The Mahablog

Politics. Society. Group Therapy.

The Mahablog

On the Road

I’m still on the road in New York preparing to move. I still have business to wind up in Missouri and will be flying back next week, but I hope to be living in my new place by the end of this month.

I take it the two big bits of political news this week have been the ending of Title 42 at the border and the fallout from Trump’s Lie-a-palooza on CNN. I’m having a hard time working myself into a xenophobic meltdown over the border. And CNN deserves all the ridicule it has received over the “town hall.” Philip Bump has a good analysis of the “town hall” and whether CNN was justified in hosting it (no). No paywall. And I need a nap.

The World the NRA Wants You to Live In

Trump chickened out of testifying at the E. Jean Carroll trial, as expected.

This is life in St. Louis over the weekend:

Five people were shot to death and a number other people were wounded. I think they’re still counting, actually. It’s unlikely any of this will count as a “mass shooting” because these were several separate incidents. This is what happens with no gun control. Missouri laws don’t call for permits or licenses of any sort. People can buy any firearm they want and carry it nearly everywhere they want. It’s arguably a bigger hassle to get a new cell phone than an assault weapon here. This is the world the NRA wants us to live in.

This is a PayPal link to my “help me move back to New York” fundraiser. And here is the GoFundMe link for those who don’t want to deal with PayPal. Thanks for all donations so far!

Allen Texas Shooting and the Debt Limit

The latest news says there are nine people dead from the Allen, Texas, mass shooting. Gov. Greg Abbott will be in Allen today to utter pointless words that will fail to address anything real about mass shootings. Already he is blaming “mental health,” which he does after every mass shooting. Note that in 2021 Abbott cut more than $200 million from the Texas department that handles mental health services.

However, the Texas legislature recently passed a bill that provides a lot of funding for better mental health services in schools, so I can’t say they’ve done nothing. But the Texas mall shooter was a man in his 30s, which is about all that news stories have said about him as of this writing.

And note, one more time, that according to the American Psychological Association there is no clear link between mental illness and mass shootings. And this is from the Columbia University Department of Psychiatry:

The public tends to link serious mental illnesses, like schizophrenia or psychotic disorders, with violence and mass shootings. But serious mental illness—specifically psychosis—is not a key factor in most mass shootings or other types of mass murder. Approximately 5% of mass shootings are related to severe mental illness. And although a much larger number of mass shootings (about 25%) are associated with non-psychotic psychiatric or neurological illnesses, including depression, and an estimated 23% with substance use, in most cases these conditions are incidental.

I’ve read elsewhere that about a quarter of the U.S. population at any given time arguably has some kind of non-psychotic psychiatric or neurological illness, so the percentage of mass shooters with such conditions is about what you’d expect from any random sampling of people. And according to HHS, about 16.5 percent of Americans aged 12 and older have some kind of substance abuse problem, so drugs/alcohol might be a factor in some situations. But some shooters are stone cold sober at the time of the shootings.

And we go through all of this every time there’s a mass shooting, and the Greg Abbotts of America never get off the same talking points — mental illness, thoughts and prayers. Blah blah blah.

The Dumbest Response So Far award goes to Texas State Rep. Keith Self (R-Allen), who, in a mumbling defense of “thoughts and prayers,” more or less said that God lets shootings happen.

In other news: People are having fun with something Bill Barr said recently.

Digby: Now you admit it? Now?

By all accounts Bill Barr got himself into the Trump administration because he wanted to promote his long-held theory that the president has nearly unchecked power. Instead, he unwittingly held a national master class on why the unitary executive theory is a really, really bad idea.

