Today’s News Bits (Updated)

So far today: George Santos has been expelled. An appeals court ruled that Trump can be sued for inciting the January 6 riot. And Sandra Day O’Connor died.

Yesterday we learned that Israel had been sitting on Hamas’s October 7 plan (although they didn’t know the date) for over a year but wasn’t taking it seriously. I liked this part:

Then, in July, just three months before the attacks, a veteran analyst with Unit 8200, Israel’s signals intelligence agency, warned that Hamas had conducted an intense, daylong training exercise that appeared similar to what was outlined in the blueprint.

But a colonel in the Gaza division brushed off her concerns, according to encrypted emails viewed by The Times.

“I utterly refute that the scenario is imaginary,” the analyst wrote in the email exchanges. The Hamas training exercise, she said, fully matched “the content of Jericho Wall.”

“It is a plan designed to start a war,” she added. “It’s not just a raid on a village.”

Sounds like.  If only a man had been the one to report this, huh? Maybe lives would have been saved. And I’m a bit surprised I haven’t heard anything about “October 7 Truth” claiming that Benjamin Netanyahu planned the whole thing so he could bomb Gaza. Give it time.

Anyway, today Israel predictably called off the “pause” and started bombing Gaza again.  Gotta move that story about the botched intelligence off the front page.

Yesterday an appeals court reinstated Judge Engoron’s gag order in the New York finance fraud trial. Trump responded by posting lies about Judge Engoron’s wife. She is not covered in the gag order, although she probably should be. I hope she’s keeping safe.

Oh, and this: “Donald Trump has shared a post on his Truth Social website, calling for Capitol Police officers who ‘beat the hell out of innocent J6 [January 6] protesters’ to face criminal charges.”

For fun: Yahoo News compares Melania Trump’s and Dr. Jill Biden’s White House Christmas decorations. The Biden theme is “definitely less ‘human sacrifice’ and more ‘holiday joy.'”

Liz Cheney’s book will be released December 5. Lots of advance copies are in circulation already, so quotes are turning up in the news. My favorite so far:

As the House went into lockdown on January 6, “Jim Jordan approached me,” Cheney writes, saying, “We need to get the ladies off the aisle,” and, extending his hand, told her, “Let me help you.” To which Cheney responded “Get away from me. You f—ing did this.”

More could yet happen today. We’ll see.

Update: Here we go.

A federal judge on Friday rejected claims by former President Donald J. Trump that he enjoyed absolute immunity from criminal charges accusing him of seeking to reverse the 2020 election, slapping down his argument that the indictment should be tossed out because it was based on actions he took while he was in office.

The ruling by the judge, Tanya S. Chutkan, was her first denying one of Mr. Trump’s many motions to dismiss the election interference case, which is set to go trial in Federal District Court in Washington in about three months.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers had expected the immunity motion to fail. They have been planning for weeks to use the defeat to begin a Hail Mary strategy to put off the impending trial. They intend to appeal Judge Chutkan’s ruling all the way to the Supreme Court if they can, hoping that even if they eventually lose, their challenges will eat up time and keep the case from going in front of a jury until after the 2024 election.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers filed their immunity claims in October in a set of breathtaking court papers that maintained he could not be held accountable for any official actions he took as president, even after a grand jury had returned a four-count criminal indictment against him.

14 thoughts on “Today’s News Bits (Updated)

  1. There were a lot of comments to the NYT article saying essentially that it made sense that the ball got dropped in Israel.  It was my initial comment upon the Oct 7 news.  We will never know if the fumble was intentional, but BiBi had surrounded himself with incompetence.  This we know for sure.  It was also known that he was trying to avoid charges and stay out of jail.  At the same time, he was trying to hamstring the country's justice system.  We know from events in our own country the lengths people go to, to gain and stay in power.  In this case, for history's sake, guilt should be considered until innocence is proven.

    • Sometimes what might be conspiracy was just hubris and incompetence. That was certainly the case with George W. Bush and 9/11. The "inside job" thing was nuts, but mercifally I haven't run into a Truther for awhile. 

      • In hindsight our intelligence services should have gotten a bit more suspicious when the flight school pupils had no interest in knowing how to land the plane.  To hell with connecting dots, you need to learn to smell a rat.  

        Israel intelligence had much more than a rat smell.  It had a blueprint of the terror plan, a forty-page blueprint.  It had a chance to fight Hamas when the rats were in the open and not in hiding.  They blew a chance to outsmart those who would use terror tactics and deal them a direct and crushing blow.  They missed the chance for the best peace plan they could have ever hoped for.  Now we await Plan B, and it is already way more expensive in so many ways.

        Unfortunately, we will end up with a good part of the tab, as we have in the past.  Meanwhile, our conservatives learn nothing from the mistakes of Israel's conservatives.  Well, is not a hate for learning also part of the indoctrination for conservatism?  It is for the MAGA type for sure. 

        Beware of those who flaunt being penny wise and end up being pound foolish.  Many of them wear MAGA hats.  They seem to have a problem ( i.e. George Santos) with their ability to smell a rat.  Are they too busy at playing connect the dots?


