Monday, July 31, 2023

Last Call For Ukraine On The Membrane, Con't

Once again, Russia is threatening global nuclear holocaust if Ukraine is successful in retaking the Donbas region from Russia's already illegal invasion.
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia would “have to” use nuclear weapons if Ukrainian forces threaten Russian territory in their ongoing counteroffensive, in a message on his social media accounts Monday.

Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council and a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons during the war.

“Imagine if the offensive, which is backed by NATO, was a success and they tore off a part of our land, then we would be forced to use a nuclear weapon according to the rules of a decree from the president of Russia,” he said Monday.

“There would simply be no other option. So our enemies should pray for our [warriors’ success]. They are making sure that a global nuclear fire is not ignited,” he added.

Medvedev was apparently referring to Russia’s nuclear weapon use policy, signed by Putin in 2020, that says Moscow may deploy nuclear weapons Russia’s nuclear weapons “when the very existence of the state is put under threat.”

Russia has illegally annexed entire regions of eastern Ukraine amid the war, claiming they are now part of Russia’s homeland. Ukraine has also recently ramped up attacks on Crimea, which Russia has occupied since 2014, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Kyiv would increase attacks within Russia.

Medvedev was vague about what land would risk a nuclear response if lost. He has frequently telegraphed his threats of nuclear warfare, often bolstering actions or declarations from Putin, including when the current Russian president last fall said nuclear weapons were “not a bluff.”

Putin has doubled down on his nuclear blackmail in recent months, transferring tactical nuclear weapons to Belarus. The weapons have a smaller yield upon detonation than larger weapons of mass destruction, but they still have devastating capabilities.

Putin has in part justified the transfer of the tactical weapons because the U.S. holds low-yield nuclear bombs in European allied nations.

This is not the response of a rational nation-state, and it goes well beyond saber-rattling. This is going into the armory, collecting all the one- and two-handed swords, dropping them on a metal floor at the same time and recording the noise for future broadcasting in the same way that requests to Twitter's PR department are returned with the poop emoji.

It's a bluff, but one that should be accompanied with consequences by the global community.

Ridin' With Biden, Con't

Yet another WaPo piece on Black voter turnout, but at least this time we have the Biden administration and the DNC admitting that efforts at getting Black men to vote in 2024 will pay off more than appealing to white voters.
Democrats are worried about a potential drop next year in turnout among Black voters, the party’s most loyal constituency, who played a consequential role in delivering the White House to President Biden in 2020 and will be crucial in his bid for reelection.

Their concern stems from a 10 percentage-point decline in Black voter turnout in last year’s midterms compared with 2018, a bigger drop than among any other racial or ethnic group, according to a Washington Post analysis of the Census Bureau’s turnout survey. Such warning signals were initially papered over by other Democratic successes in 2022: The party picked up a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania, Sen. Raphael G. Warnock won reelection in Georgia and anticipated losses in the House were minimal.

But in key states like Georgia, the center of Democrats’ plans to mobilize Black voters in large margins for Biden in 2024, turnout in last year’s midterms was much lower among younger and male Black voters, according to internal party analysis.

The drop in Black turnout has become a focus for Democratic leaders as the party reorients to next year’s presidential contest. Biden’s election in 2020 hinged on narrow victories in states like Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that former president Donald Trump had won in 2016. Democratic activists are cautioning that the party can’t afford to let support from Black voters slip.

W. Mondale Robinson, founder of the Black Male Voter Project, shared a dire assessment of Democrats’ potential turnout problems with Black men. In many of the battleground states, he said many Black men are “sporadic or non-voters,” meaning they are registered, but have voted in one or none of the past three presidential elections. Robinson said Democrats spend too much time focused on converting “conservative-leaning White women” in the suburbs who they see as swing voters. Instead, he said, they should focus more on turning out Black men, viewing them as swing voters who are debating whether to vote or stay home.

“The Democratic Party has been failing epically at reaching this demographic of Black men — and that’s sad to say,” Robinson said. “Black men are your second-most stable base overwhelmingly, and yet you can’t reach them in a way that makes your work easier.”

Biden’s political team says it has received the message and is taking action, especially among younger Black men.

“We have to meet them where they are and we have to show them why the political process matters and what we have accomplished that benefits them,” said Cedric L. Richmond, a former Biden adviser who is now a senior adviser at the Democratic National Committee. He said there will be a clear focus on making Black voters aware of how they have benefited from Biden administration policies, learning from the errors of past Democratic efforts that fell short.

“We will not make the mistake that others made of not drawing all the connections,” he said.
Good, because without massive Black turnout, Trump will be in the Oval Office again. We'll need major turnout across the board of course, but we have to have the basics down. Enough white, Asian, and Hispanic voters showed up in 2022 to soften the blow, but I said then that focusing on white, suburban issues would hurt Black turnout and it did. We got lucky that Trump and the GOP did such a bad job, and we still lost the House anyway.

Black voter advocates say the challenge is particularly acute among Black men, many of whom say they feel alienated from the political process and were hurt by policies pushed by both parties that led to increased incarceration and a decline in manufacturing jobs decades ago. Many say their lives haven’t improved regardless of which party was in power, and are dispirited after the country elected Trump, life was upended by a global pandemic and violence worsened in urban areas.