Also: On the other hand, Lawrence Tribe is now on board with President Biden just declaring the debt ceiling irrelevant and authorizing the Treasury to borrow what it needs to borrow. I’m on board with that too, actually, and look forward to seeing the Chaos Caucus in the House devolve into a sputtering and toothless mass. We need to put a stop to this nonsense of allowing a handful of radicals hold the global economy hostage just to score political points. But here is a bit of what Tribe wrote (no paywall; do read the whole thing):

The question isn’t whether the president can tear up the debt limit statute to ensure that the Treasury Department can continue paying bills submitted by veterans’ hospitals or military contractors or even pension funds that purchased government bonds.

The question isn’t whether the president can in effect become a one-person Supreme Court, striking down laws passed by Congress.

The right question is whether Congress — after passing the spending bills that created these debts in the first place — can invoke an arbitrary dollar limit to force the president and his administration to do its bidding.

There is only one right answer to that question, and it is no.

And there is only one person with the power to give Congress that answer: the president of the United States. As a practical matter, what that means is this: Mr. Biden must tell Congress in no uncertain terms — and as soon as possible, before it’s too late to avert a financial crisis — that the United States will pay all its bills as they come due, even if the Treasury Department must borrow more than Congress has said it can.

The president should remind Congress and the nation, “I’m bound by my oath to preserve and protect the Constitution to prevent the country from defaulting on its debts for the first time in our entire history.” Above all, the president should say with clarity, “My duty faithfully to execute the laws extends to all the spending laws Congress has enacted, laws that bind whoever sits in this office — laws that Congress enacted without worrying about the statute capping the amount we can borrow.”

By taking that position, the president would not be usurping Congress’s lawmaking power or its power of the purse. Nor would he be usurping the Supreme Court’s power to “say what the law is,” as Chief Justice John Marshall once put it. Mr. Biden would simply be doing his duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” even if doing so leaves one law — the borrowing limit first enacted in 1917 — temporarily on the cutting room floor.


Also, too: This is a PayPal link to my “help me move back to New York” fundraiser. Thanks for all donations so far!

Update: Here is the GoFundMe link for those who don’t want to deal with PayPal.

Criminal Justice News, and a Horse Race

Have I mentioned I’m not exactly dealing with this moving to New York thing with stoic Zen equanimity? I’m barely functioning, in fact. I’ve also realized there’s not enough time to move Mahablog to a less expensive host before the next billing cycle.  And I don’t want to be offline when the jury delivers a verdict in the E. Jean Carroll trial. So I’m going to do a fundraiser instead. This is a PayPal link, and soon I’ll have a GoFundMe link up also.

I wanted to say something about Jordan Neely, the homeless man choked to death on a subway on May 1. One of my Facebook friends wrote that when he lived in the Village he used to see Neely on the A Train. He could sometimes be unpredictable but didn’t seem threatening.

This is life in NYC; sometimes you see people arguing with lampposts. On one train I used to ride a lot there would be an older guy who spoke long, nonsensical soliloquies about a teddy bear. In a better world there’d be some services for such people, so that they didn’t have to spend their days using subway cars for shelter. Errol Louis wrote at New York

To be Black, destitute, homeless, and mentally ill in our city is to be one of those outsiders, existing in a kind of internal exile from society’s circle of care and concern.

“I don’t have food, I don’t have a drink, I’m fed up,” Neely screamed in the final minutes of his life, according to Juan Alberto Vázquez, a freelance journalist on the train who recorded the incident. “I don’t mind going to jail and getting life in prison. I’m ready to die.” It seemed to be a complaint shouted to the heavens, aimed at nobody in particular. Neely “didn’t seem like he wanted to hurt anyone,” Vázquez later said. But the doomed man’s words were sadly accurate about the choices he believed New York offered: prison or death.

Yes, that’s how it is, and everybody knows it.

There’s a video of a Marine veteran named Daniel Perry choking Neely to death. There were several other people on the subway car who saw him do it. “Prosecutors had yet to make a decision on criminal charges in the case, although the city Medical Examiner ruled the death was a homicide,” says Larry McShane at the Daily News. I understand there have been protests. I take it Neely had been arrested in violent episodes in the past, but there is no evidence he was a danger to anyone when he was killed. The hesitation to bring charges is unjustified, from what I see. Somebody needs to step up.

