Monday, July 3, 2023

Things that are disgusting: Ron DeSantis, The Supreme Court, John Stauber

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had the perfect takedown for Ron DeSantis over the weekend, after the Republican presidential hopeful posted an anti-LGBT+ campaign video.

The video, posted on Friday, was described as homophobic by a number of LGBT+ members of the Republican party, as well as by critics on the other side of the aisle.

Seemingly making a dig at Donald Trump for not being homophobic enough, the video includes clips of the former president where he appeared to embrace the LGBT+ community in the wake of the 2016 mass shooting at gay nightclub Pulse.

The second part of the video shifts to Mr DeSantis and his own comments and policies on drag acts and transgender rights.

But, in a bizarre move, the video appears to try to portray the Florida governor as masculine, with his image spliced with images of muscular, shirtless men and several Hollywood actors, including Brad Pitt.

Governor DeSantis is insane.  Hate merchants are destroying this country,  That is especially true of those sitting on the Supreme Court.  Please read Ava and C.I.'s "Media: Corrupt Court, Corrupt YOUTUBE" and grasp how most people are not getting that the Supreme Court just created a two-tier system of citizenship.  This is outrageous.  And it is outrageous that people are not paying attention.

Did you catch the idiot John Stauber?  He is just a hate merchant:

Fury at Supreme Court ruling for rights of conscience exposes the left's totalitarian turn

He is nothing but a grifter.  No one is going to back him.  He reTweets Glenneth Greenwald (who is thrilled that affirmative action has been ended for colleges -- Widow Greenwald is scum), he makes anti-gay Tweets, he is just a disgusting piece of garbage who should do the world a favor and die already.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, July 3, 2023.  The corrupt Court has decimated American lives and, in one decision, has taken the full rights away from a group of pepole.

Since the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision 13 months ago, which overturned Roe v. Wade and deprived women of the constitutional right to access abortion, the ultra-right majority on the court has engaged in a rampage against basic democratic rights and the social rights of the working class.

This culminated Friday in two decisions with the same 6-3 split among the justices: to declare unconstitutional the Biden administration’s limited reduction of student loan debt owed to the US government; and to endorse the “right” of a commercial web designer to refuse to create materials for the wedding of a gay couple.

The class character of the first decision is obvious: an executive action by the federal government to bail out wealthy bank depositors is constitutional, but not a limited action to help debt-burdened students. The second decision destroys a constitutional right to be free of discrimination, while paying lip service to the First Amendment. The court declares that the web designer can justify her bigotry on the basis of “freedom of religion.”

I'm stuck here.  These are appalling decisions that need to be called out and they are part of many others including MARCUS DEANGELO JONES V DEWAYNE HENDRIX from the week before last.  At THIRD, we didn't do "truest" statements this week -- where we quote from an article, report or video segment or speech.  I'm glad.  Because I know one of the nominees would have been a Friday piece at WSWS.  And I didn't agree that it deserved a truest.  WSWS published an article covering the student loan debt decisions.  A bad decision by the Court that will have real consequences.  WSWS then published an article about the bad decision where the Court overturns Affirmative Action -- a monumental injustice.  And it tried to fold into that article what Patrick Martin calls above 'refuse to create materials for the wedding of a gay couple.'

That is the worst decision from a legal stand point and I get that most people do not grasp the law in this country.  But if you want to destroy a community, that's the decision to use.  

They can build on it, they can expand to include other groups.  

It is a decision out of Nazi Germany.

The Court no longer believe in equaltiy.

Any legal scholar should look at the decision and tell you what happened is there is now a two-tier system of American citizenship.  There is a system where straights (and assumed straights) have full  rights and gays and lesbians do not.  There is no pretense of equal in the eyes of the law.

That should frighten the hell out of everyone. 

This is not minor.  We are supposed to be built on a system where the law is fair and the law is equal.

You have the right to this, I have the right to this.

