Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Last Call For Israeli Getting Serious Out There, Con't

Looks like Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu will not only stay in power, but now he will lead a war cabinet emergency government that will almost certainly suspend civil liberties while bombing Gaza to rubble and glass.
An emergency government was formed on Wednesday afternoon after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and National Unity leader Benny Gantz met in the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv earlier in the morning.

The meeting lasted half an hour after which lawyers representing the Likud and National Unity stayed behind to finalize the details.

As part of the deal, Gantz and fellow party members Gadi Eisenkot, Gideon Sa'ar, and two others will be sworn in as ministers for the duration of the war.

Gantz will join a war cabinet with Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, and Eisenkot and Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer will be observers. A spot will be kept open for opposition leader Yair Lapid should he join the emergency government.

The agreement also states that throughout the war, no legislation that is unrelated to the war will be done in Knesset.
Anyone older enough to remember the PATRIOT Act will recognize the sheer size of this loophole, which Israel will drive multiple tank brigades though.

There has been a widespread call for an emergency government in Israel since Netanyahu declared war on Hamas on Saturday following their massive attack on Israel that morning.

Gantz was immediately joined by opposition leader Yair Lapid and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman in saying that they would be willing to join an emergency government. Coalition members also expressed support for the move.

Netanyahu and Gantz have held multiple meetings over the past few days to discuss the details of the emergency government, but it took five days to come together.
So all the gang is here: Bibi, Gantz, and Liberman, and everyone's going to get their piece of the pie, along with several thousand dead Gaza residents.

Already Gaza has been cut off without power, water, and food, with no escape until further notice. An Israeli ground offensive is imminent. A lot of people are going to be killed over the next week or so on both sides, because Hamas isn't going to sit still, they're continuing to fire rockets into Israeli cities.

It's going to get a lot worse.

The Battle Of The Buckeye State, Con't

With under a month to go until elections here in Kentucky for Governor, there's also a lot of attention on Ohio's abortion rights ballot measure, and the anti-choice MAGA dirtbags are pulling out all the stops to ensure women are second-class citizens in the Buckeye State.

Anti-abortion groups are banking on Ohio to end the movement’s run of state-level losses and create a blueprint for battles in 2024 and beyond.
In four weeks, voters in the Buckeye State will decide whether to enshrine abortion protections into the state constitution or be the first to reject an abortion-rights measure since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
“Ohio is the first of a lot to come in the year ahead,” said March for Life President Jeanne Mancini, who flew to Ohio last week for a rally against the referendum. “That’s why we’re looking even more closely at Ohio: It could easily set the standard.”
Six states voted last year on abortion referendums. In all six, including deep-red Kansas, Kentucky and Montana — the anti-abortion side lost, and it wasn’t particularly close. The losing streak continued this year, as state supreme court races and special elections that became proxy wars over abortion swung decisively in favor of abortion-rights advocates.
The anti-abortion movement needs Ohio to be different, and as early voting begins Wednesday, they’re holding rallies, canvassing, phone-banking, and airing TV, radio and digital ads to ensure that November’s referendum doesn’t become the latest proof-point for a hardening narrative that opposing abortion rights is a losing issue for the conservative movement.
Conservatives also see Ohio’s referendum as a bellwether for 2024, when abortion rights could be on the ballot in Arizona, Florida, and Missouri and will feature heavily in Democratic efforts to hold the White House, and win a swath of state and federal seats.
“Ohio is a classic test market state,” said Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican seeking the nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown next year. “People know that, ‘Hey, if my product sells in Ohio, then I can sell it other places.’ The same logic applies politically.”
The "product" they are selling in Ohio is second-class citizenship for half the population. And there are a lot of buyers.

In many ways, Ohio conservatives are running the same playbook that failed in other states’ abortion ballot fights, with messaging focused on parental rights, gender-affirming care and abortions later in pregnancy. But the leaders of the anti-abortion campaign insist they’ve learned lessons from those losses and see several factors working in their favor heading into November, including more time to plan than their peers had in other states, an anti-abortion governor on their side and more targeted outreach to students, Black communities and other groups that lean towards Democrats.
“It’s important to win here so that we can demonstrate to the rest of the nation how you win ballot initiatives,” said Peter Range, the CEO of Ohio Right to Life and a board member of Protect Women Ohio — the coalition leading the campaign to defeat Issue 1. “The nation is watching what happens here.”
The abortion-rights groups pushing for the amendment’s passage see equally high stakes in Ohio, but insist the same messaging of freedom from government interference that helped their side win in six states last year will work again.
“We’re very similar to other states,” argued Sri Thakkilapati, the executive director of Preterm, an abortion provider based in Cleveland, and a leader of the pro-Issue 1 campaign. “Americans have shown, again and again, that this is not a partisan issue, that there’s wide support for abortion rights. Ohio is not unique. People understand what’s at stake.”
Still, Ohio’s anti-abortion leaders pointed to several reasons why they’re confident the state will tip in their favor.
Ohio has the only state referendum on abortion this year, meaning national anti-abortion groups like Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and Students for Life can focus their resources. Ohio conservatives also had more time to plan and fundraise than their counterparts in Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and Montana last year who had to scramble to mount a campaign in the few months after Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Both of those factors could equally benefit their opponents. But unlike several purple states that voted on abortion last year, Ohio has a popular Republican governor campaigning against the measure. Mike DeWine, who in 2019 signed the six-week abortion ban, hosted a “Vote No” rally at the Ohio Republican Party’s headquarters around the corner from the state capitol on Saturday, and has given speeches and interviews calling the proposed amendment “radical.”
“I’m voting no and I’m certainly urging everyone to vote no,” DeWine told GOP staff and volunteers at the Saturday event. “Whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, Issue 1 just goes much, much too far.”


Ohio Republicans like Mike Dewine believe that women with control of their own bodies is "radical" and "just too far". I hope Ohio voters remember this in 2024 too.

Vote Yes on Issue 1.

Phantasma Santos, Con't

Republican Congressman "George Santos" is somehow in even more trouble, with a new raft of federal felony charges leveled against him this week by the Justice Department.

Federal prosecutors hit Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., with 23 additional charges Tuesday, including allegations of identity theft and that he charged a supporter's credit card in excess of their contribution and then transferred the money to his personal bank account.

Prosecutors said Santos faces “one count of conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States, two counts of wire fraud, two counts of making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), two counts of falsifying records submitted to obstruct the FEC, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of access device fraud” in a superseding indictment filed Tuesday.

“As alleged, Santos is charged with stealing people’s identities and making charges on his own donors’ credit cards without their authorization, lying to the FEC and, by extension, the public about the financial state of his campaign. Santos falsely inflated the campaign’s reported receipts with non-existent loans and contributions that were either fabricated or stolen” Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement.

Santos declined comment to NBC News at the Capitol late Tuesday, saying “I have not had access to my phone.”

In a press release, prosecutors said the scheme included falsely claiming that relatives of Santos and his then-campaign treasurer Nancy Marks had donated big bucks to his campaign to make it appear that he was raising more money than he actually had in order to qualify for assistance from the national party.

"To create the public appearance that his campaign had met that financial benchmark" for additional funds from the Republican Party "and was otherwise financially viable, Santos and Marks agreed to falsely report to the FEC that at least 10 family members of Santos and Marks had made significant financial contributions to the campaign when Santos and Marks both knew that these individuals had neither made the reported contributions nor given authorization for their personal information to be included in such false public reports."

He's also alleged to have been involved in a credit card scheme where the campaign would charge contributors’ credit cards repeatedly and above FEC individual contribution limits.

“For example, in December 2021, one contributor (the 'Contributor') texted Santos and others to make a contribution to his campaign, providing billing information for two credit cards,” prosecutors said.

“In the days after he received the billing information, Santos used the credit card information to make numerous contributions to his campaign and affiliated political committees in amounts exceeding applicable contribution limits, without the Contributor’s knowledge or authorization,” they said.

On another occasion, he allegedly “charged $12,000 to the Contributor’s credit card, ultimately transferring the vast majority of that money into his personal bank account.”

With his campaign's treasurer turning state's evidence only last Friday, she must have spilled the entire East India Trading Company's stock of tea for this superseding indictment to come down just a few days later. "Santos" is in real and considerable legal peril at this point, as he should be. 

Say what you will about Republicans (and more than a few Democrats) being con artists, but this crook takes the cake. And your cake. And everyone's cake. 
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