In St. Louis, the circuit attorney (city prosecuting attorney) Kim Gardner resigned effective June 1. I have no personal experience with the St. Louis criminal justice system (thank you), but I have long suspected she was being stonewalled by the St. Louis PD. The state Attorney General who has been trying to get her out is a MAGAt, and I fear he and the governor (aka the Über-Goober) are fixin’ to appoint some other white goober who primarily just wants to cater to gun owners. And I give Gardner credit for getting Lamar Johnson’s conviction overturned.

But it has also been obvious that the St. Louis prosecutor office has been a huge mess. Lately there have been several trials called off because no prosecutor showed up to try them. The attorneys in the office have been resigning wholesale. People who have been victims of terrible crimes can’t get their phone calls returned. Then it turns out that while all this has been going on Gardner has been taking classes at the St. Louis University school of nursing. She says she’s been doing this on her “own time,” and maybe so, but with the crisis her office has been in I can’t imagine she has any “own time.” So it’s a bit hard to defend her.

In other news: Eight false Trump electors have accepted immunity deals, lawyer says, in the Fulton County, Georgia, election interference investigation.

It’s Derby Day. And it’s been 50 years since Secretariat began his Triple Crown run. He still owns the record in all three races.

Trump’s Entitlement Defense; Ginni Thomas Cashes In

Yesterday the Irish and British press were reporting that Trump is cutting his golf trip to Ireland short in order to go to New York to “confront” his accuser in the E. Jean Carroll case. And although both sides’ lawyers have rested their cases, the judge is giving Trump until Monday to choose to testify. Which I kind of hope he does, just for the entertainment value of the thing. If Trump doesn’t testify, the lawyers will give their closing arguments Monday morning.

Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina has said all along that Trump will not testify. He also didn’t attempt to present a defense. Yesterday the jury saw Trump’s taped deposition, which may have clinched the verdict in E. Jean Carroll’s favor.

According to reports from inside the courtroom, the deposition features an agitated Donald Trump growing snarky and exasperated as Roberta Kaplan questioned him seven months ago. Trump has chosen not to attend the civil trial, but the jury saw the footage Thursday. Carroll is suing Trump for battery and defamation, alleging he raped her in a dressing room at Bergdorf Goodman in the 1990s.

Trump has denied the accusations since Carroll first came forward and his main defense has been claiming that Carroll is not his “type.” But during the deposition, Trump poked holes in his own defense. When Kaplan showed Trump a picture of himself talking to Carroll at a party in the past, Trump confused Carroll with Maples.

“It’s Marla,” he said, according to reports. “That’s Marla, yeah. That’s my wife.”

Later, Kaplan reportedly asked Trump questions about other women who have accused him of sexual assault. That’s when the former president grew heated, telling Kaplan “you wouldn’t be a choice of mine, either, to be honest.”

“I wouldn’t in any circumstances have any interest in you,” he said, bringing in the rejected dude at a bar defense.

It’s kind of awesome in its cluelessness. If I were a screenwriter I couldn’t have come up with dialogue that deluded. See also Bess Levin at Vanity Fair:

Yes, in an astonishing deposition—even for Trump—Carroll’s attorney Roberta Kaplan asked the former president about the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he told Billy Bush in 2005: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” adding, “Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” After watching the clip, Trump told Kaplan, “Well, historically, that’s true with stars.” When pressed on whether he stood by those statements—which he chalked up to “locker-room banter” in 2016, later suggesting the tape wasn’t real—Trump responded: “Well, I guess if you look over the last million years, that’s been largely true—not always true, but largely true, unfortunately or fortunately.” That’s right: When asked about his claim that it was okay to grab someone’s genitals without their permission, Trump said—while in the midst of a deposition about allegedly raping someone—that it was almost 100% true. “Unfortunately or fortunately”!