We have to go back to the 1800s to find something similar.

Discrimination is okay -- legally okay -- and we're pretending this is something minor.

Again, don't think, "Well I'm never going to have a same-sex wedding."  This can be expanded.  This is something out of A HANDMAID'S TALE and the fact that so many people do not appear to grasp that goes to how easy it is for rights and liberties to be stolen from all of us.

If you're not getting this, you are part of the problem.  You need to grasp what the law now says and what a huge shift this is.  

And on the right, those who are openly on the right-wing, are celebrating.  They grasp what just happened.  

The ones who are hiding their right-wing nature?  Well I don't see a word on this from RFK Junior.  I see Junior Tweeted repeatedly on Sunday about releasing the records on his uncle's death.  Because that is the most important thing right?  Oh, and he made time to apologetically call out the case overturning affirmative action -- apologetically and pathetically because if he doesn't hold onto his right-wing base, he has nothing.  

The last name means very little when, many, many weeks later, you still can't pull together a campaign.  You're still trying to hang out with Moms For Liberty and you're too much a boy to stand up.  RFK -- Senior -- was not a saint by any means -- as many women could have attested -- but at the end he did find a voice.   I'd say, "Took him along enough," but he was only 42.  Junior is 69 and can't find his voice.

RFK, at the end, spoke for the people in need, the migrant workers, the people under assault.

Having to wear a mask during the height of COVID was not an assault.

And I'm getting tired of all the freaks on this issue.  

It was a pandemic.  We never told you what to do here.  We didn't shame Eric Clapton or try to -- I even noted that he would probably come out of the pandemic looking good.  We didn't worship at Fauci.  He was lousy at his job and he should have been fired.  

But we also grasped that it was a pandemic and that many people were just trying to survive it, not to hurt anyone and not to hurt themselves.  That reality is lost in RFK Jr.'s campaign of crazy.

You didn't want the vaccine, you really didn't have to get it.

I didn't get it until the end.  I was on chemo and a hundred other things and my doctors wouldn't let me -- a fact that I made known here repeatedly.  

I don't know of anyone who went to prison for refusing the vaccine.

But it's a big issue to Crowd Crazy to this day.

Because they felt so damn impotent.

Guess what, butt hurt, so did the rest of the world.  It's what happens when something no one is expecting sweeps up the planet.  

But that's all he and Naomi Wolf and other increasingly unhinged people have to offer.

Did Fauci lie?

He lied repeatedly.  We noted it repeatedly.  It's why he should have been fired.  He certainly should have been fired when Joe Biden was sworn in.  He had repeatedly contradicted himself and lost the trust of too much of the public.

COVID continues.  The COVID measures are gone.  We have real problems to deal with.  That doesn't mean journalists shouldn't look into what took place or how consensus was formed or forced behind closed doors.  It does mean it's not really a campaign issue.

Unless you're some right-wing crazy who can't deal with the fact that COVID actually scared you.  As it should have.  A world-wide pandemic is scary.  But you can't deal with your own fear,  so you're scared and pissed off and looking for the craziest fool who'll speak to that and you run to Junior.  

Ava and I wrote about the two-tiered citizenship that now exists in the US in "Media: Corrupt Court, Corrupt YOUTUBE" on Sunday at THIRD and here I posted multiple interviews and commentaries and statements.  

An e-mail asked why I didn't include the ACLU?  

This is their statement:

WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court this morning issued its ruling in 303 Creative v. Elenis. David Cole, Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union, offered the following response:

“The Supreme Court held today for the first time that a business offering customized expressive services has the right to violate state laws prohibiting such businesses from discrimination in sales. The Court’s decision opens the door to any business that claims to provide customized services to discriminate against historically-marginalized groups. The decision is fundamentally misguided. We will continue to fight to defend laws against discrimination from those who seek a license to discriminate.”

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Colorado filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to reject the First Amendment challenge to a Colorado civil rights law requiring businesses open to the public to treat customers equally.

