immunized.

Biden spoke at a pivotal moment in the pandemic, as new cases and deaths are far down from their peak. But the emergence of the coronavirus’s delta variant, along with the refusal of large parts of the population to get vaccinated, has prompted a resurgence in some states and fears of a major spike in the fall.

Speaking to voters in Ohio at a town hall-style event broadcast by CNN, Biden was challenged on issues including the economy and gun laws. But the resurgent pandemic took up most of the discussion, and Biden — while careful not to assign blame — was blunt in making a distinction between those who are now at risk of hospitalization or death and those who are much less so.

“It’s real simple: We have a pandemic for those who haven’t gotten a vaccination,” he said.

He also challenged Americans to reject conspiracy theories and face the reality of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, whatever their politics. A pro-Trump mob overran the U.S. Capitol that day in an attempt to prevent Congress from confirming Biden’s election victory.

“I don’t care if you think I’m Satan reincarnated. The fact is, you can’t look at that television and say nothing happened on the 6th. You can’t listen to people who say this was a peaceful march,” the president said.

The question-and-answer session at Mount St. Joseph University included questions from people who said they had supported the Democrat in his presidential run last year and some who said they had not.

Biden said he expected the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend that children under 12 returning to school next fall wear masks. He said the Food and Drug Administration probably fully would approve a vaccine around the beginning of the school year, rather than the current emergency authorization.
We're in for a bad fall, folks. And, if we're not careful, a bad tumble, as well.

School Of Hard Right Knocks, Con't

A Missouri legislative committee on Monday held a hearing on how educators teach K-12 students about race and racism without hearing from any Black Missourians.

No Black parents, teachers or scholars testified to the Joint Committee on Education during the invite-only hearing on critical race theory.

Aside from an official from Missouri’s education department, the only people who testified Monday were critics of critical race theory, which is a way of thinking about America’s history through the lens of racism.

Missouri NAACP President Rod Chapel called it “ridiculous” to have a conversation about inequity while “excluding the very people who are saying we’ve been treated inequitably.”

“That talks more to the kind of hearing that they wanted to have than the information that they wanted to gather,” Chapel told reporters after the hearing. “They wanted to hear from their friends who were going to support their political talking points.”

Republican Sen. Cindy O’Laughlin, who leads the committee, said she wanted to use the hearing to highlight voices of parents upset about critical race theory who have said local school officials ignored their complaints.

“I felt today it was important to hear from people who have tried to go through the official cycle of authority within their districts and have basically been turned away,” she told committee members.

O’Laughlin said she also invited an associate professor of teaching who specializes in Black history, but he declined to testify.

She said there will be more committee hearings on critical race theory and more opportunities for the public to weigh in.

“I’m certain this won’t be the last conversation,” she said.
They don't want a debate. They want cover to erase Black history from America, and they're winning

In May, the North Carolina House voted along partisan lines to move to the Senate the “Ensuring Dignity & Nondiscrimination/Schools” bill prohibiting public schools from promoting concepts such as that an individual should feel “discomfort, guilt, anguish” or bear responsibility for actions from the past based on their race or sex; and opposing the characterization that the belief that the United States is a meritocracy is “inherently racist or sexist.” In support of the legislation, the Republican State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt vouched to eradicate CRT from classrooms, saying, “There is no room for divisive rhetoric that condones preferential treatment of any one group over another.” Democratic Rep. James Gailliard of Nash County called it a “don’t-hurt-my-feelings bill” that reproduces “discrimination, fanaticism, bigotry.”

Former President Donald Trump, conservative activists, media, and political figures have turned CRT, which has largely been applied to academic research fields and isn’t actively taught in K-12 schools, into a wedge issue, feeding into parents’ concerns that their children are being indoctrinated with dangerous, radical leftist ideologies. But for the most part, the decades-old academic framework is wrongfully being weaponized as a catchall term to conflate and delegitimize conversations about race, diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools.

“Just teaching about history isn’t CRT,
” Sherick Hughes, a critical race scholar and expert in Black education at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Education, says. The backlash, he adds, is prompted by the idea of doing any critical analysis of not just the present but the past. 

In the end, it's about making sure white kids -- and white parents -- never have to think about the bad parts of US race history, only now there's an entire political party dedicated to disappearing that history forever.
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