Also: See also Does Jack Smith have an insider source at Mar-a-Lago?

In other news: Best quote from social media today: “We’re about two days away from learning that Clarence Thomas is on Harlan Crow’s cell phone plan.” This is from someone called “JoJoFromJerz.”

The revelation from last night is, um, this (no paywall):

Conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo arranged for the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to be paid tens of thousands of dollars for consulting work just over a decade ago, specifying that her name be left off billing paperwork, according to documents reviewed by The Washington Post.

In January 2012, Leo instructed the GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway to bill a nonprofit group he advises and use that money to pay Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the documents show. The same year, the nonprofit, the Judicial Education Project, filed a brief to the Supreme Court in a landmark voting rights case.

Leo, a key figure in a network of nonprofits that has worked to support the nominations of conservative judges, told Conwaythat he wanted her to “give” Ginni Thomas “another $25K,” the documents show. He emphasized that the paperwork should have “No mention of Ginni, of course.”

Then some more stuff about money funneled to Ginni Thomas, and then this:

In December 2012, the Judicial Education Project submitted an amicus brief in Shelby County v. Holder, a case challenging a landmark civil rights law aimed at protecting minority voters. The court struck down a formula in the Voting Rights Act that determined which states had to obtain federal clearance before changing their voting rules and procedures. Clarence Thomas was part of the 5-to-4 majority.

Thomas issued a concurring opinion in the case, arguing that the preclearance requirement itself is unconstitutional. Thomas’s opinionwhich was consistent with a previous opinion he wrote, favored the outcome the Judicial Education Project and several other conservative organizations had advocated in their amicus briefs. He did not cite the Judicial Education Project brief.

Remarkably, it says later in the article that “Legal ethics experts disagreed about whether the arrangement outlined by Leo and the payments from Conway should have led Thomas to recuse himself from the Shelby case.” I’m just done with this. They might as well stop pretending to be judges. Let the big money folks just pay them as their own agents. It would be more honest.

Today’s News Bits, Plus Announcement

Four Proud Boys members have been found guilty of seditious conspiracy.Enrique Tarrio, Joseph Biggs, Ethan Nordean, Dominic Pezzola and Zachary Rehl each faced nine counts. All but Pezzola were found guilty on the rare charge of seditious conspiracy under a Civil War-era statute. Tarrio, Biggs, Nordean and Rehl were also found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding.” The jury is still debating charges for Pezzola.

There have now been fourteen seditious conspiracy convictions resulting from January 6. Andrew Weissmann on MSNBC says that this is piling a lot of pressure on Jack Smith.

See also Aaron Blake at WaPo, Trump is inviting Dems to make 2024 about Jan. 6. And they’re obliging. No paywall.

We also have more of the adventures of Clarence Thomas, from ProPublica: Clarence Thomas Had a Child in Private School. Harlan Crow Paid the Tuition.

See also Philip Bump at WaPo, The low cost (for a rich person) of sponsoring a Supreme Court justice. (No paywall.)

See also Emails Reveal ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Herschel Walker Money Scandal at The Daily Beast.

When Herschel Walker emailed a representative for billionaire industrialist and longtime family friend Dennis Washington in March 2022, he seemed to be engaging in normal behavior for a political candidate: He was asking for money.

But unbeknownst to Washington and the billionaire’s staff, Walker’s request was far more out of the ordinary. It was something campaign finance experts are calling “unprecedented,” “stunning,” and “jaw-dropping.” Walker wasn’t just asking for donations to his campaign; he was soliciting hundreds of thousands of dollars for his own personal company—a company that he never disclosed on his financial statements.

Emails obtained by The Daily Beast—and verified as authentic by a person with knowledge of the exchanges—show that Walker asked Washington to wire $535,200 directly to that undisclosed company, HR Talent, LLC.

And the emails reveal that not only did Washington complete Walker’s wire requests, he was under the impression that these were, in fact, political contributions.

The Daily Standard (UK) is reporting that Trump says he is cutting his Ireland trip short in order to “confront” his accuser in the E. Jean Carroll case. If true, this would be huge news, as all previous indications were that he was not going to show up at trial. Of course, maybe by “confronting” he’s just going to bloviate to U.S. media. Maybe he’s realized he’s losing the trial.

Now, I have an announcement. When I left New York in 2016 I put my name on all kinds of wait lists for subsidized senior apartments, and one has finally come through. So it looks like I’ll be moving back to the state of New York in the very near future, which means blogging will be light. And it also means I absolutely have to park Mahablog in a cheaper spot, because even thought the rent is low I’ll still be living on a super tight budget. I have a place in mind, but step one means I’ll be tweaking the site a bit to reduce its size — it’s over a gigabyte now — before I move it, then it will be offline for about a week while being moved. I’m not sure when this will happen, but it will be pretty soon. I will warn you in advance. But I will be back, eventually!

GOP Is Not Playing 12-Dimensional Chess

Perhaps it’s time to entertain the possibility that Ron DeSantis just isn’t very bright.

Ron DeSantis’s book The Courage to Be Free was released by its publisher in February, I understand, so I’m not sure why no one has noticed this before. Maybe Greg Sargent was the first person besides the Disney lawyers to read it.

When the Walt Disney Co. went looking for evidence to feature in its new lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, its lawyers found much of what they needed in DeSantis’s own recently published memoir.

Buried in Disney’s complaint against DeSantis is something surprising. Numerous quotes taken from “The Courage to be Free” appear to support the company’s central allegation: that the Republican governor improperly wielded state power to punish Disney’s speech criticizing his policies, violating the First Amendment. …

… Disney’s lawsuit cites exactly these passages. DeSantis — who signed a law taking control of Disney’s special self-governing district, and moved to nullify the company’s efforts to work around it — repeatedly flaunts the truth: These were retaliation against Disney for opposing his “don’t say gay” law limiting classroom discussion of sex and gender.

This is followed by a bulleted list of bits taken from the book that plainly admit DeSantis targeted Disney because the company had spoken against his homophobic policies. (No paywall.) Plus, DeSantis wrote an op ed for the Wall Street Journal “that explicitly discussed governmental actions against Disney as an effort to ‘fight back’ against its ‘woke ideology,’ which is to say, its political speech.”

Note that this guy has a J.D. from Harvard Law. And  here I thought Harvard Law was supposed to be for smart people. Silly me!

Sargent goes on to quote a First Amendment expert saying that it’s very unusual for lawyers to be handed explicit statements of motive. “You have pretty clear statements from Governor DeSantis that he is seeking to punish a corporation for its speech,” the expert said, adding “That’s prohibited by the First Amendment.” And things could get worse for DeSantis after the suit goes through the discovery phase.

DeSantis’s book, says Sargent, “boasts extensively about his war on Disney to advertise how he would marshal the powers of the presidency against so-called woke elites.” Which brings us to the next point. It’s increasingly unlikely Ron will be the Republican nominee next year, but one does wonder if he seriously thinks he can win a presidential election raging about “woke.”

Jamelle Bouie writes in the New York Times (no paywall):

It’s not just that Republican policies are well outside the mainstream, but that the party itself has tipped over into something very strange.

I had this thought while watching a clip of Ron DeSantis speak from a lectern to an audience we can’t see. In the video, which his press team highlighted on Twitter, DeSantis decries the “woke mind virus,” which he calls “a form of cultural Marxism that tries to divide us based on identity politics.”

Now, I can follow this as a professional internet user and political observer. I know that “woke mind virus” is a term of art for the (condescending and misguided) idea that progressive views on race and gender are an outside contagion threatening the minds of young people who might otherwise reject structural explanations of racial inequality and embrace a traditional vision of the gender binary. I know that “cultural Marxism” is a right-wing buzzword meant to sound scary and imposing.

To a normal person, on the other hand, this language is borderline unintelligible. It doesn’t tell you anything; it doesn’t obviously mean anything; and it’s quite likely to be far afield of your interests and concerns.

I don’t question there are pockets of population around the nation in which a majority are ready to vote against “woke,” believe all Democrats are “groomers,” and would sooner give up their mothers than their guns. But I honestly don’t see those positions winning a general presidential election. “Taken together, it’s as if the Republican Party has committed itself to being as off-putting as possible to as many Americans as possible,”  Bouie writes.

This brings me to something Dan Friedman wrote at Mother Jones:  Maybe Becoming President Takes More Than Just Being a Dick.

The success of Donald Trump, an asshole who became president, created a fallacy: Americans want an asshole as their president. This misapprehension greatly appeals, of course, to assholes, especially those in public office, who seem happy to drop their traditional practice of pretending to be nicer than they really are in favor of doubling down on being dicks. …

… The main example in this genre, of course, is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis has been elected in the country’s third biggest state twice, and has won extensive media attention in part by being unprecedentedlyobnoxious to the press. No one can accuse him of being nice. DeSantis’ banning of books that address racism, his prohibiting saying “gay,” his use of state funds to fly migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard, and his (losingfight with Disney are undeniably obnoxious. If American wants another jerk in the White House, here is a champion.

And yet, Friedman continues, it’s not working. Whatever it is is that the MAGAts see in Trump, they are not seeing it in DeSantis. I question whether any of the alleged contenders for the GOP nomination has it.

What should worry Republicans more, Paul Waldman writes, is that Trump made it cool for Republicans to hate their own party.

As the 2024 GOP presidential primary gets going, it’s becoming clear that Trump has remade presidential politics in an underappreciated way: He has made it practically a requirement that GOP candidates campaign on open hostility toward their own party.

Recently, Trump declared that his victorious 2016 presidential campaign rescued the Republican Party from “freaks, neocons, globalists, open-borders zealots and fools.” These days, that has become standard-issue Trump rhetoric. But weirdly enough, other 2024 GOP hopefuls are now following suit.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has gone the furthest in chasing Trump down this road.In his campaign book, he writes that “old-guard corporate Republicanism is not up to the task at hand.” DeSantis recently said during a speech, “We reject the culture of losing that has infected the Republican Party in recent years.”

Even establishment figures, such as former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, are getting in on this act. She recently said that “both Democrats and Republicans” are responsible for all manner of Washington ills, and vowed to go to war with Republicans when necessary as president.

Certainly, you can find plenty of presidential candidates going way back who promised to change something about their party, or who staked out positions that differed from others in their party. But Waldman is saying that Trump positioned himself as a whole new brand even as he ran as a Republican. And most of the GOP contenders appear to be preparing to run as a Trump brand politician while running against Trump himself, and I have a hard time seeing how that’s going to work for anybody.  But it could set up the 2024 election as a referendum on the Republican Party itself, which I doubt is what the GOP wants.

In other news: Janet Yellen says the nation will run out of cash on about June 1. House Democrats are preparing to force a vote on the debt limit increase. It’s a long shot; the bill being prepared would need the approval of every Democrat and at least five Republicans. President Biden is standing firm on his “no terms” position.

Republicans: This Isn’t Working

There is new polling out that suggests the Ron DeSantis presidential bubble really has burst. Considering that Ron’s entire argument for his candidacy was that he is electable and could appeal to both suburban Republicans and the MAGA base, I don’t see him coming back.

From the CNN article linked: “DeSantis, at the moment, is not building a base. He’s dividing Republicans and allowing Trump to claim an electability mantle. The general electorate remains opposed to a six-week abortion ban and his position on Disney.” IMO Ron’s decision to run as an anti-Woke culture warrior was a huge mistake on his part.

At Lawyers, Guns and Money, Paul Campos writes about the coming “event horizon.”