Yeah, I took a hard pass on that weak ass statement from a group made of attorneys.  Instead, we offered the Center for Constitutional Rights:

June 30, 2023 - In response to the Supreme Court ruling that businesses may deny services to LGBTQI+ people, the Center for Constitutional Rights released the following statement:

Today, in its latest display of its political activism, the Supreme Court sanctioned discrimination by giving businesses that engage in "expressive conduct" a license to deny services to LGBTQI+ people. We have known for a long time that in the eyes of the Court, there are only two Constitutional rights that matter: the First Amendment right to religious expression and the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Nonetheless, today’s decision was crushing. It deals another blow to a community already under attack in legislatures across the country, by the very same movement that claims the allegiance of six justices on the Supreme Court. 

Public accommodations laws regulate what businesses must do, not what they must think, if they seek the public benefit of accessing the public marketplace. Such nondiscrimination laws, like the one in Colorado, are designed to ensure that LGBTQI+ people can freely shop for services like everyone else, rather than being required to shop for businesses that don’t discriminate against them. The right-wing justices have once again signaled that their mission is to dismantle laws that protect marginalized communities and to use the law to back punitive and exclusionary social hierarchies. As Justice Sotomayor lays out in the dissent, “[t]hose who would subordinate LGBT[QI+] people have often done so with the backing of law.” 

In this case, the Court was so determined to carry out its mission that it bypassed Constitutional requirements of standing by weighing in on an imaginary dispute concocted by conservative legal activists and issuing an advisory opinion, so that they could legislate policy.

The Religious Liberty Clauses of the First Amendment have been historically used to protect minority religions against discrimination by majoritarian orthodoxy and to advance a pluralistic, egalitarian democracy. It is thus especially perverse that this Court would delight in producing the exact opposite, anti-democratic result: granting orthodox Christianity an imagined constitutional freedom to discriminate against the minority LGBTQI+ community. And, as Justice Sotomayor emphasized, the decision is not limited; it could give license for businesses to discriminate against interracial couples because of the (pervasive) extremist-evangelicalist commitment to segregation. 

Together with yesterday’s decision invalidating affirmative action, this ruling lays bare the values of this Court. In six justices’ view, the Constitution says it is just fine for a business to exclude someone on the basis of their protected status (LGBTQI+), but it is unconstitutional for a university to include someone on the basis of their protected status (race). This is bigotry masquerading as law. And, in so ruling again, this Court continues to advance a Jim Crow jurisprudence in which the white, male, Christian insider’s freedom is made meaningful only through the subjugation of vulnerable populations. For this conservative movement, as for John Calhoun or George Wallace, discrimination fuels their feelings of freedom. These six individuals somehow retain the power to impose their 18th Century values on a democratic majority that believes in equality and fairness. The Court has little legitimacy left. 

We reject these cruel and unlawful decisions, and the cowardly attempts by a right-wing movement to wield the Constitution to protect white power and deny the human rights of the multitude. But human rights cannot be suspended by reactionaries in robes. And they cannot be secured by even enlightened court rulings. If there is solace to be found today, it is in the knowledge that that task before us is the same as it was yesterday: to resist, organize, and unite. Our potential collective power, and only that, offers hope of liberation and full human dignity for LGBTQI+ people and other marginalized communities.

I cannot believe how many people are missing the point on this.  I have nothing against a gay but I own a bed and breakfast and I just can't allow a gay into my home with another gay because my Bible tells me it is wrong.  Or: I own a small hotel in New Hampshire and I rent rooms out by the hour but not to a gay because of my Bible.  You have no idea how this can expand out.  The Court knew.  They knew what they were doing.

They are a corrupt Court and there needs to be change immediately.  

Condemning the right-wing majority on the U.S. Supreme Court as corrupt and "heavily politicized," U.S. Reps. Ro Khanna and Don Beyer on Friday reintroduced legislation to impose term limits for the nine justices in order to "restore judicial independence."