  2. And yet Sandra Day O'Connor and Henry Kissinger together fail to make up for the death of Shawn McGowan of The Pogues.

    And as I commented at Mock Paper Scissors,

    Arthur Engeron at home to Dawn Engeron: “Don’t worry, dear. You may not be protected by the gag order, but it’s nothing to the way I’ll make Drumpf gag with the financial penalty I’ll sock him with. I’ll leave him one whiteboard, one sharpie, and one hat he can use to beg for handouts on the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue”.

    • When they get through with Trump he won't even be allowed to panhandle in New York State.

      I hope they put a real financial hurting on Wiesselberg. His wallet needs to be squeezed big time. Enough to make him curse the day he was born.

  3. Well now that Santos has been relieved of the burden of defending his congressional seat, he's now free to focus on the 23 criminal counts that have been lodged against him. See, there's always a bright side. Although I do suspect that his financial situation will be looking a little bleaker.

    • Santos is one of the rarest of creatures, so bad half the Republicans voted to expel one of their own, one less R trimmed from their narrow majority. He's so radioactive right now, I can't imagine him getting any rw media job. And he's got to deal with the indictments. I suspect his future is in the slammer. Rags to riches to rags.

  4. "So far today: George Santos has been expelled. An appeals court ruled that Trump can be sued for inciting the January 6 riot. And Sandra Day O’Connor died."

    And somehow we all keep breathing. I don't like to disrespect someone the day they go but Sandra never did a damn for me! She doesn't belong with Stump or George but she died today and she Was a registered republican!

    "If only a man had been the one to report this, huh?"

    Would have made a bigger impact for certain, but I wouldn’t frame it as only sexism. It was going to get swept under the rug anyway. Hama's wanted a war and so did Bibi. It's working for both of them. Two days after the attack some bobbleheads talked about "chatter" and how all the IDF security were busy in the west bank (obviously the attack lasted almost 24 hrs I think) of course that tune changed after a couple days. I'm not surprised about anything in the NYT's story, really only surprised that they published it.

    Whenever a sour lot loses I like to hear this tune, a song for George!

    • O'Connor never did much for me, and I was pre-disposed against her because St Ronnie nominated her to the court. However…

      I learned, from TV people trying to sum her life – that she was put on the court in the hope that she would help overturn Roe, but instead, she proved not to be an ideologue, and actually grew as a person. They said she was really mindful of the court's reputation, to the point of making her own personal opinions vanish. She was more of a fix-it person, interested in making the law fairer for others, not a person to push for big changes. By contrast, RGB was the rock star. She was very cognizant of being the first woman on the court, and as such she felt she had to be careful.

      Of course, this kind of independence is not what Leonard Leo bargained for, and so he ginned up the billionaires club, to keep the justices in line.

  5. Before the day ended, Judge Chutkin responded to Trump's request that the J6 charges be dismissed. Her reply was artful. Basically, POTUS is not a king, and those protections that shield the chief executive while serving are not lifetime protections for crimes committed while in office (which is what Trump's lawyers argued.) 

    Combine that with the decision that Trump is not shielded from civil suits for harm done as POTUS and Trump is in a world of hurt. BTW, no one has linked recent Trump statements that the police may have criminal liability for beating up on the poor innocent rioters J6  with the police civil lawsuits that can move forward. IMO, none of the cops who have filed suit failed to understand that Trump was threatening to turn the DOJ into a vengeful arm if he becomes president. The cops with the nerve to sue Trump will be criminally charged if the suits move forward. IMO, Trump is worried about the damage the civil suit may do to Trump in the election. Trump has committed to defending the J6 insurrectionists as patriots – the truth in public view will crush that narrative with non-cultists.

    Poor Santos. I'm not sure if DOJ was open to a plea deal or not. Usually, they are and for a member of Congress caught red-handed, a resignation and a guilty plea has big power. Santos is stupid and arrogant – he overplayed his hand. Once the Ethics Report came out, he was doomed. Now the valuable chip of a resignation is gone. He's going to trial. If he's guilty of Covid fraud, the judge will throw the book at him in sentencing. 

    The other interesting story is Trump's lawyer, Habba, may be in trouble for violation of standards for a case involving sexual harassment/rape at Bedminster Golf Club. If true, she approached the victim of sexual harassment who was going to sue the lecher (not Trump) who intimidated her into sex, without admitting she was representing Bedminster. She talked the victim into a settlement "as a friend" persauding her to fire her lawyer and sign a NDA. How much trouble she's in, and how fast this develops, I don't know. But I'd love to see her license to practice law suspended.

  6. My thought of the day from yesterday…

    TFG looks to Hitler, Mussolini and Putin for inspiration.  Musk looks to Emperor Palpatine for inspiration.


    I never saw Sandra as a champion of feminism but remember the story of her comment at an election-watching party in 2000 when Gore was the projected winner: "Oh no! Now I have to stay on the court," while she had been planning to retire and care for her ill husband.  She gave us GW and his ugly war. No thanks lady, let the whitewashing begin if it doesn't all get used for Henry.


    • Roe v. Wade would have been overturned in 1992 were it not for her. Hers was the "swing" vote in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that affirmed Roe. I thought most people knew that. 

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