Two things have become extremely clear over the past few weeks:

(1) Donald Trump is facing several forms of serious legal jeopardy, both criminal and civil; and

(2) Short of what is statistically a highly unlikely health-related event of some sort, he is going to be the Republican nominee for president next year.

Indeed, as this analysis makes clear, as his legal woes mount, his grip on the nomination becomes stronger — and not despite the former circumstance, but as a direct consequence of it: …

It’s probable Trump will lose at least some of the cases stacked against him. He may very well be running next year not only under indictment but having been convicted of something. He’s not going to drop out unless he drops dead. Paul Campos continues,

As to how this country is going to negotiate a situation in which a man facing multiple criminal indictments, as well as civil judgments for things like violently raping a woman in a department store dressing room, is also simultaneously the presidential candidate of one of the only two political parties of any consequence in this nation, your guess is very much as good as mine.

This is completely uncharted territory, and nothing illustrates that better than the fact that this utterly bizarre and disturbing situation has for all practical purposes already been essentially normalized by the political media in particular and the broader cultural discourse in general.

This is the way we live today; how we will be living in 2025 and beyond is not something I can see clearly now.

I can’t argue.

This Is Not What Freedom Looks Like

Today’s mass shooting took the lives of five people in Texas, including an eight-year-old boy.

Police said they believe the massacre occurred after neighbors asked the suspect to stop shooting his gun in the front yard because there was a baby trying to sleep.

“My understanding is that the victims, they came over to the fence and said ‘Hey could [you not do your] shooting out in the yard? We have a young baby that’s trying to go to sleep,” and he had been drinking and he says ‘I’ll do what I want to in my front yard,'” San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers told KTRK.

Capers told KTRK the case went from harassment to a shooting very quickly. He said the shooter was drinking that night; police dispatchers initially confirmed the shooter was intoxicated.

He said that authorities believed some of the victims were trying to shield their children — with bodies found on top of children who were unharmed.

“In my opinion, they were actually trying to take care of the babies and keep them babies alive,” Capers told KTRK.

The shooter is described as “Mexican,” and on cue the mouth breathers who comment at Gateway Pundit blamed gun violence on illegal immigrants. I’m not linking to it. But you can read here about some of the lawsuits people are finally bringing against the Hoft twins.

Add “asking the neighbor to keep the noise down” to the growing list of “normal activities that will get you killed in the U.S.” Also “leaf blowing.” A man in Illinois who was using a leaf blower to tidy up his own yard was shot and killed recently by a neighbor. Apparently this was an escalation of an ongoing feud.

It appears two women died in Texas yesterday protecting their little children. Here’s a woman in Montana who isn’t going to go that far.

A Montana state representative has gone viral for a series of comments in which she seemed to display a shocking disregard for the wellbeing of her own daughter.

Republican Rep. Kerri Seekins-Crowe, who recently sponsored a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors, suggested in March during a debate on the floor of the Montana statehouse that she had blocked the treatment for her own daughter, even as her daughter was suicidal.

“One of the big issues that we have heard today and we’ve talked about lately is that without surgery the risk of suicide goes way up. Well, I am one of those parents who lived with a daughter who was suicidal for three years,” Seekins-Crowe said, according to a clip shared on Twitter, demonstrating how close to home the issue hit for her family.

But it was what she said next that left observers so stunned.

“Someone once asked me, ‘Wouldn’t I just do anything to help save her?’ And I really had to think and the answer was, ‘No,’” Seekins-Crowe said.

She went on to call her daughter’s suicidal tendencies “emotional manipulation” and claimed that it was her responsibility as a parent to make decisions when her daughter had no “vision” for her life.

“I was not going to let her tear apart my family and I was not going to let her tear apart me because I had to be strong for her, I had to have a vision for her life when she had none,” she said.

Not exactly Mother of the Year material. Frankly, I think child protective services need to get involved here. That woman is a monster.