Many Democrats interviewed said they were less worried about Black women, whose voting enthusiasm has historically been more robust than that of Black men. Black women were a huge factor in Biden’s victory in 2020. Advocates expect that trend to continue, particularly with Vice President Harris on the ticket and the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who both made history as the first Black women in their roles.

Terrance Woodbury, chief executive of HIT Strategies, a polling firm focused on young, non-White voters, has been shopping around a PowerPoint presentation to liberal groups warning of the need to act soon to convince Black voters that they have benefited from Biden’s time in office.

Part of the problem, he argues, is that the party’s focus on Trump and Republican extremism is less likely to motivate younger Black men than arguments focused on policy benefits. The messaging, he has argued, must focus on how Black communities have benefited from specific policies.

His own polling has shown that voters’ belief that their vote doesn’t matter is the greatest barrier to voting among Black Americans
This time around Biden and the Democrats do have a long list of accomplishments. How good at making people see how it will affect their lives for the better through is up to Biden, his party, and his campaign. You'd think "Bet the alternative is Trump" would be enough. It is for me.
It's not for other Black men. Recognizing this problem 15 months before the election however is a start.

Orange Meltdown, Con't

Fulton County, Georgia DA Fani Willis says that her two year plus investigation into Donald Trump's 2020 election fraud has been completed, and that a charging decision will be made by September 1.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis reaffirmed in a local news interview that she will announce charging decisions by September 1 in her investigation into efforts by Donald Trump and his allies to overturn Georgia’s 2020 presidential election result, while applauding the ramped-up security measures around the local courthouse.

“The work is accomplished,” Willis told CNN affiliate WXIA at a back-to-school event over the weekend. “We’ve been working for two and half years. We’re ready to go.”

Willis has previously signaled in letters to local officials and those providing security that she would make any charging announcements between July 31 and the end of August. She laid out a variety of security provisions her team plans to take beginning Monday.

Willis’ latest commitment to that time frame comes after a judge scheduled an August 10 hearing on the Trump team’s efforts to disqualify Willis, a Democrat, from the case, toss much of the evidence she has collected and remove another judge in Fulton County from presiding over the case.

In the local news interview, Willis also praised the Fulton County sheriff after barricades recently went up around the county courthouse in anticipation of what the sheriff’s office referred to as “high profile legal proceedings.”

“I think that the sheriff is doing something smart in making sure that the courthouse stays safe,” Willis said. “I’m not willing to put any of the employees or the constituents that come to the courthouse in harm’s way
Indeed, Willis is certainly acting like she has the cards to play with a broad suite of charges against multiple investigation targets, including Trump himself. 

Meanwhile, Trump is lawyering up and getting donors to pay for his rapidly mounting legal bills, to the tune of tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars.

Former President Donald J. Trump’s team is creating a legal-defense fund to handle some of the crush of legal bills stemming from the investigations and criminal indictments involving him and a number of employees and associates, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The fund, which is expected to be called the Patriot Legal Defense Fund Inc., will be led by Michael Glassner, a longtime Trump political adviser, according to the people familiar with the planning, who were not authorized to discuss it publicly. Another Trump aide who worked at the Trump Organization and then in Mr. Trump’s administration, Lynne Patton, will also be involved, the people said.

It is unclear how broad a group of people the legal-defense fund will cover, but one person said it was not expected to cover Mr. Trump’s own legal bills. In recent months Mr. Trump’s political action committee has paid legal bills for him and several witnesses, spending over $40 million on lawyers in the first half of 2023.

But a wide swath of people have become entangled in the various Trump-related criminal investigations, both as witnesses — of which there are many who work for Mr. Trump personally or did in the White House — as well as defendants.

A spokesman for Mr. Trump, Steven Cheung, said that the Justice Department had “targeted innocent Americans associated with President Trump,” and that “to combat these heinous actions” and “protect these innocent people from financial ruin and prevent their lives from being completely destroyed, a new legal defense fund will help pay for their legal fees to ensure they have representation against unlawful harassment.”

Mr. Trump’s PAC, Save America, has been a focus of one of the investigations by the special counsel Jack Smith, who has had at least two grand juries looking at Mr. Trump and his allies and advisers. Mr. Smith’s team has questioned why some lawyers for specific witnesses are being paid, as well as whether aides to Mr. Trump and Republicans knew Mr. Trump had lost the election but continued to raise money off his debunked claims.

The creation of the legal-defense fund could ease some of the financial pressure on Save America, which was severe enough that it requested a refund of the $60 million it had transferred to a pro-Trump super PAC late last year.
Remember, the goal of Trump's legal team is to delay all the legal proceedings against him until he can run out the clock and win the election. At this point, he has to win, or he's spending the rest of his life in prison, so yes, the Laird of Mar-a-Lago is larding the larder with all the money he can get his orange mitts on in order to buy time.
How well that plan works, nobody knows, but time gives him options, even the more drastic ones.
We'll see.

Related Posts with Thumbnails