Hours after the court ruled that businesses can refuse services to LGBTQ+ people and struck down President Joe Biden's student loan debt relief program, Khanna (D-Calif.) said that the framers of the Constitution established lifetime appointments for justices on the nation's highest court in order "to ensure impartiality," but recent rulings by the six right-wing members of the panel's supermajority have not held up that standard.

"The Supreme Court's decision to block student debt relief will put many hardworking Americans at risk of default and will be a disaster for our economy," said Rep. Ro Khanna. "Our Founding Fathers intended for lifetime appointments to ensure impartiality. The decision today demonstrates how justices have become partisan and out of step with the American public. I'm proud to reintroduce the Supreme Court Term Limits and Regular Appointments Act to implement term limits to rebalance the court and stop extreme partisanship."

The legislation would create an 18-year term limit for justices appointed after the law was enacted. Justices would be permitted to serve on lower courts after their term was up.

Beyer (D-Va.) said the time has come to impose term limits following numerous partisan decisions by the Supreme Court, including its overturning of Roe v. Wade last year, and revelations about undisclosed financial ties that right-wing Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch have had to Republican megadonors and operatives who have had business before the court.

"For many Americans, the Supreme Court is a distant, secretive, unelected body that can make drastic changes in their lives without any accountability," said Beyer. "Recent partisan decisions by the Supreme Court that destroyed historic protections for reproductive rights, voting rights, and more have undermined public trust in the Court—even as inappropriate financial relationships between justices and conservative donors raised new questions about its integrity."

Currently, said Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), "six extremist, unelected activists" are doing "the bidding of billionaire Republican donors from the bench."

"This illegitimate Supreme Court has become a cesspool of corruption and is in urgent need of reform," she said. "It's time to end lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court."

A poll by Marist College in April found that 68% of Americans back term limits for Supreme Court justices while just 37% of respondents said they had confidence in the high court.

The judicial watchdog group Fix the Court endorsed Khanna and Beyer's proposal, noting that from the nation's founding until 1970, Supreme Court justices served 15 years on average.

"That number has nearly doubled in the last few decades, as the power the court has abrogated to itself has also increased exponentially," said the group.

The current system has allowed Supreme Court justices to "possess unchecked power for life," said Gabe Roth, executive director of Fix the Court. "Luckily, there's a popular, apolitical way to fix this: by requiring future justices to take 'senior status' after 18 years, at which point they'd fill in at SCOTUS when needed, rotate down to a lower court, or retire."

"This idea forms the basis of Rep. Khanna's bill," he said, "and I'm pleased to support his work to establish fundamental guardrails for the most powerful, least accountable part of our government."

Affirmative action is a needed program.  Programs can be ended and they can be restarted.  Congress, for example, can (and should) pass a new program.

But when we're dealing with the highest court in the land stripping rights from citizens?  Do you know how hard that is to come back from?

If you work for THE NATION, you clearly don't because they have nothing on their main page about this decision.  They've got the student debt decision, they've got affirmative action, nothing on this.

And yet a group of Americans have been given less-than citizenship by a corrupt Court.  They are no longer full citizens worthy of full equality.  They are less-than.  

And that should leave everyone outraged and apalled.

But some idiots don't grasp how it starts and how, if it's not called out, it builds.  The Bible was a justification for slavery, for example.  The Bible's not a manual for no-fault divorce.  You want to see where the Court builds next as they go through the list of denying full rights to American citizens?

You didn't read history?  You didn't Margaret Atwood?  You can't catch a documentary on Nazi Germany?

All the decisions handed down were awful and unfair.  Only one, however,  gives the Court the power and the way forward to remove rights from citizens.  

The Court needs to change and it needs to change now.

The Democrats need to come up with a plan for Court reform that includes term limits and includes an ethics code and includes accountability.  Now.

Gina asked me to note this from Marianne's campaign.

The following sites updated: