People warned me it gets cold here, but I didn't believe them until I sat outside shivering in a T-shirt. Hubris strikes again! - Corey
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THE BIG NEWS
Rocky Mountain High Court Bars Trump from Ballot
Let's hope this becomes the hot new trend: The Colorado Supreme Court, in a 4-3 opinion, yesterday ruled that wannabe dictator Donald Trump cannot appear on the state's 2024 ballot because the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution bans people who "engaged" in "insurrection or rebellion" from running for office. The Denver Post reports:
It's a near-certainty the case will head to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Colorado Supreme Court stayed its ruling until Jan. 4, the day before the deadline for the secretary of state to certify its presidential primary ballots, in case an appeal is filed — in which case the state will be required to include Trump's name on the March 5 primary ballot unless the federal justices order otherwise.
"This is a major and extraordinary holding from a state supreme court," Derek T. Muller, a professor who specializes in election law at the University of Notre Dame, in a blog post Tuesday. "Never in history has a presidential candidate been excluded from the ballot under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment."
Republicans are, predictably, both very angry and in denial. "He'll win anyway," one Floridian Trump fan tells the New York Times. "He'll be a write-in candidate. He'll be wrote in." Nope! The Colorado ban extends to "wrote-in" votes. Hilariously, Mini-Trump Vivek Ramaswamy is demanding the other also-ran Republican presidential candidates withdraw from Colorado's primary ballot in solidarity, or something.
Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which led the Colorado litigation, called the judges' decision "not only historic and justified, but is necessary to protect the future of democracy in our country."
Meanwhile, former U.S. Marine and Proud Boys chapter leader turned federal cooperator Charles Donohoe, 35, had this to say at his sentencing for attacking the Capitol on Jan. 6: "I knew what I was doing was illegal from the very moment those barricades got knocked down. ... I'd like to apologize to America as a whole." No matter what happens, it's impossible to imagine contrition of that sort from the former crook-in-chief. "I never read 'Mein Kampf,'" he told a crowd in Waterloo, Iowa yesterday. Exhausted longtime observers may recall that it was "My New Order," a collection of Hitler's speeches, and not his infamous autobiography, that Trump kept by his bedside. Ivana tried to warn us long before Kamala Harris summoned the courage to state the obvious.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Congress Takes a Vacation on Ukraine War Aid
The Senate leaves Washington, D.C. today and won't be back until Jan. 8. The failure to pass additional military aid to Ukraine over Republican demands to effectively end asylum in America prompted Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to issue a joint statement expressing their "hope" that the Senate will approve the funding "early in the new year"; they sound less certain than Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who says "I am confident that the U.S. will not let us down." In any case, the White House is no longer content to leave these high-stakes talks up to the flaky and unprincipled "independent" Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and White House chief of staff Jeff Zients now talking directly to Republicans, per the Associated Press.
Texas Sued Over 'Show Me Your Papers' Law
State and local cops in Texas can arrest anyone they suspect of having entered the U.S. illegally under the "Show Me Your Papers" law signed Monday by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. "The bill overrides bedrock constitutional principles and flouts federal immigration law while harming Texans, in particular Brown and Black communities," says Adriana Piñon, legal director of the ACLU of Texas, which has filed a lawsuit with other civil rights groups to block the law. Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador yesterday said Abbott "forgets that in the Bible it says that you should not treat strangers badly," while White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said "this is not who we are as a country." Meanwhile, a federal appeals court ruled that the Biden administration cannot remove the concertina wire Abbott had installed along the Rio Grande, and Chicago authorities are investigating the death of a 5-year-old boy in a shelter for migrants, most of whom were bused north from Texas on Abbott's orders.
- Frace's Far Right Declares Victory After Macron Strikes Devil's Bargain on Immigration The legislation passed yesterday "is 'the most regressive bill of the past 40 years for the rights and living conditions of foreigners, including those who have long been in France,' around 50 groups including the French Human Rights League said in a joint statement." via the New York Times and Le Monde.
- U.S. Nixes U.N. Resolutions on Gaza for a Second Day Meanwhile, in "a hospital in the southern town of Rafah, Mahmoud Zoarab bid farewell to his two children — a 2-year-old boy, and a girl born two weeks ago — killed in a predawn strike on their home." via the Washington Post and the Associated Press.
- Judge Orders Release of 150 Names Linked to Jeffrey Epstein Federal judge Loretta Preska "concluded that some portions of the records should remain confidential, including those identifying people who were children when they were sexually abused by Epstein." via the AP.
- Biden Will Ban Logging in Old-Growth Forests "I wish they'd initiated this earlier. I wish they were doing a rulemaking," says conservationist Chris Wood, who nevertheless calls the U.S. Forest Service plan "a big deal." via the Post and the Guardian.
That's how many more American households are eligible for federal housing assistance today than in 2004, a roughly 25 percent increase. Over the same period, the New York Times reports, the number served by the three main federal housing aid programs dropped by 6 percent, or 287,000 households.
ON THE SHOW TODAY
12/20: It's Hump Day! Sam and Emma speak with Joshua Kaplan, reporter at ProPublica, to discuss recent reporting surrounding Justice Clarence Thomas's finances. Then, they speak with Roge Karma, staff writer at The Atlantic, to discuss his recent piece entitled "The Secretive Industry Devouring the U.S. Economy."
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Michele Bachmann: still opening her mouth in public. Who knew?
Not the wormlike J.D. Vance, however!
"Shame! Shame on this owner for treating the people who live in this facility like pawns who can just be moved on a moment's notice. Shame on this owner for not paying the employees what they deserve and just shutting down this facility in the dead of night."
-- St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, addressing a rally yesterday outside the city's largest nursing home, Northview Village, which closed without warning on Friday, leaving some of its 170 residents to wander the streets alone. The home's owner, Healthcare Accounting Services, has offered no explanation. As the Washington Post reports, many assisted living facilities "across the nation are now held by investors under pressure to produce profits for shareholders. In some places, a bare-bones approach to staffing and pay has produced a chaotic environment where medications are missed, falls and bed sores go unnoticed, residents are abused and confused seniors wander away undetected."
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